February 19th, 2013

Is Rubio electable?

asks Nate Silver.

I’d be inclined to pay attention to what Silver has to say. He proved his mettle in the last election (actually, I always paid attention to what he had to say, because try as I might to poke holes in it during 2012 because I didn’t like his message, I was unsuccessful).

So what does Silver have to say about Rubio? The first thing is that he’s no RINO:

The last two Republican presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, had a score of 39 by comparison, meaning that they were more moderate than Mr. Rubio. Mr. Rubio is also rated as being to the right of Ronald Reagan, who had a score of 44, and George W. Bush, who had a score of 46. Among Republican presidential nominees since 1960, in fact, only the extraordinarily conservative Barry Goldwater, who had a score of 67, rates as being more conservative than Mr. Rubio.

And Rubio’s a good representative of Republican voters, and therefore well-positioned to win the primaries:

…[M]y contention that Mr. Rubio is a good representative of the Republican Party as it stands today.

This is a potentially advantageous position for a Republican competing in the presidential primaries. In both parties, nominees have usually come from the center of their parties, rather than from the moderate or the “extreme” wings. There are exceptions: Mr. Reagan, although he would fit right into the Republican Party today, was much more conservative than most of his contemporaries in 1980. But in general, Mr. Rubio is pretty close to the sweet spot of where a presidential nominee might want to be.

Unfortunately, Silver has almost nothing to say about how Rubio would do in a national election. That’s probably smart of Silver; it is awfully early, to be sure. And the Democratic attack machine has only been warming up its engines.

As for me, I’ve decided who I’m supporting in 2016, at least for the moment. I have no idea whether he will decide to run, but if he does—and if the election were to be held today (wish it were!)—I’d choose Scott Walker. He’s conservative and he’s smart and he’s proven that he’s brave and a fighter. Those qualities are very appealing.

[NOTE: Should I start a category for “Election 2016”?]

47 Responses to “Is Rubio electable?”

  1. Jan of MN Says:

    Neoneo: “Should I start a category for ‘Election 2016’?”

    Yes, and another one for 2014. If the House tips Democrat in 2014, we’re in for worse trouble.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Jan of MN: yes, I was thinking that, too.


  3. vanderleun Says:

    [NOTE: Should I start a category for “Election 2016”?]

    Oh give yourself a break! I cannot even begin to imagine the tsunami of blather about this subject in even the next six months.

    Just say no and step away from the vehicle.

  4. G Joubert Says:

    I believe Walker doesn’t have even an undergrad degree. Maybe you or I wouldn’t hold that against him, but doesn’t it make him unelectable these days? They’ll Palinize him over that.

  5. southpaw Says:

    Ne – you answered your own question — he’s “electable” until the media has done the hatchet job. He will need to avoid making controversial statements like “women are physically better suited to having babies than men”, “the Middle East seems into be a hotbed for terrorism”, or “it’s normally hotter in Florida than New York”. They cut him a little slack on that water-gaffe, but it’s unlikely his career will survive another slip-up like that.
    I’d get behind Scott Walker if he ran, but I think that he would do badly on the national stage — sort of like Tim Pawlenty – good governor, but never caught on nationally. And you’re assuming he would fight – by the time the high paid consultants got done with him, they’d turn him into the nice polite kind of loser they prefer. There would be non-stop ads and demagoguing about him laying off teachers and gutting programs that “invest in America’s future” . He’d be portrayed as another heartless villain who killed jobs and prosperity. And according to the Rep. party script, he’d stick to the issues (like an adult seeking the presidency should), and get pummeled for being another white guy who hates minorities, women, and doesn’t care about children. The next Repbublican president better be ready to kick the the party’s advisors to the curb, and hate losing more than he hates running some nasty campaign ads.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    G. Joubert: I have no doubt they will make an issue of it. Perhaps they will succeed, but not if he’s smart enough. It really depends if he failed to graduate because there’s a skeleton in his closet, or if there was some more innocuous reason. But somehow (and I could be very wrong on this) I don’t think it’s nearly enough to sink him, because he has proven himself to be smart as governor.

    I have very little doubt that every Republican candidate has something in his/her past that the opposition will make a huge stink about, and if they can’t find one they will manufacture one or get someone else to. That is about as close to certainty as one can get. The question is how the candidate deals with it, and what his/her other appeals are, and whether they are strong enough.

