Cacophony Fantastique’ – The Birther “Idee Fixe”

Uh-uh, Mother-m-mother, uh, what is the phrase? . . . Two Citizen-Parents. . .

All of us who spend our time interacting with the Birthers have experienced their irrational, single-minded, and unshakable belief that American law requires two citizen parents in order to be a natural born citizen.  As an analogy, think of the Abortion issue. Those of us who believe Abortion is morally wrong, and should be illegal, do not cross the dividing line into Delusional Territory to promulgate the belief that Abortions are illegal. There is a boundary between what we believe the law should be, and what the law actually is, and we are quite able to appreciate that distinction and work from our side to change the law, while those opposed work to maintain the status quo.

But, for the Birthers, that distinction does not apply to the Eligibility Issue.  There is no logical barrier to the Birthers simply advocating the position that citizenship by bloodline is superior to citizenship by place of birth and then working to change the law governing presidential eligibility.   However, they will argue, in spite of any and all evidence to the contrary, that the current status of the law mandates two citizen parents in order to be eligible. No matter how many times the truth is pointed out to them, no matter how many court cases are cited, and no matter what the degree of divergence with reality and history, they will perform whatever logical contortions and acrobatics are necessary to adhere to and support this erroneous belief.

For example, if a judge flatly, definitely, and simply says, “people born in America are natural born citizens regardless of the nationality of their parents”  and cites  more than sufficient case law to back up his decision, the Birther will go to whatever lengths are necessary to deny that the holding is law.  Over time, it has become apparent that for the Birthers, the eligibility issue has little or nothing to do with legal realities, partisan concerns, logic, rationality, or even basic common sense.  For them, the issue has transmogrified into an article of faith, and they are simply immune to any fact which contradicts that belief.

That is why it is pretty much useless to quote Wong Kim ArkAnkeny v. Governor, or any of the recent decisions to them.  I feel safe saying that none of us on the other side of the issue has ever witnessed a Birther admitting that they are wrong. In the Birther Universe, there is only that erroneous two citizen parent belief. This is why we witness Birthers ignominiously seeking to negate 1898 Supreme Court cases by citing  30 year earlier congressional speeches, or blatant misinterpretations of Minor v. Happersett.

The important question here is . . . WHY???.  Perhaps the concept of idee fixe, will help to explain this phenomenon. Wiki has a very good article on Idee Fixe, and I will quote extensively from it, and bold the most relevant parts:

Idee fixe is a preoccupation of mind held so firmly as to resist any attempt to modify it, a fixation. The name originates from the French [French : idée, idea + fixe, fixed]. Although not used technically to denote a particular disorder in  psychology, idée fixe is used often in the description of disorders, and is employed widely in literature and everyday English.

As an everyday term, idée fixe may indicate a mindset akin to prejudice or stereotyping.

Here again cognitive psychologists have done miracles in disclosing the well-nigh unlimited capabilities and eagerness of human beings to ward off contradictions inter alia by closing their eyes to data that are at variance with their assumptions. … people who accept the stereotype…are forever coming up with evidence to support their idée fixe and seem unable to notice any information which might disturb their belief.

— H. S. Versnel, Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion

However, idée fixe has also a pathological dimension, denoting serious psychological issues, as in this account of Japanese culture for a popular audience:

Although her husband did not reproach her, she became like a woman possessed, continually begging for his forgiveness. This he readily gave, but her guilt — and his imagined umbrage — had become for her an idée fixe. Unable to stomach food, she went into a decline and died soon thereafter.

–Jack Seaward The Japanese

Idée fixe began as a parent category of obsession, and as a preoccupation of mind the idée fixe resembles today’s obsessive-compulsive disorder: although the afflicted person can think, reason and act like other people, they are unable to stop a particular train of thought or action. However, in obsessive-compulsive disorder, the victim recognizes the absurdity of the obsession or compulsion, not necessarily the case with an idée fixe, which normally is a delusion. Today, the term idée fixe does not denote a specific disorder in psychology, and does not appear as a technical designation in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Nonetheless, idée fixe is used still as a descriptive term, and appears in dictionaries of psychology.

