An appeal to John McCain

Dear Mr. McCain:

I’m a Canadian, but what happens in your country affects mine – and because what’s happening in your country is an unmitigated disaster, I’m writing to ask you to stop it.

I don’t think you need a detailed litany; everywhere you look the Pelosi idealogues are in action: every dollar in new debt works against the economy, corruption and ignorance are rewarded, and every action they take in defense, in energy, in education, in international diplomacy is globally catastrophic.

And the President, meanwhile, does what he knows how to do: he campaigns – for himself.

Mr. McCain, it’s time to end this – and you have the means.

If you will suspend disbelief for just a moment, I believe I can show you that Mr. Obama’s ineligibility for office is both real and the silver bullet needed to put an end to this.

It’s a silver bullet because, were you to put together a sufficient coalition of Republican, Independent, and “blue dog” Democratic Senators and Representatives to carry Mr. Obama’s impeachment and removal from Office on eligibility grounds, two things would happen:

  1. most of the harm that’s been done to the United States over the last four months would simply go away, leaving significant new opportunities for reform as part of the hangover; and,

  2. most importantly, your presence with Sarah Palin in the Whitehouse would re-establish the system of checks and balances that keeps America free – meaning that the Pelosi Democrats would lose any short term opportunities to retake control of the agenda.

Since these outcomes are highly desirable, the question is whether Mr. Obama can be proven ineligible to the satisfaction of a sufficient majority of the members of Congress – and with sufficient dispatch that he doesn’t simply resign and thus promote Biden and Clinton while leaving Pelosi and Reid in place.

To show you that the answer is a resounding “yes”, I want to start by quoting the entirety of a resolution introduced in the Senate by Mrs. McCaskill and other leading democrats including Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton:


Recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.

Whereas the Constitution of the United States requires that, to be eligible for the Office of the President, a person must be a “natural born Citizen” of the United States;

Whereas the term “natural born Citizen”, as that term appears in Article II, Section 1, is not defined in the Constitution of the United States;

Whereas there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to American citizens serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their country’s President;

Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the “natural born Citizen” clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress’s own statute defining the term “natural born Citizen”;

Whereas the well-being of all citizens of the United States is preserved and enhanced by the men and women who are assigned to serve our country outside of our national borders;

Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President; and

Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a “natural born Citizen” under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.

This is cleverly worded to focus attention on this line from the March 26, 1790 Act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization:

And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens:

while quietly establishing a recent Senate precedent for the claim that the absence of a definition for the term “natural born citizen” in the Constitution leaves the term undefined.

In reality there are hundreds of undefined words and terms in the Constitution because, of course, Americans were expected to understand their plain English meaning. Today we don’t use the phrase “natural born citizen” much, but the meaning is clear from a comparable phrase we do use fairly often: “natural justice” – meaning justice according to God’s law, not Man’s.

To quote from the federalist blog :

One universal point most all early publicists agreed on was natural-born citizen must mean one who is a citizen by no act of law. If a person owes their citizenship to some act of law (naturalization for example), they cannot be considered a natural-born citizen. This leads us to defining natural-born citizen under the laws of nature – laws the founders recognized and embraced.

Under the laws of nature, every child born requires no act of law to establish the fact the child inherits through nature his/her father’s citizenship as well as his name (or even his property) through birth. This law of nature is also recognized by law of nations. Sen. Howard said the citizenship clause under the Fourteenth Amendment was by virtue of ‘natural law and national law.’

The advantages of Natural Law is competing allegiances between nations are avoided, or at least with those nations whose custom is to not make citizens of other countries citizens without their consent. Any alternations or conflicts due to a child’s natural citizenship are strictly a creature of local municipal law. In the year 1866, the United States for the first time adopted a local municipal law under Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes that read: ‘All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.’

Rep. Bingham commenting on Section 1992 said it means ‘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.’ (Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866))

Bingham subscribed to the same view as most everyone in Congress at the time that in order to be born a citizen of the United States one must be born within the allegiance of the Nation. Bingham had explained that to be born within the allegiance of the United States the parents, or more precisely, the father, must not owe allegiance to some other foreign sovereignty (remember the U.S. abandoned England’s ‘natural allegiance’ doctrine). This of course, explains why emphasis of not owing allegiance to anyone else was the affect of being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

All special pleading to the contrary, there’s no actual argument here: if, as Mr. Obama claims, his father was a Kenyan holding British citizenship, then he cannot be a natural born citizen and is therefore constitutionally barred from holding the Office of the Presidency.

There are, however, two issues to consider with respect to Mr. Obama’s ineligibility under the natural born clause in the Constitution:

  1. First, Mr, Obama does have a possible defense: he could explain his initial refusal to release his birth and educational records on the grounds of the embarrassment this would have caused his grandmother, and then produce a birth certificate showing his father to be an American – perhaps the activist Mr. Davis – because that, if genuine, would prove him a natural born citizen.

  2. and, second, Mr. Obama’s ineligibility is easily presented as merely a technical issue comparable to Mrs. Clinton’s ineligibility to serve as Secretary of State – something that’s obvious but too distasteful to enforce in light of his claimed electoral victory.

Part of the right response to both issues is to point out that Mr. Obama is also ineligible on different grounds – grounds that produce a much stronger emotional reaction.

The issue here is that his mother married an Indonesian national and sent the young Obama to a government approved school at a time when this would not have been possible had she not first formally renounced her American citizenship and that of any dependent children, including the future Mr. Obama.