    Palinizing worked on Palin because she had certain special vulnerabilities. I’ve written at length about her, but some of these vulnerabilities were those of class, and even speech patterns (she didn’t sound smart unless you agreed with her, for instance).

  7. Lizzy Says:

    So what’s the point of discussing this less than 1 month after Obama’s inauguration? Is the MSM’s appetite for horserace reporting such that they must fabricate election speculation discussions, or is this just them working out whose reputation must be tarnished prior to the 2016 Republican nomination race?

  8. George Pal Says:

    “…[M]y contention that Mr. Rubio is a good representative of the Republican Party as it stands today.”

    Aye. There’s the rub.

    Mr. Rubio is Constitutionally ineligible for the offices President, Vice President.

    Aye. There’s another.

    Scott Walker?

    Aye. There’s the choice.

  9. Lizzy Says:

    Forgot to add re: “Should I start a category for “Election 2016.” Please, no, let’s take a break and not feed the beast. There’s enough going on right now (and for the next few years of Obama’s reign) to fuel plenty of discussions.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: why do you say Rubio is ineligible? He was born in Miami in 1971, and since his parents were both naturalized in 1975, I assume they were on the track to citizenship at the time of his birth (they had come to this country in 1956). I don’t see why he should not be eligible.

  11. expat Says:

    I am not going to give a lot of thought now to who will be the next candidate because we don’t know what problems might arrive and who will seem most likely to solve them. I will just listen to people for a while and try to observe what they accomplish.

    McCain went down because of the economy, but I was most wary of him on foreign policy. I agreed with him on the surge and other issues, but I was always a bit uneasy about his hot-headedness. As to the economy, he probably would have delegated so his choice of advisors would have been more important than his own lack of expertise. But that’s not what the voters wanted.

    I just hope we don’t sink into the flavor-of-the-month game again, especially not this early. I think it’s far better to allow all of our potentials to contribute ideas and from these ideas to build some sort of winning plan forward. And we can only hope that they have the humility to not distort the big issues to promote themselves.

  12. Mike Says:

    Rubio, Walker, Paul, Cruz, Whoever…..

    Start shouting now. At the top of your lungs. Every day. All the time. That Democrats are malicious and evil and destroying America.

    Offense, offense, offense. Be as offensive as possible. Be over the top obnoxious. Make a mockery of yourself as you make a mockery of them. Call them out on everything and never let even the smallest thing pass without calling a press conference.

    Star tomorrow.

    The MSM and the Democrats cannot, simply cannot handle criticism. Nor can they smear machine multiple voices at once and all the time.

    They will break.

    Let us finally have some candidates who are willing to get in the ring and break them.

  13. George Pal Says:


    You and probably many others but not John Bingham.

    John Bingham “father of the 14th Amendment” and abolitionist congressman from Ohio: from the House floor:

    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))

    According to Justice Black, Bingham’s words uttered on the floor of the House are the most reliable source for the meaning of ‘natural born’ citizen. Bingham made three statements, none of them challenged on the Floor, which indicate that a natural born citizen is a person born on US soil to parents who were US citizens.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: I don’t have time to give you cites right now, but Bingham’s words are not binding at this point. It is almost certain that legally Rubio is eligible, because his parents were on a citizenship path at the time and therefore under the jurisdiction of the US, and he was born in this country.

  15. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    George Pal @ 3:59,

    Article. II Section 1,

    “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;”

    Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 1:
    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    Representative Bingham and Justice Black had a perfect right to their opinion, as do you. Nowhere however in either of those texts does it even imply, much less state, that a natural born citizen’s parents must also have been native or naturalized citizens.

    And if, as the 14th states, a person “born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is a citizen of the United States, where is it specified that their citizenship is qualified? It is not and thus IMO you are interpreting the Constitution by placing meaning, where it is not ‘enumerated’.

    Any strict constructionist must logically conclude that if you are born in this country, you are a citizen.

    And, if you are not a strict constructionist, then you view the Constitution as a “living document”.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Ah, I see the Geoffrey Britain found one of the passages I was referring to.