BACKGROUND

The term idée fixe was introduced as a medical term around 1812 in connection with monomania.As originally employed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, idée fixe was “a single pathology of the intellect”, distinct from monomania, a broader term that included idée fixe, but also a wider range of range of pathologies that did not stem from “a single compelling idea or from an emotional excess”. A second difference is that the victim of idée fixe was understood to be unaware of the unreality of their frame of mind,while the victim of monomania might be aware.

At that time, idée fixe was discussed as a form of neurosis or monomania:

The meaning of monomania in the technical medical sense in which it was first used, was very close to the popular meaning it would soon acquire. It denoted an idée fixe, a single pathological preoccupation in an otherwise sound mind.

The idea of monomania was developed by Esquirol as a diagnostic category in his work Des Malades Mentales (1839) and related to the idée fixe by Griesinger (1845) who viewed “every single idée fixe [as] the expression of a deeply deranged psychic individuality and probably an indicator of an incipient form of mania”.

The “pathologicalization” of political convictions was used to discredit political anarchists. The further historical evolution of idée fixe was much entangled with the introduction of psychologists into legal matters such as the insanity defense, and is found in a number of texts.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

Possibly the best example of the role of idée fixe in an insanity defense today is its use in identifying the paranoid personality disorder.

A frequent manifestation of … paranoid personality is the presence of an overvalued idea … a fixed idea (idée fixe) … which might seem reasonable both to the patient and to other people. However, it comes to dominate completely the person’s thinking and life. … It is quite distinct phenomenologically from both delusion and obsessional idea.

The extreme case of paranoid  psychosis” … includes preoccupation with delusional beliefs; believing that people are talking about oneself; believing one is being persecuted or being conspired against; and believing that people or external forces control one’s actions.”

The legal issues surrounding paranoia include judgment of competence to stand trial, conditions for involuntary hospitalization, involuntary medication, and a focus upon awareness or not of unreality at the moment when the defendant “snapped”.

The rest of the article may be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id%C3%A9e_fixe_%28psychology%29

The above discussion of idee fixe nails many of the characteristics evident in the Birther community. The Birther Think Tank has already written about the delusional aspects of Birtherism, most recently in its discussion of the de Vattel Delusion Disorder.  It is also interesting to note how this concept of idee fixe was applied to political anarchists in the 1800’s when one considers the links between the Birthers and militias and the Sovereign Citizen Movement.  Witness, for example, Walter Fitzpatrick, and his Citizen’s Arrest Campaign.

Additionally, Birthers are extremely distrustful of government, believing in effect, that all the organs of government and the elite are aligned against them to cover up Obama’s alleged usurpation of the Presidency. The idee fixe approach also helps explain the Birther’s excessive reliance on the “crooked judge” or “rigged judicial system” excuse when they get clobbered in court.  It is simple paranoia.

I am sure most of us have marveled at the degree of apparent gross stupidity exhibited by the Birthers and no doubt have wondered how some of these people manage to feed themselves. We wonder how they can hold some of the beliefs that they do, such as the mis-interpretation of Minor v. Happersett, when all history post-MvH contradicts them. They appear able to read and construct sentences, but their logical functioning is practically non-existent. It is easy to suppose that they are simply lying and pretending to be that stupid.  Yet, the concept of idee fixe recognizes that a victim may function perfectly well in all aspects of their life except for whatever has become the focus of their obsession.

I believe there is much value and insight to be gained from a more in-depth study using the  idee fixe approach. This would also help explain much of the frustration we experience trying to understand why the Birthers are sooo resistant to  reason and common sense.  Theoretically, it should be a simple matter for reasonable people to determine the status of current eligibility law by reading the few applicable legal cases. Yet, as we can all attest, that approach goes nowhere with the Birthers.

