Thursday, February 28, 2008

Does Anyone At The New York Times Fact Check?

It appears not.

In their latest effort to discredit John McCain, The Times ran a little piece 'wondering' if McCain was really eligible..because he was born while his Navy father was on duty in the Panama Canal Zone and thus not a natural born citizen:

"Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office.

Almost since those words were written in 1787 with scant explanation, their precise meaning has been the stuff of confusion, law school review articles, whisper campaigns and civics class debates over whether only those delivered on American soil can be truly natural born. To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.

“There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,” said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. “It is not a slam-dunk situation.”

No precedent? How about these gentlemen?

George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
William Henry Harrison

Every one of them was born a British subject in the colonies!

All that aside, is anyone really going to tell serving officers of the United States that if they take an overseas posting they can forget about any children born on the base hospitals ever aspiring to the presidency? I don't think so!

You have to really wonder at the New York Times' desperately grasping at straws like these.


GW said...

My first child was born in 121 Hospital in Seoul while I was serving on the DMZ. Her certificate was named "Certificate of a U.S. Citizen Born Abroad." In other words, being born on a military installation or other property outside the 50 states is not the sole determnent of whether a child is a "natural" citizen of the U.S. McCain was born in what was a U.S. overseas possession at the time. Any argument that this makes him anything other than a natural citizen would seem very week indeed.

Unknown said...

This is a welcome, sympathy-engendering diversion for McCain, who has way worse problems (especially re: Ohio), and people are . Then there's his perception problems, with his stumbling, bumbling words that, rightly or wrongly, make people wonder about his age or whether his melanoma (that was after all on his temple) is back, or at least question his fitness to handle debate w/the Dems, his alertness, and so on. NYTimes is doing McCain a favor with these distractions.

Anonymous said...

this is simply unbelieveable.

this spells it out quite clearly.
even about mid-way down the page there is a paragraph SPECFICALLY addressing this issue.


Unknown said...

Not so fast, as consitutional lawyer points out, the question is not whether McCain is a citizen, but the technicality of whether he is "natural born."

Freedom Fighter said...

What else would he be, Orde?

I think in general Americans rely on and pay far too much attention lawyers an dnot enoughto common sense.