Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dave Neiwert Embarrasses Himself by Being Clueless About the Natural Born Citizen Grandfather Clause

In defending Obama’s citizenship and attempting to refute 'birthers', Neiwert suggests most founding fathers wouldn’t be eligible for the Presidency if they needed two American citizen parents, but completely ignores the grandfather clause which exempted those born before 1787 from needing two American citizen parents

by Larry Simons
November 30, 2010

Leave it to the Bill O’Reilly of the Left, Dave Neiwert to make his points by completely ignoring facts and embarrassing himself in a grand display of ignorance for thousands to see. In his latest article [from the site ironically called Crooks and Liars] titled, “Birthers' newest claim: Obama not a 'natural born citizen' because father was Kenyan UPDATED”, Neiwert discusses the matter of a “new” claim made by “birthers” [which is actually an old claim] that Barack Obama is not eligible to be President because his father was a British citizen [Kenya was under British rule in 1961, the time of Obama’s birth].

Then, in sheer hilarity, Neiwert says this:

“What's really funny about this theory is that these fetishists of all things from the Founding Fathers would thus have disqualified one of the leading founders, Thomas Jefferson, from the presidency.”

Actually, the thing that is really, really funny is the fact that Neiwert apparently has never read the actual section of the Constitution that exempts all Americans who were American citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution [in 1787] from needing two American citizen parents.

Article II, Section I, clause 5 states:

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

What is also equally rib-tickling is that after quoting attorney Mario Apuzzo, who is bringing a lawsuit against Barack Obama, as saying, “The courts and Congress have never changed the definition...the founding fathers understood that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces needed to have two American citizens as parents so that American values would be imparted to him.”, Neiwert says, “This is pretty odd reasoning. Especially when you consider that the same standard would have disqualified Thomas Jefferson -- whose mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, was born in London, England.” Although Neiwert is correct that Thomas Jefferson’s mother was born in England, she would have become an American citizen anyway by marriage to Peter Jefferson if America had been formed at the time of her marriage in 1739.

Turns out, Jane Jefferson did not have to be an American citizen anyway, because the Constitution’s grandfather clause clearly states that all American citizens [even those not natural born] who were alive at the adoption of the Constitution are eligible for the Presidency. Two Presidents were automatically grandfathered in: Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Four other presidents who were born after the adoption of the Constitution who some consider not to be natural born citizens are as follows:

James Buchanan ---father became American citizen upon marriage to Buchanan’s mother, Elizabeth Speer. The reason why Obama’s father cannot claim American citizenship status upon marriage to Ann Dunham is because he was a Kenyan national [therefore a British citizen] and the British Nationality Law of 1948 does NOT allow dual citizenship. He could not have enjoyed American citizenship after marriage to Ann Dunham while at the same time stayed a Kenyan national. [see Obama info below].

Chester Arthur---(1881-1885) Born: October 5, 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont. Father- William Arthur, when eighteen years of age, emigrated from Co. Antrim, Ireland. Father did not become a naturalized citizen until 14 years after Chester Arthur’s birth. Mother- Malvina Stone born April 29, 1802 in Berkshire, Franklin, Vermont. Chester Arthur born with dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States. Chester Arthur lied numerous times about his past to obfuscate his ineligibility to hold Vice-Presidential and Presidential office. Burned all personal records upon his death.

Woodrow Wilson’s mother Jessie Janet Woodrow automatically became a US citizen upon her marriage to his US citizen father, Reverend Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson.

Herbert Hoover’s mother, Hulda Randall Minthorn, automatically gained US citizenship upon her marriage to Hoover’s father, Jesse Hoover in 1870.

Only one President [outside of Chester Arthur] has been questioned about the citizenship of his parents: Barack Obama.

Barack Hussein Obama II---(2009-) Born: August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Father- Barack Obama, Sr. was born in Kanyadhiang village, Rachuonyo District, Lake Victoria, Kendu Bay, Kenya (at the time a colony of the British Empire) in 1936. Mother- Stanley Ann Dunham, later know as Ann Dunham Soetoro after divorce from Obama II’s father, was born at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on November 29, 1942. Father was not a naturalized citizen at the time of his birth. Barack Obama II was born with dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States. Possible adoption by Indonesian father coupled with continuance of Indonesian citizenship as an adult (travel to Pakistan, possible US college enrollment as a foreign student) could negate US citizenship or at least imply another dual citizenship. Circumstantial evidence exists Obama II born in Kenya and his parents later registered the birth in Hawaii. If born in Kenya, Obama II is not a US citizen at all due to 1952 statute not allowing mother to convey citizenship due to her age and time residing in United States past the age of 14.