Rather than question or fault our logic and debating skills,  we need to realize that we are often not dealing with rational people.  Most of us have sensed that, but now we can give a name to what is wrong . Not all Birthers are so afflicted. Some are no doubt simple opportunists, or attention-seekers. Another subset will probably consist of less-educated and ill-informed persons who are impressed with the legalistic Birther jargon and blather.

We must understand that our audience for the presentation of legal cites and case are those ill-informed persons. Because rationality and reason will work slowly, if at all, with the delusional. And the opportunistic Birther has no incentive to admit that he is wrong.  Realizing the mental illness aspects of the Birthers dictate that rather than engage in those 1,000+ response threads that we have all fallen into, we should instead consider making a shorter statement of the relevant facts, and then withdraw from the debate.

The more time we spend on the minutia of Wong Kim Ark, the more we will lose the attention of the ill-informed. If the typical Birther refuses to read and acknowledge the clear holdings of judges, there is little chance they will listen to us. Perhaps it is better to summarize the holding, provide a link, and tell the listeners/debaters/audience to read it for themselves. Ankeny v. Governor is a good short read, and in my opinion, better than sending a non legal experienced person to Wong Kim Ark.  (Re: Ankeny, The Bither Think Tank has shortened the case to just the natural born citizen part, and given it a catchy title, The Case The “Two Citizen Parent” Birthers Just HATE!!!)

I still believe ridicule is a useful tool. The degree of idee fixe probably varies from Birther to Birther, and those on the less-insane side of the spectrum can not help but notice they keep losing their cases. Ridiculing the losers may serve to shake loose some of the Birthers who still have some pride and functioning cerebral function left. Perhaps it is also possible to turn the Birthers’ paranoid tendencies against the Birther opportunists. There seems to be some of this already occurring with Orly Taitz where some are beginning to accuse her of intentionally sinking the cases.

All in all, I think we have a lot of thinking to do about this, and approaching it as a mental illness problem instead of argumentative problem may make us more successful. Realizing that we often are dealing with mentally ill persons may encourage us to decrease the amount of time we spend debating with them, and focus more on a good short knockout punch. Plus, we may help ourselves break-away from the prolonged circular argument cycle and keep us from becoming co-dependent with a bunch of maniacs.

I hope this has been an informative Internet Article.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1:  The Title is a play on the Symphony Fantasique by Hector Berlioz, where the theme of idee fixe plays a central role.  To fit the Birther motif, the word Cacophony is more appropriate:

cacophony – a loud harsh or strident noise
– sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound);
cacophony– loud confusing disagreeable sounds

Also see:   http://theoryofmusic.wordpress.com/2008/10/10/the-story-told-in-berlioz%E2%80%99-symphonie-fantastique/

Note 2: Psycho. The quotations in the image above are from Alfred Hitchcock’s 196o film, Psycho ,starring Anthony Perkins as the Birther,  I mean as Norman Bates. The full quotes are:

Norman Bates: Uh-uh, Mother-m-mother, uh, what is the phrase? She isn’t quite herself today.

and

Milton Arbogast: Well, if it doesn’t jell, it isn’t aspic, and this ain’t jellin’!

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About Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

Hi!!! I am a Girl Reporter on the Internet. I am 31. Plus I am a INTP. I have a Major in Human Kinetics, and a Minor in English. I have 2 cats, and a new kitten! I write poetry, and plus I am trying to learn how to play guitar. I think that is all??? Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter View all posts by Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

26 responses to “Cacophony Fantastique’ – The Birther “Idee Fixe”

  • David Farrar

    I don’t know Squeeky, you and other Obama’s sycophants sound pretty much idee fixed in your thinking about Obama’s street creds than any birther I know.

    ex animo
    davidfarrar

    • whatever4

      David, what’s your opinion of MvH and WKA?

      • David Farrar

        That’s a hard one, indeed; but I think I will go with Thomas Jefferson instead of Michael Malihi.

