The Rick Perry-Birther Flap: An Addendum

I’ll make this uncharacteristically brief.

I wrote, and believe, that media reports that Rick Perry had expressed Birther sentiments were unfair and misrepresented his words. That was correct. In interviews since that post was composed, Perry has suggested that it is fun to tease the President about the dispute over his place of birth and citizenship, and “keep it alive.”

No, it isn’t. It is unfair, disrespectful and wrong. There is no teasing that is appropriate when the subtext is a challenge to a President’s legitimacy. Perry needs to cut it out, though it is too late in one respect: his words indelibly mark him as a jerk.

Let me also say that I am not especially sympathetic to Democratic indignation regarding teasing over a president’s legitimacy. This is exactly what the entire party did for every second of President Bush’s tenure, suggesting that the 2000 election was “stolen,’ thus rendering his tenure illegitimate. This exploited the vast majority of the public’s ignorance about the Electoral College, and also involved impugning the integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court, doing far more damage to the nation than the idiot Birthers on their best day.

That does not excuse Perry, of course. Every additional word he says to keep the Birther issue in the public eye is another reason—and there are already plenty—to keep him in Texas.

16 thoughts on “The Rick Perry-Birther Flap: An Addendum

  1. I tend to agree, about keeping Perry in Texas, but the “Birther” issue was a nonissue from day 1, and it was beneath the dignity of the White House for the President to even comment on it. There was never going to be an impeachment and no President before has ever had to prove anything about his birth. The current administration is no exception. There are some issues that is beneath the Office that President Obama occupies. Notice, Bush never commented on the charges of his legitimacy. He never commented on his acts as a “War Criminal” or “Hitler” or the various other slurs against his character. He recognized that to comment on them GAVE them credibility they otherwise did not have and there was nothing the Left could do about those charges anyway. Obama should have responded with the same ignoring of an issue that was beneath him. However, he strikes me as a very insecure man who can’t let personal attacks against him go, even when they come from little people with nothing more to say than irrelevant questions of an unquestionable fact. He is an American Citizen and more importantly, He IS the President of the United States. Obama does not seem comfortable in that role at times.

  2. “***no President before has ever had to prove anything about his birth.”

    Chester A. Arthur, 21st President had similar problems. His father was not an American citizen until 14 years after Arthur’s birth. He was from Ireland and eventually took Canadian citizenship. Arthur was allegedly born in Vermont to an American mother.

    Democrats went after John McCain claiming he wasn’t a “natural born citizen” because he was born in Panama. Both of his parents were United States Citizens. The Senate had to vote on whether or not he was a “natural born citizen.” The vote claimed he was. Obama voted “yes.”

    Although many lawsuits were filed regarding Obama’s dual citizenship, nothing was ever decided since most judges threw the cases out as not being in their jurisdiction. Unlike McCain, the Senate did not take up the issue although congress tried more than once to define the issue related to the differences between ‘natural born citizen’ and ‘citizen.’ They never got to a vote.

  3. The Supreme Court deserved to have their integrity impugned, and the damage to its reputation was self-inflicted. There’s an enormous difference between a totally nonsensical conspiracy theory, and criticizing a Supreme Court decision.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that the Court’s decisions should be beyond criticism?

    • Huh!!! Who’s criticizing? If the courts don’t have jurisdiction, they cannot hear the case. The issue belongs in the Senate.

      AND . . . speaking of the courts, there is a Supreme Court decision.

      “Natural Born Citizen” was defined by an 1875 Supreme Court ruling (Minor v. Happersett) as children born of two U.S. citizens – regardless of the location of the birth. It found: “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

      The children who are born in this country to a citizen parent and a noncitizen parent (or a naturalized parent) are citizens BUT NOT natural-born citizens.

    • No, I’m suggesting that insinuating that the Court’s integrity was breached and that the decision was based on political allegiances rather than Constitutional and ethical principles is wrong, unsupported by a shred of evidence and harmful—especially since there was no way a “correct” vote count could be arrived at with the vote so close. The newspaper count, which surprised very one by showing that 1) no two counts yielded the same result and 2)Bush won most of them should have put it to bed for good, if the Democrats cared about the system, the trust of the nation, and fairness…not to mention reality.