Of all the comments posted under Neiwert’s story, only one [at the time of my writing] understood the grandfather clause while still dismissing that Obama is ineligible for the Presidency.

“dad23g” wrote:

Let's clarify a few things. While the Birther argument is preposterous, we should be clear on the facts on which the argument is based, for easier refutation. Article II of the US Constitution states: “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” As the Founders were Citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, they were exempt from being natural born citizens to be eligible for the presidency. So arguing that the Birther theory would invalidate Jefferson's presidency gets us nowhere.

The Birther argument is that a "natural born citizen" must be born in the US of two parents who were citizens at the time of the birth. So someone born in the US, whose parents are citizens at the time of the birth, can be a "natural born citizen" (and therefore eligible for the presidency) even if one or both parents are merely citizens but not "natural born citizens." In other words, if you are born here, and both parents are naturalized citizens of foreign birth, you are eligibile for the presidency but your parents are not. So, if Obama's father was not a US citizen at the time he was born, their position is that Obama is not eligible for the presidency. Again, everyone born here whose parents were citizens but not born here are still eligible for the presidency, so arguing that those people are no longer eligible gets us nowhere.

The real refutation of the Birther argument is that the courts have held that the citizenship status of the parents is irrelevant. "Natural born" means born here. The rest is noise.

Whether “dad23g” is correct about the courts deeming citizenship of the parents irrelevant or not does not mean that the true definition of “natural born” does not mean both parents of a presidential candidate must be American citizens.

In my view, there would have been no need for the founders to include the grandfather clause, stating “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President” if they simply meant that any U.S. citizen was eligible for the Presidency. They could have simply stated, “No person, except a United States citizen, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Whether you believe that “natural born citizen” simply means being born in the United States or being born in the United States while having two American citizen parents, you must ask yourself why the founders chose not to make this a simplistic issue and state that any American-born citizen is eligible.

In any case, you have to come to the conclusion that Dave Neiwert is a lying fraud for omitting any mention of the grandfather clause and a complete moron for not comprehending the fact that two presidents are exempt from needing two American citizen parents. By leaving his story posted and unmolested, he also proves that he has no problem whatsoever with blatantly humiliating himself.

A screen shot of Neiwert’s omission of the grandfather clause, just incase he edits his story





UPDATE: I think it is noteworthy to add that Neiwert posted his story on Crooks and Liars on November 29 at 12:12 pm. When I posted my story this morning at 6:09 am, there were 103 comments posted under Neiwert's story. As I write this, it is now 5:06 pm [almost 11 hours later] and there are only 104 comments under Neiwert's story and there has been no comments posted after 8:49 am [on the 30th]. It is simply not believable that in the first 18 hours of Neiwert's story, 103 comments were posted and in the last 11 hours only 1 has been posted.

Seems either Neiwert or Crooks and Liars founder John Amato has frozen the comment thread because there have been too many people posting comments pointing out Neiwert's glaring error of not being aware of the grandfather clause that does not require Americans born before 1787 to have two American citizen parents.

16 comments:

SPN Headlines said...

A new witness testified that Obama was CONCEIVED on U.S. soil....he knows because he saw it - SHOCKING story at:

http://spnheadlines.blogspot.com/2010/03/witness-obama-was-conceived-in-us_06.html

Peace! :-)

Messianic Theonomist said...

Sorry, but since the (extorted) adoption of the 14th Amendment, the citizenship of one's parents need not have anything to do with one's own. If you are born on US soil, you ARE a citizen. So the "certificate" is the issue, the only issue in this case.
Citizenship of one's parents matters only if you are NOT (with apologies to The Boss) Born in the USA.
And Obama obviously fails that test.
If anybody other than Ron Paul inside the DC Beltway cared about the Constitution, Obama would have been forced to prove his citizenship before being sworn in.

Larry said...

sorry, youre simply wrong. the constitution clearly says you must be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN----meaning just being an american citizen isnt enough---if it was enough Arnold Schwarzengger could run for prez---but he cant now, can he?

If being just a citizen was all that is required, why did the founders bother with adding the clause "or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution"???

It doesnt matter if Obama was born on the White House lawn, if any of his parents werent American citizens [and his dad was not], Obama is not natural born---end of story.

Messianic Theonomist said...