        “We can say with confidence that a natural born citizen of the U.S. means those persons born whose father the U.S. already has an established jurisdiction over*, i.e. born to father’s who are themselves citizens of the U.S.”…Thomas Jefferson, circa 1777.

        * Note the understanding of one allegiance from birth to the United States. Let that be your guide and you can easily tell who is a natural born Citizen and who is not, just like old Tom Jefferson.

        ex animo
        davidfarrar

      • David Farrar

        Or perhaps:

        Rep. John Bingham of Ohio, considered the father of the Fourteenth Amendment, confirms the understanding and construction the framers used in regards to birthright and jurisdiction while…“I find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.”

        Or how about Sen. Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, author of the Thirteenth Amendment, and the one who inserted the phrase:

        “[T]he provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.”

        And then there is Sen. Howard: “concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word “jurisdiction,” as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.”

        But then again, Jefferson, Bingham, Howard and Trunbull might all have been Idée fixed on this birther thing.

        ex animo
        davidfarrar

      • Whatever4

        Ok then David, surely you’ll be able to give the source of that Jefferson quote, because he actually never said anything like that. It’s a recently made-up spurious birther quote.

      • Whatever4

        Have you been chatting with KBOA? Those are her quotes. But she never admits that when those gentlemen talked about complete jurisdiction, they were taking about 3 execrations only: ambassadors, invading armies, and Indians not taxed. As the US claims sole jurisdiction over everyone else within our borders, these three are the only ones’ subject to another jurisdiction.

        Allegiance also has a different meaning than the one you are using. Allegiance is the duty owed by a citizen to a state, not feelings of loyalty or patriotism as in the the Pledge of Allegiance. Anyone born in the sole jurisdiction of the US has allegiance to the US. Anyone born with allegiance to another (the 3 exceptions above) isn’t in the jurisdiction of the US. That’s what Bingham and Trumbull and the others meant.

      • whatever4

        Hmmm…. autocorrect should have said “the only exceptions”

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      Well, I have asked myself that same question sometimes whether I am just being as obstinate as the two citizen-parent Birthers. But then I keep coming back to what the courts say, that simply being born in America is enough to be a natural born citizen. I noticed in one of your comments that you say you accept Malihi’s decision, even though you disagree with it. That is something that distinguishes you from the other two citizen parent Birthers. They can not accept Malihi’s, or the Ankeny Court’s, or the Tisdale Court’s decision as law. For them, Obama is still an illegal president, as if these court decisions simply did not exist.

      That is the difference that I am trying to point out in the Internet Article with the Abortion analogy. I asked a Birther at Free Republic that question once, whether Abortion in America was illegal. He was the one who interjected the issue into the argument, but when pressed he would not answer the question. Psychologically for him, he disagreed with Roe v. Wade, so therefore the decision simply did not exist or have the force of law. He had an easy and logical way to frame his position, that being “Well, abortion is legal according to the courts, but I think the decisions are wrong, and I am working to change the law.” But he simply could not accept the mandate of the court as being law.

      That is where he crossed the borderline into madness. As a practical matter, it is also how he would be prevented from working to change the law. How can you work to change a law that you can not acknowledge exists??? Even Vattel recognized that England bestowed citizenship by place of birth, aka natural born citizenship. But the Birthers will deny that fact, even though it is plainly stated in The Law of Nations. This is where the delusional aspects of the two citizen parent Birthers come in. I think the idee fixe concept explains that kind of stuff.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  • whatever4

    Ballentine has an excellent primer for WKA here: http://naturalborncitizenshipresearch.blogspot.com/2011/01/wong-kim-ark-for-dummies.html He changed it from “WKA for Dummies” to “WKA for the Stupid.”

    I like it.

  • Monkey Boy

    Squeeky, you hit it out of the park again. You simply have to change you sig line from “Girl Reporter” to “Scourge of Birther Fools.”

    Of course, the cretins at FR are (collectively) singular in brain-damaged non-reasoning and general vileness, many others are as culpable of ideological incest and holding an idee fixe.

    For example:

    “Anita Hill told the truth.”

