Tuesday, May 22, 2012


WARNING: Reading this post may cause you to learn 3 Latin words.

Honestly, the whole Birtherism argument has seldom, even from nutters, made sense.

The only way it works is if the person is question has no ties to the United States: If they are not born here, If they do not have a parent that is a citizen. You see there are three ways to look at citizenship: naturalization, jus soli, and jus sanguinis.

  • Naturalization means that you have no right to citizenship and go through a process to obtain citizenship.
  • Jus soli (Right of the Soil) means that you are born in a given place and are a citizen.
  • Jus sanguinis (Right of Blood) means you have at least one parent that is a citizen.

Under US law, being jus soli or jus sanguinis are acknowledged as acceptable forms of citizenship for running for president. If the president was naturalized (or undocumented), it would be a problem.

So we get to the president's mother. From all I've seen, most of the birthers do not question her nationality, or her legitimacy as a parent (There is a nutty of nuts subset of birthers who believe the president was born in the Soviet Union, or a Soviet allied country to operatives and...read one of hundreds of the crappy old Cold War novels in dime bins for more.). So they focused in on Kenya (Mysterious Kenya. Magical Kenya. Foreign Kenya. Booga! Booga! Booga!) and become myopic. Nothing else matters.
"If his dad is from there, maybe he is to. Prove us wrong! ...That birth announcement doesn't count! Show us government proof of his birth! ...Not good enough!!! ..."
If they are being at all rational, they are really focused on something extralegal, "He is in some way foreign, and that is wrong. He is wrong." It bares no connection to the real world. He has some aspect they can cling on to and hate. If Romney was the Democratic nominee, the story would be about Mormonism, or his family Mexican ties (We'll get to that in a minute.).

So there is the problem. If you accept his mom as an American the rest is bullshit. Why would it matter where he was born then? Why would it matter to people to go to such trouble to hide his birth then? It makes no sense, unless you are irrationally obsessed, or plain ignorant.

Hell, it does make the secret Soviet Plan people look a little more clear thinking. At least their bullshit is consistent on why Obama shouldn't be president. It's batshit crazy, but consistent in that. The only way they can regain a sense of consistency is to come out and just say, "He has foreign ties, and where bigoted xenophobes."
But this persists, defying common sense and logic. Why all conversations with a birther on a cable show doesn't start on jus sanguinis, and stop there until the birther explains it away is beyond me. There only choice is to ignore the point, or try to go full nutter on us. Either way they show themselves as fools or madmen. But maybe I'm wrong and they will see their error and desist (Trying optimism out. Seeing if it fits.).

So, PLEASE, anytime you meet a birther, remind them of jus sanguinis, the right of blood. Then you can see what you are really dealing with, or, maybe, reveal to them how foolish the media instigators.

And thanks to Don Millard (at @OTOOLEFAN on Twitter) I finally got answer to why George Romney (Mitt Romney's pater) was able to run for president back in 1967-8. He was born in Mexico, as was his own father. What happen was, when George Romey's grandfather fled the US, he did not renounce his citizenship. And then his own father never renounced his, gotten via jus sanguinis. So when George came back to the US, he was acknowledged as an American citizen, who went on to run a car company, be a governor, and run for president. There were questions, there were concerns, and there were complaints. But he was deemed to be legitimately a full citizen. He just didn't get the nomination.

So, please, remember these points. Under right of blood, Obama is legit, just as people like George Romney were, and just as the US Constitution intends.

Now let's get back to real issues.

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