I don't know where you are getting your definition of "Natural Born Citizen" as meaning that both parents must be citizens. The Constitution says nothing about it.
That may be what the framers intended, but since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, it doesn't matter. The wording there makes it clear that there are 2 classes of citizens - born and naturalized. Aaahnold is a naturalized citizen - not born one (natural or otherwise) and thus clearly not eligible.
I don't see your differentiation between "born" and "Natural Born."
The technophobes might call those conceived by AI or in vitro as "unnaturally born." Do you want to go down that road?

Larry said...

Ok, let me ask you this question: Do you believe that a person could be eligible for Prez if they hold dual citizenship, one to the US and one to another country? Yes or no?

smrstrauss said...

The difference between an ordinary citizen and a natural born citizen is that the ordinary citizen category includes NATURALIZED citizens, and the Natural Born Citizen category excludes NATURALIZED citizens. Any citizen who was born in the USA would not be a naturalized citizen and would fall under the Natural Born Citizen category.

“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President ..."---- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005)

“Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

“What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)--Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT),

"Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. ...St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE'S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

"Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity."---William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

Messianic Theonomist said...

The constitution makes no mention of dual-citizenship - probably because no one at that time considered such a concept. But I'm just guessing on that.
Given the limited powers and duties that the President was granted in the Constitution, it probably wouldn't matter much. But considering the "authority" that recent Presidents have amassed, I think we would be better off with NO president.

Larry said...

Ok this is the last time I will address this. Im going to make this as clear as I possibly can. If the founders meant that you ONLY had to be BORN HERE to be a natural born citizen, then why did they say this?:

Article II, Section I, clause 5 states:

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

Why did the founders feel the need to make a distinction between "natural born citizen" and "..a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution" if all you had to do to be eligible to run for President was be BORN here? All the founders [with the exception of Hamilton, I think] were BORN here...so why would they have felt the need to add the grandfather clause stating those born pre-adoption of Constitution are exempt from having to be natural born if natural born means BORN here?????

If all that was required was birth within the US, why didnt the founders just say "No one except American-born citizens shall be eligible to the office of President"??? But they did NOT say those words, did they? I want an answer to my question of why the founders made a distinction between natural born citizens and those who were citizens before the constitution was adopted. If all you had to be was american BORN, then why would it have mattered WHEN the person was a citizen?? But the founders added the grandfather clause----why????

Messianic Theonomist said...

The answer to your question is simple, Larry.
No one could be a "Natural Born Citizen" of the United States before the United States existed.
The framers made an exception for those born in the territory that would become the United States before they became States, i.e., when they were still colonies.
Otherwise, there would have been no one eligible to become President at least until at least 35 years after the Declaration of Independence under the most liberal interpretation. A more likely interpretation would have been not until 35 years after the Articles of Confederation were ratified.
Besides, it doesn't make any difference to your argument if Barry O was NOT born in Hawaii, as he seems to be unable to prove.

Anonymous said...

Re: "why would they have felt the need to add the grandfather clause stating those born pre-adoption of Constitution are exempt from having to be natural born if natural born means BORN here?????"

Because Alexander Hamilton was NOT born here. He was born on the British Caribbean island of Nevis. The grandfather clause was written to include him, and some other leading men of the time who had not been born in the 13 colonies, such as James Wilson.

“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President ..."---- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’st attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

“Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

“What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)--Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)

smrstrauss said...

Re: "No one could be a "Natural Born Citizen" of the United States before the United States existed.
The framers made an exception for those born in the territory that would become the United States before they became States, i.e., when they were still colonies."

Answer: That is not the reason. The reason was to allow Alexander Hamilton and such others as James Wilson, who were not born in the 13 colonies to be eligible.

This quotation shows that the writers of the Constitution considered that the persons born in the 13 colonies were Natural Born Citizens:

"Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by the birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration..." St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings > View of the Constitution of the United States (1803) St. George Tucker was an officer in the American Revolutionary Army, a Professor of Law, justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia and a judge of the Federal District Court for Virginia by appointment of President James Madison, and his book View of the Constitution, is the first extended legal discussion of the US Constitution after its enactment. It was written in 1803, only a few years after the Constitution.

As you can see, there were only two categories, Natural Born Citizens, which is clearly explained as those born IN the state (and they had become states, not colonies, with the Declaration of Independence), and aliens. That is because there was no naturalization laws at the time.

In any case, US citizens existed before the Constitution. Americans born on American soil did not consider themselves British, they considered themselves Americans. And the meaning of Natural Born referred to the place of birth, not to the parents of the citizen.

Larry said...

So, children born to illegal aliens are eligible for President as long a they live in the US for 14 years and run when they are 35 years of age? That's simply absurd!!

Dont you think in over 200 years we would have had at least ONE president who didnt have 2 American parents outside of the two presidents that the grandfather clause exempts?? You would say "yes we do now---Obama"---and he is under scrutiny---I wonder why?? Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Re: "So, children born to illegal aliens are eligible for President as long a they live in the US for 14 years and run when they are 35 years of age? That's simply absurd!!"

Answer: It is the truth. They are eligible, but we do not have to vote for them. Criminals are eligible, so long as they are still citizens and were natural born, but once again, we do not have to vote for them. The Constitution did no even bar Tories (remember the Tories, the Americans who had fought against the Constitution?). The principle is very clear; we have the right to vote for virtually any citizen (over 35, 14 years resident, and not naturalized, of course), and it is our responsibility to not vote for the bad ones and to vote for the good ones.

Re: "Dont you think in over 200 years we would have had at least ONE president who didnt have 2 American parents outside of the two presidents that the grandfather clause exempts?? You would say "yes we do now---Obama"---and he is under scrutiny---I wonder why?? Hmmmm."

There are two answers for this. The first is that until the first of anything comes along, nothing like it happened by definition. Until Kennedy we did not have a Catholic president.

The second is that we have had many presidents whose parents were not American citizens. Andrew Jackson's TWO parents were both British/Irish subjects. Yes, he was under the grandfather clause, but that does not change the fact that his parents were not US citizens and we suffered no disaster. In fact, he is considered a great president.

Three presidents including Herbert Hoover have had foreign mothers who were not formally naturalized (they never passed a test or swore an oath), but they merely became US citizens because the law at the time said that women who married American men became citizens automatically.

Yes, the US-born child of an illegal alien is a Natural Born Citizen, just as good as the US-born child of two US citizens who have had three or four generations of Americans before them. But, as I said, we do not have to vote for her or him.

Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

"Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States."

As you can see, the children are natural-born citizens. Why? Because they were born in the USA.

Larry said...

If what youre saying is true---which I doubt----then I would fully support changing the Constitution so that it now means you have to have TWO American citizen parents. I would also support an amendment saying you HAVE to have served in the military to be eligible for POTUS.

What you have said about the illegal alien issue is just too silly to take seriously. Youre basically saying that Arnold Schwarzenegger is not eligible for Prez because he wasnt born here [although he was a California governor] but a child born here to illegal aliens who meets all the qualifications for Prez IS eligible. Too silly. There's nothing "natural" about an illegal alien giving birth to a child in the USA---hence disqualifying him for "natural born" status in my view.

Anonymous said...

Re: "If what youre saying is true---which I doubt----then I would fully support changing the Constitution so that it now means you have to have TWO American citizen parents. "

Answer: What I say, and what Edwin Meese, who was Ronald Reagan's attorney general, and what Black's Law Dictionary, and dozens of other legal authorities all say is that the location of birth was the original definition of Natural Born (McCain's criterion, birth abroad to two US citizens, was added later.)

“Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

There is no requirement in the Natural Born Citizen definition that the parents of a citizen be citizens.

“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President ..."---- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’st attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

You have the right to support any changes in legislation or in the Constitution that you desire. A Constitutional amendment takes a two thirds vote of both houses of congress and three-quarters of the states. Until then, the Meese definition (and those of all the others) stands.

Re; 'Youre basically saying that Arnold Schwarzenegger is not eligible for Prez because he wasnt born here [although he was a California governor] but a child born here to illegal aliens who meets all the qualifications for Prez IS eligible. Too silly."

Answer: That is the way the law works. Schwarzenegger is not eligible for Prez because he wasnt born here, but a convicted mass murderer would be eligible if she or he were born here. (That does not mean that we have to vote for the mass murderer). If you would like to change the constitution to make the mass murderer not eligible and Schwarzenegger eligible, it is also your right to try to bring that about. I'd support you, but the 3/4 vote of the states is difficult to get.

Re: "There's nothing "natural" about an illegal alien giving birth to a child in the USA---hence disqualifying him for "natural born" status in my view."

If you look at the way the Americans at the time of the writing of the Constitution used the term "Natural Born," it was always a synonym for native born--which was not a popular expression at the time. Natural Born was used all the time, and it always referred to citizenship due to the place of birth. It never referred to the parents of the citizen.

Anonymous said...

larry, you won again.