    “John McCain is a Hero.”

    “Oswald killed Kennedy.”

    “The Federal Reserve is benign and stabilizes the economy.”

    Try arguing against any of those positions and note the cognitive dissonance you encounter.

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      I agree that idee fixe has application outside of the Birther issues, but I am not sure the concept can be easily applied to opinions, without there also being a delusional aspect. For example, if a person thinks the Fed sucks, then that is an opinion. (which I share) But, if that same person opines that dollar bills are not money and tries to swap labor for groceries down at the Piggly Wiggly, or trade chickens for electricity at power plant, then you have the delusional aspect necessary for idee fixe. Particularly if that same person just takes the groceries after gratuitously gathering up some shopping carts in the parking lot. Or, tampers with his electric meter and leaves some plucked chickens in the Electric Company’s after-hours payment box.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  • bob

    I don’t know Squeeky, you and other Obama’s sycophants sound pretty much idee fixed in your thinking about Obama’s street creds than any birther I know.

    Thanks for proving Squeeky’s point.

    1. The State of Hawaii has repeatedly said President Obama was born in Hawaii. There is no competent contrary evidence.
    2. Judges, professors, and other experts have repeatedly said birth in the United States is sufficient for natural-born citizenship.

    It is not sycophantic to live in a reality-based world.

  • Dr. Conspiracy

    It’s natural to ask if the anti-Birthers are guilty of idee fixe, but most people are pretty adamant about well-settled things, like the sun rising in the east and liberty and justice for all. I believe that I am perfectly capable of changing my mind in the face of a compelling argument; however, the courts keep ruling that the two-citizen parent theory is wrong and in the light of those decisions, there’s not much to make one change course. I think I’m a pretty flexible guy who just happens to be right this time.

    • bob

      Exactly.

      One can have an opinion about ice cream, as there is no correct answer about which is the best. Similarly, it can be my “opinion” that the sun rises in the west, but my “opinion” would be factually wrong.

      There is no legal basis for the “opinion” that natural-born citizenship requires two citizen parents.

  • Thomas Brown

    I had an insight into Birfosis that paralled your excellent and insightful line of inquiry, Squeeky, but I started in the realm of formal logic instead of psychology.

    The Birfers seem to have no ability to distinguish between a Premise and a Conclusion. They start with “Obama is an ineligible usurper” (a conclusion) but use it to reason outward from there, adopting and discarding any and all arguments that might avail.

    This backward approach is seen in ideas like the imaginary ban on travel to Pakistan by US citizens, supposedly pointing backwards to Obama not being a citizen, one of the earliest Birfer memes. It also goes a long way toward explaining why Birfers fall prey to adopting what should be transparent hoaxes, like the Occidental College Fullbright Scholarship myth, or the badly mocked-up 2nd Kenyan Birth Certificate, even after their satirical origins were documented and broadcast.

    The tipoff moment was when I saw where a Birfer commented “Orly will of couse prevail, because she has Truth on her side.” In other words, it didn’t matter how loopy her arguments were, they must eventually bear out, because it is assumed she is correct that O is ineligible.

    This is just another way of understanding the mental armor Birfers have donned so as to render them inviolate against attack… reverse-engineering the tumblers of the chastity belt protecting their precious idee fixe.

    There may be method to their madness, but ’tis madness all the same.

    It is thus a complete mystery to them why their essentially tautological argument fails to convince dimwit traitors like Judge Malihi and SOS Kemp who expect a line of reasoning to produce and support a conclusion, not the other way ’round. I suspect it is also how the two-citizen-parent thing works in their minds: Presidential eligibilty MUST require two citizen parents, because Mr. Obama had only one.

    It is not unlike watching ants in an ant-farm; they occupy themselves diligently, as if the half-inch space beneath the glass really is the whole world, unable to foresee that they are destined to be flushed when their owners tire of them.

  • realitycheck1776

    Do you realize in just a few weeks no one will remember who the hell was David Farrar? I really see no down side to that.

