Post-Post Birtherism is a Drag

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 23 2011 8:16 AM

Post-Post Birtherism is a Drag

I keep saying it, and it keeps being true: Few Internet products are as entertaining as WorldNetDaily articles. They marry sensational concepts with prose and facts that are mostly recycled from previous, sensational articles. Watching the site adapt to the end of the "birther" moment has been amusing, because almost all of the reporting from 2008 onward is being repurposed in the service of new stories.

To wit: "Now Popular Republicans 'Not Natural-Born Citizens'" by Joe Kovacs. The hook is Bobby Jindal's newly released birth certificate; the argument is that there's "strong evidence" that the Founders didn't want the children of non-citizens to be considered "natural born." This is hard-boiled nonsense, based entirely on the idea that the founders probably read a 1758 Swiss tome that defined "natural born" status as "those born in the country, of parents who are citizens." We don't actually base our laws on things the founders might have noodled over at one point; we base them on the Constitution and on precedent. And on those counts, the issue of whether someone born in America is a natural-born citizen is settled . It's even settled for two of the eminent types WND quotes.


"There's nothing that I'm aware of that says you have to have two American parents," said Gary Kreep, executive director of the United States Justice Foundation . "My understanding of it is if you're bornin the United States, you're a natural-born citizen, period."

Floyd Brown, head of the Western Center for Journalism who has actively sought the impeachment of Obama, told WND that he, too, considers someone born "on the soil" a natural-born citizen.

So birtherism endures as a bipartisan semantics discussion. Pretty boring.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.