  17. southpaw Says:

    The good news about not having graduated is he will not have to go through the whole business of releasing his grades, and admitting he was just a B student – the only presidential candidate exempt from this media pre-requisite seeking the office is ironically, the most brilliant man who has ever occupied the office. Persumably because he does not wish to make the rest of us feel inferior about our college GPAs and lesser degrees. We have the media’s word for it, that he IS our intellectual superior, and that’s good enough.
    So all things considered, the college thing shouldn’t matter…
    If Walker is really serious about winning, he will release a press statement now that he experimented with cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs while dealing with issues of inadequacy, brought on by a disadvantaged childhood, and extreme pressure to support a family with the stigma of not having graduated from college. And he will make sure that his presidency focuses like a laser on college opportunity for all, so they may avoid the suffering he experienced. Also mention he’s boinked a couple of babes in the office while his wife was pregnant, and so on, so that we can all relate to him being as “being a real person”, not some goodie two-shoes like Romney. And so on.

  18. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Sorry southpaw,

    Walker is a white man, and as everyone knows, no white man can ever have “issues of inadequacy, brought on by a disadvantaged childhood” just as only whites can be racist.

    It’s a self-reinforcing meme created through circular reasoning. To verify, just try reasoning with a liberal using facts.

    Even if through exhaustive persistence you finally get the liberal to concede, the very next day the “liberal reset button” will have been activated and they will deny ever having conceded anything.

    “Man is NOT a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.” Robert Heinlein

  19. George Pal Says:

    Neo-neocon, Geoffrey Britain,

    “And if, as the 14th states, a person “born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is a citizen of the United States, where is it specified that their citizenship is qualified?

    Or naturalized! Does the 14th make me, a naturalized citizen eligible to run, legally, Constitutionally, for the Presidency/VP?

    Here are SCOTUS decisions and opinions on ‘natural born’ citizen. None of the cases involved Constitutional requirements but all opined on the meaning:

    The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)
    “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens

    Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)
    The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

    Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875)
    The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
    Court concurs. Cites Minor v Happerset verbatim

    There were a number of other cases that opined about the meaning of ‘natural born citizen’. The Supreme Court of the United States has never applied the term “natural born citizen” to any other category than “those born in the country of parents who are citizens thereof”.

  20. Mr. Frank Says:

    I’ve been very impressed with Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. He seems very good on budget issues, and he was a very successful businessman and mayor.

  21. expat Says:

    Is a child born of US citizens while they are temporarily in another country (eg, in graduate school or working for a multinational that expects overseas experience) not a citizen? I think parents can get passports for their newborns. A friend of mine had a baby here in Germany. She and her husband returned to the states when he was about 3. They always spoke English at home, and I doubt that he will have any significant memories of Germany. Would his birthplace really disqualify him for the presidency. I find that weird.

  22. George Pal Says:


    David Ramsay*, in 1789 wrote, A Dissertation on the Manners of Acquiring the Character and Privileges of a Citizen, a very important and influential essay on defining a “natural born Citizen.”

    In that essay Mr. Ramsay provides direct evidence on how the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen” and that there is little doubt that they defined one as a child born to citizen parents. While Ramsay did not require that the child be born in the country, the Framers, with the exception of children born abroad to parents who were serving in the armies of the state or were engaged in other government service (see Vattel, Sec. 217), did as is evidenced by the Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795.

    So the child you allude to is a citizen, would be a ‘natural born citizen’ by Ramsay’s standard, but not a ‘natural born citizen’ Constitutionally eligible for the office of President/Vice-President by the Framers’ standards as applied by the Naturalization Acts.

    *re David Ramsay:
    Noah Webster, (1828) in explaining how an American dictionary of the English language was necessary because American words took on different meanings than the same word in England, placed David Ramsay among great Founders such as “Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jay, Madison, Marshall, Ramsay, Dwight, Smith, Trumbull…” Given his position of influence and especially given that he was a highly respected historian, Ramsay would have had the contacts with other influential Founders and Framers and would have known how they too defined “natural born Citizen.” Ramsay, being of the Founding generation and being intimately involved in the events of the time would have known how the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen” and he told us that definition was one where the child was born of citizen parents.

  23. Ann Says:

    Unfortunately, I think that Rubio has already been damaged by his Tea Party connection. And Walker has no, well, pizzazz, which is, let’s face it, necessary today.

    Right now, I’m thinking a Chris Christie–Susana Martinez ticket would have the best chance in 2016.

    Especially if the Dems put up Hillary Clinton and, say, Julian Castro or Antonio Villaraigosa.

  24. G Joubert Says:

    Nothing against Walker, I think he’s a good governor and a good conservative, but I say there’s a little whistling past the graveyard going on if you guys think his lack of a college degree won’t matter that much or can be overcome. I say it can’t. Not in today’s world, where the standard is an Ivy League degree minimum, preferably an Ivy League grad degree too. I predict he’ll be taken out in the primaries, ala Bachmann and Cain, long before he gets to Hillary! , or whomever.

    And Neo, when I say “Palinize,” I don’t necessarily mean exactly the same things they did to her, but the process of delegitimization through ridicule and scorn. And it didn’t start with Palin either. Dan Quayle got it. They tried with Reagan, but Reagan was too mature and polished. It actally started with Nixon. And, like Palin, they were all unique in their own ways. As if Biden as veep is superior to what Palin would’ve been.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    g. Joubert: Oh, I knew what you meant by “Palinizing.” But I was talking about the attempt to smear her as a dummyhead versus the attempt they will be making to smear Walker as a dummyhead because he doesn’t have a college degree. My point is that she had some problems that made the charge easier to stick, whereas the charge that he’s dumb will be harder to make stick because he’s very articulate. That’s all.

    Actually, I think the attack on him about his lack of a degree will focus on the idea that something shady made him quit college in his final year, rather than that he’s stupid. The shady accusation was the one they used when he ran for governor, although obviously that didn’t work either since he was elected. Twice.

  26. George Pal Says:

    The commentors’ alluding to Walker’s lack of certification, I take that lack as recommendation and the fact of lack of Ivy League credentials as the highest of testimonials – the magna cum laude of testimonials.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Ann: in that post of mine about Hillary, I mentioned Martinez as a possibility. I have always thought Christie had a very good chance to win the whole thing, but I don’t know that he could win in the primaries. Too many conservatives dislike him.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: you are mixing apples and oranges.

    Rubio’s parents are not trying to run, he is. And the question is whether his parents were required to be full citizens at the time of his birth for him to be eligible, if he in fact was born in this country (which he was), or whether the fact that they were under the jurisdiction of the US and on the path to citizenship at the time would be enough.

    Your quotes don’t address that issue. I would go out on a limb to say that yes, it would be enough, and I am almost certain the court would so rule. There is no case that has been about that particular issue.

  29. Ann Says:

    Yeah, Neo, you may be right about Christie not being able to make it through the primaries because so many conservatives don’t like him.

    But John Hayward, writing at Breitbart after Christie’s recent appearance with David Letterman, thinks maybe that could change:

    “…ire at Christie for his role in 2012 should not obscure his strengths, and those strengths may prove very appealing to a 2016 Republican electorate that has largely forgotten about the previous campaign, as it conducts the typical GOP ritual search for the most ‘electable’ candidate. A guy who can pull soaring approval numbers in a blue state, and charm David Letterman’s audience, is going to look mighty electable.”

  30. Kierkegaard Says:

    I have been saying for some time that the future of the Republican Party– if it’s to have one– must belong to figures like Rubio and Cruz. All the arguments against this being a successful political strategy fail to take in the essential and overarching issues of 2008 and 2012; irrational emotional voter identification. Just as King Henri Christophe– I do beg your pardon– President Barack Obama commanded 97% or so of the African-America vote, so the impact of a candidate, any candidate, for president who can tour the country addressing Latino voters and townhall meetings in fluent, not high school, Spanish cannot be discounted or underestimated. The impact will be real and visceral. Rubio– or Cruz or Martinez– does not need to win 97% of that voting block; all he has to do is peel between 15-20% of that vote from the Democrats in a year when King Henri Christophe– I’m so sorry, it’s this damn keyboard– will not be running. So far as we now know, of course.

  31. George Pal Says:


    I have mixed nothing. My quotes specifically address the issue raised by Constitutional eligibility requirements. Your attempts at misdirection, I take it, are attempts to speak of something else entirely.

    The Constitution makes it clear:

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President

    I have not defined the meaning of ‘natural born Citizen’ but have provided historical evidence of opinions as to what that phrase meant at the time of the Founders and up to a hundred years hence. Rubio’s parents being on the path to citizenship is entirely a conjecture. They became citizens four years after his birth – citizenship being a process of about a year, longer only in the case of bureaucratic foul-ups or need for further background investigations – and never having exceeded two years, I think.

    As to going out on a limb, you needn’t. SCOTUS has, by recent decisions, shown itself supremely qualified to dismiss the Constitution, original intent, and contemporaneous understandings. Among them they are certainly capable of divinations of emanations, and penumbral casts; failing that, Justice Roberts is single handedly capable of judicially, though not judiciously, editing the legislation to fit the enumerated power or having Obama’s and Rubio’s ineligibility fit the requirements.

  32. parker Says:

    IMO the focus today should be at the state and local levels. (Unless you live in a deep blue state which means you have to hope for a Scott Brown miracle.) The campaign for 2014 begins in the next 6 months. The house needs to stay in GOP control, with as many real conservatives as possible. Vulnerable democrat senators are up for re-election in AK, AR, LA, NC, SD, and WV. Harkin will retire in IA leaving an open seat. Changes are also possible in CO and MN (Frankenstein).

  33. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    I find any discussion of qualifications to be meaningless in light of the current occupant and the concern over his qualifications and the results thereof.
    He had one parent not eve a citizen, for that matter.

  34. George Pal Says:

    Ed Bonderenka,

    Futile, perhaps. But not meaningless. Unless we are prepared to give the anti-Constitutionalists and Leftists their way on every meaningful matter even before our defense or argument commences.

  35. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    George Pal: You are correct sir.

  36. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    George Pal: you make a compelling case, I concede the point. I was unaware of the previous SCOTUS rulings. Not to be picky because the other rulings are sufficient but as supportive precedent, I find the Dred Scott ruling lacking, as the 14th amendment obviated it.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: I have no idea what you mean by my “attempts at misdirection,” but it sounds like you are saying there is some sort of intention to distract or mislead on my part, which certainly is not the case and which I would take offense at if that is actually what you are meaning to say. I’ll reserve judgment, however, because I’m not sure that is what you were meaning to imply.

    My point has to do with the fact that none of your quotes or rulings would be determinative in the case of Rubio because they do not deal with the set of facts relevant to Rubio, who was born in the US of parents who were permanent legal residents of the United States at the time of his birth (“under the jurisdiction of the US”), and who themselves became naturalized citizens a few years later. Rubio was born a citizen of the US, in the US.

    There is no court decision that rules that people fitting the description of Rubio’s birth and parentage are not natural born citizens. All those quotes about citizens being people who are born in this country to citizens of this country appear to be saying that that is a category of people who are obviously citizens, not that other categories of natural born citizen (like Rubio’s situation) cannot exist.

    Also, the “apples and oranges” part referred to when it seemed to me you must have been talking about his parents when you wrote, “Does the 14th make me, a naturalized citizen eligible to run, legally, Constitutionally, for the Presidency/VP?” You can’t be referring to Rubio because he is not a naturalized citizen.

    Please look at this, this, and this:

    The Constitution is silent on what the term [natural born citizen] means. Congress defined the term in 1790, but the statue that was subsequently changed a few years later, no longer offering a clear meaning of the term. However, the Congressional Research Service explains that the commonly accepted definition is anyone born to U.S. citizens (no matter where they are born), or born inside the United States, per the Fourteenth Amendment (ie. birthright citizenship).

  38. parker Says:

    Geez, the Rubio thingy is totally premature. He was born on our soil and from parents on the path to citizenship, but it is all mere speculation. Currently, no one has tossed a hat into the ring for the 2016 GOP nomination. I have a preferred candidate, but I’m keeping my cards close to my chest.

  39. njartist49 Says:

    From reading through the above comments, I can only come to the conclusion that TPTB have successfully altered/amended the constitution of the United States within five years solely by corrupting the understanding of the plain language of the document: one can now give the plain text to a supposedly educated person and obtain a complete denial as to its true meaning; in place of the true meaning is the distributed meaning favorable to the Slave Powers.

    Once the opinion writers and other scribblers have successfully imposed the view of the Slave Power upon the soon-to-be Slave Class, there is no longer any recourse to any other portion of the constitution: one portion gone, they’re all gone. All the PTB need to do is feed the scribblers the desired meaning or change; and within one year, even the so-called conservatives are backing the new meaning or new “constitutional” power/authority.

  40. njartist49 Says:

    It is now impossible for a Conservative to have a conversation with the pseudo-conservatives: the latter is incapable of understanding what should be common ground.

  41. George Pal Says:


    My using the term misdirection was not a charge of deliberately changing the subject but mistakenly arguing the wrong premise as does Byron York.

    Byron York:
    The Constitution specifies that a president must be a “natural born citizen” of the United States, but it does not define the term. The Supreme Court has never clarified the issue, but there is a law, 8 U.S. Code 1401, that spells out in detail who is a citizen.

    The concern here is what is it the Framers meant by ‘natural born Citizen’. It is neither explanation nor clarification to show what is meant by citizen.