      Just as Obama’s birth certificate should have ended the Birther nonsense.

      I’m not equating the two issues, but the intent and objectives of those who exploit them…which are the same.

      • To make it perfectly clear, I DO NOT consider myself a birther especially in the way the term has been abused. This includes Trump’s idiotic claims when he picked up on Obama possibly being born in Kenya.

        There are many alleged ‘birthers’ that claim Obama was born in Kenya.

        There are others who have differing views including his adoption by his mom’s second husband who then named him Barry Sortero when he was living in Indonesia. If it was a legitimate adoption, Barry became an Indonesian citizen. If that was a legitimate adoption, his Hawaiian birth certificate would have been altered to reflect his new status. Ergo: Something could be wrong with alleged birth certificate.

        Then there is the one thing that can’t be disputed, as Obama acknowledges, it’s his Hawaiian birth. He had dual citizenship due to his father’s allegiance to England via Kenyan citizenship. No one EVER HAD to obtain any legitimate birth certificate since his dual citizenship was well known and admitted.

        The absolutely LEGITIMATE QUESTION is: Is Barack Hussein Obama a/k/a Barry Sortero a ‘NATURAL-BORN’ CITIZEN?

        Obviously, like Chester Arthur, the election can’t be overturned. He’s our president for better or worse. But this issues needs to be settled. How many times did the Senate refuse to confront the issue? TOO MANY!!! Now some of the states are starting to pay attention.

        There’s already talk about Marco Rubio not being “natural-born” thus cannot be “vice-president.” He was born in America in 1971 but his Cuban parents were not American citizens. They became naturalized in 1975. Rubio is a citizen, but not “natural-born.”

        NATUAL-BORN citizens are those who are born to two American parents no matter where they lived at the time of the child’s birth. The Senate needs to decide this issue one way or another or this will be an on-going dispute that never gets resolved.

        • No, Dorothy. It’s settled. If you are born here, you are a natural-born citizen. It is a phony dispute. Obama qualifies; Rubio qualifies. Arthur probably didn’t.

          I’d like to see them take that requirement out of the Constitution entirely. To name an example, why shouldn’t my adopted son, born in Russia, who came here at the age of 6 months, be eligible to be President? Makes no sense at all.

          • Add the fact that immigrants are often more American than any of us “naturals”. My grandparents are a perfect example. By the time my grandfather got citizenship, he had fought and bled for this country in two wars and was, and still is, as American as football. In an unrelated example, my grandmother converted to Catholicism as an adult. She became the most Catholic woman in her church.

  4. Perry’s behavior with regard to this issue shows his true nature. That of an immature, uninformed, ignorant bully. Not someone who should be POTUS. My sympathies to the good people of Texas who did NOT vote for him and want him out of office there as well.

    • Well let’s see. Perry showed his true colors over the moronic birther statement. As far as that goes, Romney showed his true colors when said in the debate (paraphrasing) “Would I hire an illegal? I’m running for PRESIDENT, for God’s sake!” So Romney is careful only because he’s been running for about six years? The true nature of both of these guys comes out in little ways….

  5. Many Americans have not served their country, Many wouldn’t be able to pass the citizen test. And some can not speak fluent English.

      • The whole “birther” was and is a waste of time. I don’t think he would have been elected if the people really cared. As far as Perry is concerned, I think he was joking. He just isn’t too bright. Perry knows Obama is a citizen. As far as the issue in it’s entirety, I believe the Constitution has to be amended on this. I don’t care about where someone is born or to who. Our country wouldn’t allow a foreign take over without a fight.

  6. I feel like if the “Birther” had any real relevance Hilary Clinton would have mentioned it in the Spring of 2008. She chose to ignore it. I believe that if there was ANY chance the Clinton’s could have derailed Obama’s nomination they would have done it.

    They chose to move on to other issues such as Rev. Wright.

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