  • David Farrar

    Whatever4

    February 11th, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Okay, so we were both a little wrong on the Jefferson quote. After a few minutes searching the quote I found this:

    Thomas Jefferson, A Bill Declaring Who Shall Be Deemed Citizens of This Commonwealth:

    “Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that all white persons born within the territory of this commonwealth and all who have resided therein two years next before the passing of this act, and all who shall hereafter migrate into the same; and shall before any court of record give satisfactory proof by their own oath or affirmation, that they intend to reside therein, and moreover shall give assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth; and all infants wheresoever born, whose father, if living, or otherwise, whose mother was, a citizen at the time of their birth, or who migrate hither, their father, if living, or otherwise their mother becoming a citizen, or who migrate hither without father or mother, shall be deemed citizens of this commonwealth, until they relinquish that character in manner as herein after expressed: And all others not being citizens of any the United States of America, shall be deemed aliens.”

    For source, click here.

    “…all infants wheresoever born, whose father, if living, or otherwise, whose mother was, a citizen at the time of their birth”… sound suspiciously like jus sanguinis citizenship to me.

    ex animo
    davidfarrar

    • whatever4

      That’s the section that makes John McCain and George Romney citizens. Diagram the sentence. Or just add numbers by the clauses:

      “(1) all white persons born within the territory of this commonwealth
      (2) and all who have resided therein two years next before the passing of this act,
      (3) and all who shall hereafter migrate into the same; and shall before any court of record give satisfactory proof by their own oath or affirmation, that they intend to reside therein, and moreover shall give assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth;
      (4) and all infants wheresoever born, whose father, if living, or otherwise, whose mother was, a citizen at the time of their birth, or who migrate hither, their father, if living, or otherwise their mother becoming a citizen, or who migrate hither without father or mother, shall be deemed citizens of this commonwealth, until they relinquish that character in manner as herein after expressed:
      And all others not being citizens of any the United States of America, shall be deemed aliens.”

      So we have: Born in the state, people grandfathered in, naturalized by oath, naturalized by descent, all others.

    • whatever4

      I also fail to see how I was wrong on the Jefferson quote — it was never said by Jefferson.

  • David Farrar

    “Allegiance is the duty owed by a citizen to a state.” This sounds more like an English common law statement of allegiance than an American revolutionary statement on allegiance. All you have to do is change the words “citizen” to subject, and “state” to king.

    Of course I reject your un-sourced “opinion” masquerading as fact.

    We are Americans; sir. We owe no allegiance to anyone, except what we, as free sovereigns, voluntarily give. This is the very essence of American exceptionalism. You cannot be completely “within the jurisdiction” unless you freely and publicly “chose” to be under its jurisdiction. It is why a person born in this country whose parents have not chosen freely and publicly to accept our Constitution as free sovereigns Citizens, cannot possibly extend this privilege to their offspring.

    A natural born citizen then is one born of two-citizen parents within the jurisdiction so as to insure one allegiance to our Constitution.

    If you would like to trample upon it, dilute it, subjugate it, destroy it for your own political purposes, fine. It’s a free country. But I will oppose you and others who insist on seeing themselves as mere subjects to an imperial government every step of the way.

    ex animo
    davidfarrar

    • Thomas Brown

      Oh, David…
      then why, pray tell, have so many people with one or no citizen parents (or who have parents with no known status, in the case of Tom Vilsak) been elected President or included in the line of Succession to the Presidency or named to function as Designated Survivors for the President?

      The Bush administration named Norman Mineta, NEITHER of whose parents were citizens, to succeed Mr. Bush in the event he and all other sucessors were killed by a nuke or bio-weapon. So he had one less citizen parent than Mr. Obama, but was deemed eligible.

      Tom Vilsack’s parents were unknown. So the ONLY qualification he had as a NBC was his PLACE OF BIRTH. If that’s not jus solis, what the hell is?

