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07 January 2016

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fasteddiez

My wife was on the Dating Game in 1966. The guy she picked was a real creepazoid. She saw as little of him as possible on the post-game show's trip, except on the mandatory photo shoots. At least she managed to visit Tokyo for the first time.

turcopolier

Babak & kunuri

I might be in favor of a limited franchise if I knew how to decide who could vote, but we are not talking about that. We are talking about eligibility to BE ELECTED president in a process which is essentially by states. We don't have two classes of citizens in this country and should not have. pl

Mongoose

I am a proud Okie but not someone proud of all Okies. I have linked below a recent proposal by one of America's more famous or infamous 1%ers--depending on your politics and perspective--who has the jolly idea of establishing a "bi-partisan" committee to decide who could or couldn't run for the office of president. The criteria spelled out in the Constitution doesn't satisfy Mr. T. Boone Pickens, so his committee would get to decide for us--the hoi polloi--who should be permitted to run. According to Mr. Pickens the current crop of candidates, or at least the majority of them (he was in the Jeb! camp until Jeb! flushed all that good coin down the advertising toilet for his measly 6% of the GOP electorate) are unworthy of running for the highest office in the land. Personally, I am both politically conservative enough and radical enough to prefer what has stood this country in good stead for the last 200+ years. I would rather have the SC settle the question of what it means to be a "natural born citizen" and leave standing the criteria of 14 years residence and 35 years of age as the only eligibility requirements necessary to run rather than leave it up to wealthy yahoos like T. Boone and the standard bearers of the GOP and the Democratic Party to decide for the rest of us who should be eligible to run. In short, this reeks of a ginned up crisis where there is no crisis.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/t-boone-pickens-screen-presidential-candidates-217043

kao_hsien_chih

I'm amused by Adams' adulation of Trump's alleged "master persuasion skills."

I don't want to downplay Trump: he is clearly on to something with his rhetorical strategy, but it is more about his opponents than about his "genius." All of Trump's attacks are half truths built on real unpleasant truths. In attempting to explain away the half truths, the targets of the mudslinging have to expose the real truth while looking dodgy. But this is at the root of all good political mudslinging through American history, or indeed, in any good old fashioned electoral brawl.

The problem as I see it is that all these politicians, from all sides, are such phonies and lightweights that they can't stand the minuscule heat generated by Trump's rhetoric. They are trying to get by on the strength of pompous and meaningless platitudes. It is a sad, sad thing that we should have to put up with these losers who aren't worth some bad jokes from Trump.

kao_hsien_chih

I think people who are actually one percenters can do things for principles, not the money. They are not lacking for more money.

It is the people who work for the one percenters that are the problem, I believe. These guys ARE lacking for the money.

Kunuri

Yes, my friend's father was in USAF and a US citizen.

Kunuri

Actually, I have been saying that naturalized American citizens should be eligible to be elected to the highest office. The electorate decides and judges already who is best suited, who is most loyal and faithful to the republic, therefore a true American, regardless of birth place. To me natural born clause is outdated, and maybe made sense 2 centuries ago, but US had a different demographic back then. Anyway, I don't see this clause changed for quite a while, but certainly used for political football until then.

Maybe I used the wrong phrase when I said the Constitution is flexible, I meant to say it can be updated, reformed and clarified as times require through amendments and maybe some other means that I forget now. When it is said it is a living document, that's what I understand.

LeaNder

he simply leans back as a representative of the American Dream.

I suspect his model(/his campaign stragist's) are whatever type of media shows, where one of the ordinary citizen turns out as winner based on public vote. ;)

LeaNder

"Jennifer G."

Jennifer Granholm?

"I looked up her Dating Game appearances in the 70's."

Explain?

foreign Nitwit


BabelFish

Trey,

I understand your point. I will say that the 1% crowd has already perverted the current constitution as practiced in law to their liking. What else is Citizen's United decision if not that?

