It's a given that at some point in the future, Barack Obama will not be the president of the United States. That time may come sooner than Democrats want, or later than Republicans fear, but it will come all the same, and there will be a new president. Perhaps even a Republican president! And so like many of you, I've been wondering about what happens to the Birther movement in a post-Obama era. (If you've not been wondering about this, feel free to click here to learn more about cooking with bourbon, America's most important foodstuff.)
In my mind, I've always imagined that the chances of Birtherism continuing much beyond Obama's presidency were small. And I never thought for one minute that the Birthers would demand similar scrutiny of a Republican candidate for president. But it turns out I may have been wrong about this, because as Wonkette reports, there's some sort of Birther schism emerging over the Oval Office prospects of Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
In one corner, we have Lawrence Sellin, a former Army reserve officer who seems to have parlayed getting dismissed from his position as a staffer to General David Petraeus in Afghanistan (for criticizing his superiors and making fun of their PowerPoint presentations) into a career of writing Birther tracts for something called the Canada Free Press. He's been something of a fixture in the movement ever since, and is undeterred in his dementia despite this year's release of Obama's long sought-after "long form birth certificate." Now, he's targeting Rubio:
The precedent of an illegal President having been established by the inauguration of Obama, the Republicans now feel free to promote their own illegal candidates.
I believe Marco Rubio is a good man and a fine public servant. Unfortunately, like Obama, he is not eligible for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency because he is not a natural born citizen.
Both Democrats and Republicans have tried very hard to confuse the eligibility issue, mainly by focusing on what the Constitution and the Supreme Court holdings do not say, rather than what they clearly do say.
Being born in the U.S. makes one a U.S. citizen, but not necessarily a natural born citizen, which requires US citizen parents at the time of birth. The Founding Fathers specifically put that requirement in the Constitution to prevent someone having dual allegiance from becoming president.
Marco Rubio was born in the US, which makes him a US citizen. His parents were not US citizens at the time of his birth. Therefore, Marco Rubio is not a natural born citizen and not eligible for the office of President or Vice President.
But, over at Birther-Loon Clearinghouse WorldNetDaily, they are rising to Rubio's defense:
Unlike Barack Obama, Rubio doesn't have a mysterious past filled with unanswered questions. He has also been consistent in preaching the gospel of capitalism, entrepreneurship, low taxes, less regulation, less borrowing and the greatness of the American way of life.
In other words, Rubio has never even so much as implied that he wants to fundamentally change America. If anything, his words indicate that he favors returning the United States to its founding roots.
Whether or not Rubio is eligible to be president of the United States gets down to a constitutional interpretation, which is always a tricky issue. The problem is that the Constitution does not define the term "natural-born citizen." Though both Bobby Jindal's and Marco Rubio's parents were legal residents of the United States at the time of their sons' births, none of them became citizens until after their sons were born.
Remember, for the pure strain of Obama Birther, it's always been less about Constitutional interpretations and more about a shadowy conspiracy between generations of government officials to get Obama elected president in order to undermine capitalism (it's not working, corporate profits are at record levels). Rubio may not be a "natural-born citizen," but even if he isn't, he's one of the good ones, as far as WorldNetDaily is concerned.
So that's what's awaiting Marco Rubio, it seems, as speculation mounts that he could end up as someone's vice presidential pick in 2012. It's hard to say if the Rubio Birthers deserve scorn for continuing this insanity, or if the Birther Originalists deserve scorn for their lack of consistency. However, I was just starting to think about making a verdict on the matter, when I suddently remembered that all of these people are pathetic clowns and so all can be scorned in equal amounts.
And as for Rubio? After studying the behavior of other Republicans who mildly repudiate Birtherism, I have gathered it would not be considered out of bounds for me to say that I take Rubio at his word that he is a United States citizen.
Related Video -- Obama releases long-form birth certificate: