In an attempt to preempt a “birther movement” attack of his citizenship, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal released his “official” birth certificate to the press. Jindal, a possible candidate for Vice President in 2012, may have opened a new quagmire within the already thick swamp of Louisianan and national politics.
As reported by The Associated Press and Reuters, Jindal is attempting to forego the arguments concerning the location and legitimacy of his birth and his right to run for the office of Vice President. Yet, in the words of late and great Billy Mays, “But wait! There’s more!”
Let us begin with same argument the “birther movement” uses to attack President Obama. “Yes, this looks official, but Jindal is the governor of the Louisiana and he could have had this so called ‘birth certificate’ forged. Just like Obama.”
OK, even I don’t believe that story. I give the Governor the same honor that I give the President concerning the reality of his birth. Jindal was born in Louisiana in June, 1971. The Certificate of Live Birth is real. Jindal meets the basic criteria to be Vice President of the United States. But wait, there’s more…
With arguments concerning illegal aliens crossing the southern boarder (read “Mexicans” and “Mexican”) to have “anchor babies,” children who by the virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment are United States citizens, there is a new discussion afoot.
The Times-Picayune reported that “Gov. Bobby Jindal arrived in the United States in utero, his mother (was) about three months pregnant.” (Here it comes. Are you ready? Really ready?)
Yes, I can start a conspiracy rumor, can’t I? But if you are a regular reader, you know that I despise the idea of conspiracies and work hard to put them down, and like other conspiracies, this one is also false. At least I hope it is false.
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans’ jewel of journalism, continues its report stating that Jindal’s mother came into the United States on a Louisiana State University scholarship with the promise to allow her time off to have the baby while in her graduate program. Six months after arrival, “Piyush [Bobby] Jindal was born at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, a natural-born U.S. citizen, who like every other child born in America, could, constitutionally, grow up to be president.”
However, does this really quell the argument that Jindal is not eligible for the office of Vice President? Maybe not.
Part of the argument by Fourteenth Amendment detractors is that simply being born in the United States is just not good enough. Some believe that this constitutional amendment was never properly ratified. (See http://www.barefootsworld.net/14uncon.html for a comprehensive argument. Wrong, but comprehensive.)
Factoids: By 1867, 33 of 44 states ratified the amendment, or the required three-quarters of the states. The amendment also says “natural born” not “native born” as declared within some conspiracy birther sites.
Back to the main discussion – Allow me to use the definition of “anchor baby” provided by Arizona Republican state senator Russell Pearce, “Anchor babies are an unconstitutional declaration of citizenship to those born of non-Americans.”
In this case, Barack Obama is a citizen based on his mother’s U.S. citizenship. Jindal is not. Really?
On the federal level, Sen. David Vitter, R-La, would be a bit more lenient. He would limit “birthright citizenship to individuals born in the United States with at least one parent who is a legal citizen, a green card holder or an active member of the U.S. armed forces.” Jindal is back in.
Should liberals, progressives and the Democratic Party start their own birther campaign denying Jindal a run for Vice President of the United States? Should they claim his status as an “anchor baby,” equating his citizenship with the babies born in this country to “illegals?” I certainly hope not, that would be lowering themselves to the level of the current “birther movement.”
Should they make noise about the hypocrisy of those who, at any time of their political career, claimed the President is not a U.S. citizen? You betcha.
Like Damocles’ sword, it must hang over the conservative birthers’ collective-heads on a thin stand of rather weak cotton thread. We are all children of immigrants, many of which came to this country before immigration laws were strictly enforced. For example, some Italian immigrants were permitted to enter the country “without papers,” the source of the derogatory term “Wop.” Some had no sponsor. They were allowed to enter, technically, illegally. Should that disqualify former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani from his next presidential run? No.
Hypocrisy seems to be a way of life for some politicians, especially those who play the emotion card rather than with facts. That appears to be very true with the conservative movement, that group that falls to the outer two-percent of the right arm of the political bell curve. To win back the House and Senate, to win back state legislative and executive control, the hypocrisy must be made known – often and loud.
Things like the citizenship eligibility are distractions from the real problems. They are perpetuated by those who have no answers or suggestions as to the complications of running government. They revert to these nonsensical arguments that lead no where. Moderates and liberals must stop this type of campaigning and force those candidates and legislators to get back to the real job – running the country.
Moderate Republicans and Democrats need to hold their candidates’ feet to the fire, discouraging these distractions from the real problems and solutions. Or we can revert to the Massachusetts Bay witch hunts method of dunking to determine if a super conservative candidate is a true hypocrite. This early form of water boarding may even help government rid itself of hypocrites.
David Rosman is an award winning speaker, editor, write, and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.
Return to InkandVoice.com