Without a doubt, there are many folks who would do away with the private ownership of firearms, if they could. As we get further away from our agrarian past, guns become objects of mindless fear to many. I simply have no intention of giving up or giving back my shotguns or my Remington 770. I also think the NRA sows the seeds of destruction for gun ownership with their shrill behaviors and mindless 'the only antidote to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun' propaganda. Like so many other entities in our American life, they sell fear, relentlessly. IMO, that will catch up with them.

While understanding your points, I think we need to suck it up and try to act like citizens of the same country rather than fractionated special interests that cohabit the same lands.

William Fitzgerald

I do not consider myself to be a strict constructionist, however I do think I could be called a constitutionalist. Article Two is quite definite that being a natural born citizen is a qualification for the office of president without, however, defining what that means. Kunuri's case of a child born to the family of a citizen in the service of the government while residing in a foreign country would not be a disqualification in anyone's eyes. Senator Cruz, however was born in a foreign land to a Cuban family. I assume that the elder Mr. Cruz and his American wife were in Canada on landed immigrant status, which would be an additional factor. My opinion is that this situation is to great a stretch, even for the most elastic interpretation of what "natural born citizen" means.

WPFIII

Cee

McCain jumped on the Trump bandwagon regarding Cruz? Why?

Fred

kao_hsien_chih,

Man does not live by money alone. It is sad that you think so little of the majority of Americans.

turcopolier

Cee 1- He doesn't like Cruz and 2 - the actual citizenship status of Cruz' mother is not clear. Was she a landed immigrant in Canada? pl

LeaNder

I don't understand this obsession with a corporation being a person, I can only approach it via the fact that it no doubt is some kind of a "legal subject". But that doesn't necessarily mean he is legally considered a subject or human being.

in other words, if I have a problem with a corporation it makes no sense to address a single representative or for that matter someone working for them, but yes, legally I have to address the corporation....

kao_hsien_chih

I don't think I ever said I think so low of the majority of our people. I do think very low of our elected leaders these days: one reason Trump can speak to the power is that he is beholden to no one but himself; those who are beholden--i.e. everyone else deemed "electable"--cannot. This is what I mean.

kao_hsien_chih

LeaNder,

You have not been paying attention to Trump's rhetorical strategy. Adams is right that he has a definite and quite (but not that) shrewd strategy behind what he does. It occurred to me the last night that Trump is basically a (sort of) right wing, more bombastic, and, quite frankly, far better version of Jon Stewart. A lot of Trump's antics are reminiscent of how Jon Stewart essentially ridiculed Crossfire (a political chatshow on CNN with some of the "usual suspects" spouting the usual left-right nonsense.) out of existence. Well, Trump is riding high on his ability to ridicule the "usual suspects" in actual politics, and this works because the "usual suspects" really are that laughable, phoney, and lightweight.

For all his rhetorical, BS-piercing ability, I don't know if Trump is still "presidential"--one does not want a comedian to be the president. But a better one-percenter comedian who knows what the BS is and is beholden to no one, rather than a fool who believes his/her own BS or a slavish sycophant to the one-percent who defends the BS like the truth.

LeaNder

I was babbling, kao.

But strictly, I gave up on Jon Steward before he threw in the towel. As always, for a personal, not necessary a popular reason.

Nothing you write contradicts my gut instincts, from watching one single debate.

robt willmann

While driving through hydraulic fracturing country the other day, I heard a pundit on the radio say that Ted Cruz was eligible to run for president because the U.S. Congress had passed a law saying this and that. Well, Congress is out of the loop on this issue because the test is directly written into the constitution in Article 2, section 1. In Article 1, section 8, Congress is given the power to "establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization...", but not to decide eligibility to run for president. As brazen as it has been, Congress would not try to pass a law saying that a person has to be 50 years old to run for president, and make other changes to the constitution's language.

By tradition and public acceptance, the federal courts have been interpreting what the words in the constitution and in laws passed by Congress mean, and to say whether a law passed by Congress is constitutional or not. Interpreting what is meant by, "No person except a natural born Citizen...", would still be done by federal courts.

One would have to read all the federal court of appeals and supreme court opinions and decisions in cases in which the issue was whether a person could run for president in light of the requirement to be a "natural born Citizen", and see what the facts, reasoning, and decision was in each of them. Some of the opinions may refer to laws passed by Congress, but whether those make sense or not, and how they fit in with the other opinions, would be part of the process.