Since there is no record that he availed himself of the opportunity presented under American law to reclaim his birthright on or after his return to the United States, we are entitled first to assume that he is currently an illegal alien, and secondly to speculate about his reasons for failing to take the simple steps needed to regain his status as an American – and the obvious speculation in light of his friendships with people like the Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers is that his long term adherence to an initial decision not to do this celebrates and continues his mother’s deep contempt for American values, American democracy, and the American people.

Again there is simply no issue of fact here: his mother’s actions are a matter of public record, and so are both Indonesian and American law then and since. Thus, always assuming he doesn’t suddenly produce records affirming that he did at some point reclaim his birthright, he most probably has no workable defense on this – except possibly claiming that his mother’s Indonesian marriage was a sham and his return to Hawaii precipitated by concern over his status and safety in Indonesia.

Notice that both defenses: a different father, a fake marriage; force him to present himself as a life long convenience liar on major issues of character and background – making his survival in office Pyhrric in the extreme and leaving him and his allies facing a three year lame duck session.

So how to do it?

Well Sir, you know the process and the players far better than any outsider ever could; but I want to mention something you know but most of the others reading this open letter do not: the final vote will be a straight yea or nay on upholding the Constitution of the United States with all those voting having taken the same oath to do precisely that – this one, I believe, from U.S.C. 3331:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Since the penalties for oath breaking include removal from office and even abstaining won’t protect people from legal or electoral retribution, the entire process should come down to argument about his father’s citizenship and his failure to reclaim his American birthright – and because these arguments are simple enough, and clear enough, to win elections for Republican candidates across the nation in 2010, you are almost guaranteed to succeed; now or in 2011.

And that brings us to a brief final discussion of five extraneous political issues that need to be faced head on:

  1. first the media has been portraying the eligibility issue as tin foil hat stuff.

    In looking at media coverage of the eligibility issue it becomes obvious that many major media players use the same talking points limiting the issue to deriding the so-called “birthers” – people who assume that Mr. Obama’s willingness to spend millions preventing the public release of his birth and educational records proves that these documents cast doubt on his claim to having been born in Hawaii.

    However, his ineligibility under the “natural born citizen” requirement depends on his father’s citizenship, not his place of birth – and the move by some of his associates to amend the Constitution to remove this stupidest provision (PDF) suggests their knowledge of his vulnerability on this issue.

    Similarly, his ineligibility under his failure to reclaim an American birthright renounced on his behalf by his mother, has nothing to do with his place of birth – and his failure to follow up on his claims to having gained foreign policy expertise by traveling in Pakistan when it was illegal for Americans to do so, suggests that at least one of his handlers saw the vulnerabilities in doing this.

    It is possible, therefore, that the withholding of the birth certificate and the media focus on the much decried birthers are components of a plan to permanently side track any deeper scrutiny of the real eligibility issues discussed here by opportune production of an Hawaiian birth certificate.

  2. the whole idea of impeaching and removing an elected president is distasteful.

    It is, but it’s the necessity of the thing, not the thing itself, that is so distasteful – and then only to Republicans: The New York Times, effectively the gravitas organ of the Democratic party, has, for example, repeatedly been pleased to question your own eligibility on much weaker grounds.

  3. there’s the threat of riot;

    I have little doubt that some inner cities will burn if Mr. Obama is frog marched out of the Whitehouse – to me, the million man victory party he announced for Chicago last October was always at least in part a threat to burn down the city if he lost.

    History shows, however, that appeasement may slow, but certainly ensures, the process of defeat – and thus that capitulation to this threat now essentially guarantees the end of American democracy in the not too distant future.

    The cold bottom line on this is that major riots, accompanied by significant death and injury to both participants and bystanders, amount to nothing compared to the damage the people now controlling the Democratic Party are doing to the economy, to democracy, to American ideals, and to the strength of the Republic.

    Mr. McCain, as you know far too well every war has “collateral damage”, every revolution its share of death and destruction – but let me urge you to consider first the greater good, and secondly the fact of the threat as a siren call for honest reform in education, welfare, and justice.

  4. on the issue of whether or not Mr. Obama’s claimed electoral victory trumps the Constitution, please consider:

    • that presidential elections are not part of the constitutional change process;
    • that his claimed total popular vote amounts to only 32% of the count of eligible voters – nowhere near a majority and hardly an overwhelming mandate;
    • that the two professional polls commissioned by John Ziegler suggest that 98% of the people who voted for Mr. Obama did so largely on the basis of media supplied mis-information about the issues and candidates – with Zogby reporting, for example, that only 11.2% of Obama voters were aware of his promise to bankrupt America’s coal industry;
    • that almost everything about his victory, from the role played by key media supporters, through fund raising practices, to the role of ACORN, has the smell of corruption, power politics, and manipulation about it;
    • and, consider too, please, the numerous losses suffered by good Republicans because of media dishonesty and Democrat manipulation of the courts: Senator Coleman, for example, won the election, but seems slated to lose it in court – and Senator Stevens, of course, was the victim of such gross political misconduct by his prosecutors that even Mr. Holder found it more expedient to dismiss them, and thus the charges against Senator Stevens, than to defend them.

  5. and, finally, there’s the issue of damage to the Republic and the Office of the President if you come to occupy that office as a result of ousting Mr.Obama; can you, in other words, function as President if your actions bring Mr. Obama down?

    I believe you could, but I also think that pre-committing to resigning in Ms. Palin’s favor immediately after the swearing in ceremony would be the wooden stake to go with the silver bullet, something that by reducing and redirecting the media reaction ensures that your actions produce the greatest gift you could give the Republic: a new commitment to democracy and a fresh start with a popular and powerful new leader.

Mr. McCain your entire life has been one of honor and service to the Republic: you know you have the right, the means, and the duty to act.