Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Where's the Birth Certificate?" by Jerome Corsi

but that's better than being stung on the balls by a jellyfish!

When it was announced that Dr. Jerome Corsi was writing a book called "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President," I thought 'it's up online, you fool.' Of course, that simple explanation bore no fruit, as Corsi, along with his friends (and publishers) at World Net Daily have been beating the drum that the Certificate of Live Birth that Obama provided, back during his campaign, was either a forgery or inadequate proof.

You can lead a horse to water, so they say. So when Obama released the long-sought-after copy of his ever-elusive Long Form Birth Certificate, I had to not laugh. What would Dr. Corsi call his book, now?

Turns out they went with the original title, embarrassing as it now is. Why? Maybe it was too late to change it. Maybe they didn't care. Maybe they thought it was kind of funny?

I don't know, but I have my suspicions that they're intellectually lazy and don't really care about the truth when there's money to be made. So I'm going to speculate as much on the matter, and do so publicly, knowing that the likelihood of them actually suing me for libel is rather remote.

Hmm, I think there was some kind of point I just made there. But it's missing something. And that something is an accusation of calculated wrongdoing on someone's part. And that's what separates my possibly incorrect ruminations on WND's editorial policies from the most recent product of those policies -- namely Corsi's book.

According to Corsi, the President has engaged in a cover-up campaign since before he even ran for President. The book is essentially one big claim that, for one reason or another, Barack Obama has gone out of his way to obscure large portions of his past, or else misrepresent them. The central one being the titular one, of course, but there are many others.

However, what I'm most interested in for the purpose of this article is Corsi's views on what exactly makes a Natural Born Citizen. Given that World Net Daily, and especially its editor, Joseph "Mr. Mustache" Farah, have slowly been moving the goalposts from "show us the Birth Certificate!" to "The Birth Certificate doesn't matter because his dad was African!" I wanted to see if he could do something that Farah et. al. have not yet been able to do in their many articles on WND. Namely, make a coherent, backed-up argument that being born in Hawai'i isn't enough for our President to be eligible.

Does he? No he does not. What he does, instead, is rehash many of the same arguments that we've already seen on WND, and from other Birthers ("Proofers," he'd rather we call them). De Vattel gets rolled out on page 33, and on 49 he tries to convince the reader that there are actually three types of citizens: Natural Born, Native Born, and Naturalized, with the Native Born being the product of non-citizen parents who crank out their babies on American soil.

Corsi, that noted scholar of Constitutional Law, essentially claims that the 14th Amendment as we understand it is not the 14th Amendment as it should be. The issue of outside Jurisdiction, rather than only applying to the children of foreign diplomats, actually applies to all children. So even if one of the parents is a Natural Born Citizen, the foreign citizenship of the other parent is enough to doom their progeny to merely Native Born.

All well and good, but there's something missing, here. And that something is proof. At no time in these sections does Corsi append to his arguments any kind of corroborating evidence that his reading of that Amendment is correct, and ours incorrect. Quoting Senator Howard's comments from 1866 are not proof, nor are going down the list of court cases that, in Corsi's mind, diluted the true meaning of the 14th Amendment.

He utterly fails to connect his claims to anyone more well-versed in the law who could back him up. Given that American Jurisprudence has been taking a much more inclusive view of what a Natural Born Citizen is since not long after the 14th Amendment was created, that seems a glaring omission on his part -- one that an editor should have caught, provided said editor wasn't part of the choir that Corsi's book is essentially singing death metal hymns to.

So no, this book is not the deadly bombshell that Farah has been making it out to be. While there are plenty of things in there to give so-called Obots and, yes, Birthers, plenty to argue about in the days ahead, there is no smoking gun when it comes to the central question of eligibility under American law. There's just another sloppy, poorly-argued thesis that proves that Corsi should really stick to writing Da Vinci Code knock-offs and leave the law to those who actually understand it.


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