I think it is a legitimate issue to investigate. Most, or all, of Cruz's legal work was handling appeals, and his speaking style, at least early on, showed it. He knows that courts of appeals can create their own reality, depending on what the decision is (see, for example, Obamacare and the old Roe v. Wade abortion decision). The majority opinion is to set out the facts of the case, and if the decision is not unanimous, it is always fun to read a dissenting opinion, which will usually include important facts that the majority and controlling opinion left out! Cruz either has read or has had someone read and brief all the opinions and one is clearly in his favor, or he is rolling the dice that no one will challenge his eligibility in court, but if they do, that in the face of the momentum of the election season and his prior appellate work, the judges will not want to invalidate his campaign and will "write around" the problem and say he is eligible.

It is reasonable to think that the question has not been clearly decided and Cruz knows it, because otherwise he would have cited and read from prior court opinions that say he is OK in running. On the other hand, if the law says he is clearly eligible, he might be playing a long game just waiting for a candidate or the Democratic Party to file a lawsuit, and then win easily and gain even more momentum. Without having done any research, my hunch and guess is that it is an open question.

scott s.

With respect to the determination, considering the precedence of 1876 and also Gore v. Bush, ISTM that State Legislatures are solely responsible for determining how Electors are to be selected. The vote of the Electors is received by the President of the Senate with all Congress as witness. From what I see, this is the only point at which the vote of the Electors can be questioned. If the President of the Senate determines that a majority of votes exists, then that individual is deemed elected. In 1876 the qualification of Electors (not the qualification of the persons named by the Electors) was the issue to be decided, so it isn't a slam-dunk precedent.

jerseycityjoan

First of all it would be a huge victory to get any significant changes on this. I would also take a look at what other First World countries have done. I believe all except Canada have eliminated automatic birthright citizenship.

I am not looking to do anything extreme. What I want to do is stop handing out million dollar lottery tickets, in effect, to the children of parents who are not in our country on a long term basis. Certainly all children of citizens should get automatic birthright citizenship. In the past I would have said all children of permanent legal residents but today we are giving some people provisional green cards and/or green cards after just a few years residence so I hesitate to give a blank check for that but I would think most of their children would deserve citizenship at birth too.

It seems to me that the parents of children born here who here only temporarily -- tourists, students, workers here on temporary work visas, etc., have no legitimate reason to expect that we should give their children citizenship. The same would apply to those here illegally. The fact that we have been doing so for years has lead to unrealistic expectations on all parties -- for both us and the parents.

It cannot be right that we should be obligate ourselves eternally to the descendants of every woman who bears a child in America.

For those parents who end up staying long term in America, we can always award citizenship later to their children. We don't have to make an eternal promise to every single child at birth, almost all of our First World friends and allies do not.

Will Reks

jerseycityjoan,

I think it's just as reasonable to think that non native-born American citizens are as adequate as native-born citizens to be elected President. If they're good enough to put on the uniform for our country I see no reason why they should be excluded from running for the Presidency. The people can judge who is best fit.

I don't think most care about whether their President is from a
"long-term" American family but rather that he or she identifies culturally as American. I would say that the impulse you refer to is mostly nonexistent.

different clue

The Beaver,

I gather these young people who volunteer for a while in the Israeli military only serve there for a short or semi-short time, and serve in the softest safest sections.

I have begun wondering if part of their motivation is to relieve their own doubts about the softness of their essential civilian-ness. A little bit of summer-camp-type service in the edges of the Israeli military may give them a chance to feel like they have become genuinely toughened men. Perhaps it is the pursuit of a sort of "cardboard replica" valor or "foam rubber" valor. This is just a thought which has occurred to me over time.

different clue

Cee,

I suspect Cruz is disliked or even hated by many of his fellow Senators. Some of them might grab at any tire iron to beat him with.

turcopolier

different clue

The IDF generally has career women in other than combat arms jobs and only "goes through the motion" in having a token mixed sex infantry battalion in order to satisfy the politicians who are as asinine there as here. pl

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