      There have been Presidents or Named Successors with fewer citizen parents than Mr. Obama, born with more techical dual citizenships, and with arguably more foreign influences than he had. Why do you single him out for your righteous indignation? Is it the dark skin, the funny name, being from the wrong Party, or all three?

      There are only two possibilities: 1) That every Political Party that declared candidates eligible with no more jus sanguinis than Obama has, every Chief Justice who swore in a President like Arthur or Obama who lacked 2 citizen parents, every Administration that designated Presidential successors who lacked 2 citizen parents, the Justices who decided the WKA case, the authors of the dozens of law books who say birth on the soil = NBC eligible for the Presidency… They were all idiots with no respect for the Constitution, and you, Saint David, Constitutional Law Genius have been sent down by God Almighty to show them all the error of their ways, or 2) You are wrong.

      My money’s on 2.

      P.S. Jefferson was writing about the Commonwealth of Virginia, not the USA. Even if he wanted the President to have a citizen father when they were developing the Constitution in its final form (which I doubt), his was not the only mind working on the finished product. So as tasty as that excerpt seems, it means nothing.

    • Thomas Brown

      Oh, and don’t accuse me of wanting to trample on, dilute, subjugate or destroy our Constitution, or to foist upon America an Imperial Presidency, unless you want to come over to my house and say it to my face.

      I love my country every bit as much as you do, pal. You can claim I’m wrong, but you won’t be calling me an America-hater without catching an earful of FU.

    • whatever4

      First off, I’m not a “sir”. Second, it’s not MY definition. The Court in Minor v Happersett uses the term that way.

      “The very idea of a political community, such as a nation is, implies an association of persons for the promotion of their general welfare. Each one of the persons associated becomes a member of the nation formed by the association. He owes it allegiance and is entitled to its protection. Allegiance and protection are, in this connection, reciprocal obligations. The one is a compensation for the other; allegiance for protection and protection for allegiance.”

      You are also veering dangerously into Sovereign Citizen territory with this comment: “You cannot be completely “within the jurisdiction” unless you freely and publicly “chose” to be under its jurisdiction.”

      It doesn’t matter if you choose not to be under the jurisdiction — you are. Murder someone, you are subject to arrest, trial, conviction, and punishment. You must obey laws or suffer the consequences. The only people NOT subject to our jurisdiction are those who aren’t subject to our laws. That’s ambassadors and invading armies, although that last provision hasn’t been viable for quite a while.

      Words have legal meaning established over time. Allegiance and Jurisdiction are two of the ones important to this debate. Not understanding the meanings that the Founders, Framers, writers of the post-Civil War amendments, early and Modern Congresses, and Supreme Courts since the very first ascribed to such terms means you are not understanding what they meant.

  • bob

    Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that all white persons born within the territory of this commonwealth

    That is your support? Seriously?

  • msbetz

    Okay Squeeky, I remember who you are and you are certainly NO EXPERT!
    Why have 13 congressmen tried to change the interpretation of “natural born” in recent years if the explanation is so obvious? Why? If it is of no consequence?
    The constitution matters, and it states that only the president must be a natural born citizen and there’s precedent set in law that a “natural born” citizen must have 2 American parents. Obama doesn’t!

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

      Hi msbetz!!!

      Well, if you look at those 13 times, you will see they mostly had to do with permitting NATURALIZED citizens to be president. And clarifying the natural born status of certain people born overseas.

      There was nothing in those 13? attempts, in my knowledge, which said anything at all about requiring 2 citizen parents. In fact, if you watch some of the Birther videos on this, they even say the congressman from Oklahoma (?) got it wrong meaning he said that being born here was the essential factor.

      The term natural born citizen, has a meaning, and you can find that meaning in Wong Kim Ark, and Ankeny, and other places. It is being born in the United States and not the child of a foreign diplomat or invading soldier. Or even born overseas in a fashion acceptable to Congress which WKA said was permissible to them.

      Here is where you can read about it in a simple and easy fashion:

      https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/a-place-to-get-the-really-right-answers-about-natural-born-citizenship/

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

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