    Bob Quasius:
    No amount of hard evidence can sway conspiracy theorists.

    Jason Pye
    Hannity brought up that “Birthers,” this strange group of folks that have questioned President Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve, are now raising Rubio’s eligibility

    Now I take offense. Arguing from the Constitution, providing evidence as to meanings and phrases in the Constitution, and concluding by that evidence that Mr. Rubio is not, or is not likely to be eligible is neither conspiracy nor strange, nor idiocy. I’ll grant there are those who believe resort to the Constitution is strange, Mr. Hannity foremost among them when it doesn’t suit him, but you don’t, I’m sure

    Bob Quasius Sr.
    At the time our constitution was adopted, citizenship was determined by English Common Law.

    Probably so, but so too was Emmerich de Vattel’s Law of Nations and more prominently so. The Law of Nations is mentioned in the Constitution, English Common Law makes no appearance. The Law of Nations argues for ‘natural born Citizen’ as distinguishable from citizen.

    Mr Quasius Sr. mentions and relies on A 2011 report prepared by the Congressional Research Office The report is authored Jack Maskell. It’s about fifty pages long. I have read it.

    Let me preface this by noting first the low esteem in which Congress is held. I wonder why the Congressional Research Service should warrant any more. I had thought once the Research Service to be full of scholarly type gentlemen in tweed jackets with elbow patches and a whiff of Balkan Sobranie #3 about them. No such thing. As politics would have it the Congressional Research Service is little more than yet more overly lawyerly lawyers who deal not in research but advocacy. Mr. Maskell is exemplar.

    Among his many misdirections (arguing for what constitutes ‘citizen’), and obfuscations, there are lies. Preeminent among them on page 51 of the document:

    Page 51, Maskel writes of, then quotes, misquotes and malquotes, a SCOTUS decision:
    In one case concerning the identity of a petitioner, the Supreme Court of the United States explained that “it is not disputed that if petitioner is the son” of two Chinese national citizens who were physically in the United States when petitioner was born, then he is “a natural born American citizen.”

    Here is the SCOTUS decision verbatim (beginning with the phrase ‘it is not disputed:
    “It is not disputed that if petitioner is the son of Kwock Tuck Lee and his wife, Tom Ying Shee, he was born to them when they were permanently domiciled in the United States, is a citizen thereof, and is entitled to admission to the country.”

    So why lie?

    It is my opinion that ‘natural born Citizen’ means more than ‘citizen’. I have offered historical evidence and opinions. The opposite side, the side that argues for ‘natural born Citizen’ and ‘citizen’ being synonymous has also opinion but unfortunately chooses to ignore a wealth of evidence that, for over one hundred years, the prevailing understanding in this country of ‘natural born Citizen’ held that Mr. Rubio is not eligible for the office. If Mr. Rubio is eligible by modern lights it is only because lies, legerdemain, and yearnings, have abrogated the U. S. Constitution. I’ll end it at that, you have the last word if you so desire.

  42. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    If George Pal can argue at such length and with depth of evidence about Rubio’s qualification as a “natural born” citizen, we can expect the left to argue the case even more vehemently and to turn the issue into some bumper sticker slogans.

    Would this be cynical/duplicitous in light of Obama’s questionable status as a “natural born” citizen. Why, yes, but it will be ignored by the megaphone of the MSM.

    I like Rubio. He argues well for conservative values and seems to have a great deal of integrity. However, as someone pointed out on another blog or maybe on Foxnews, he will not be a great draw in the Latino community because his Latino bonafides come from his parents being Cuban. Most Latinos in this country today hail from Mexico and other Central American countries. They feel little or no affinity toward the Cubans who are mostly conservative escapees from Communism.

    Ted Cruz, on the other hand, can be identified as from the great mass of Latino immigrants from Mexico /Central America. Cruz, however, has been very aggressive as a junior Senator, and has already been marked for destruction by the Left. Thus, by 2016 it’s possible that neither Rubio or Cruz will be viable candidates.

    My head hurts when I contemplate the agonies of the 2016 campaign. I would like to take at least a year off, but of course, that’s not going to happen.

  43. neo-neocon Says:

    J.J.: you are right, of course. And I’m not saying Rubio is my choice, anyway.

    My point is that, legally, it’s a poor argument, and probably won’t wash. Another point is that whoever the GOP nominee is they will find his/her vulnerability and hammer home at it, or they will manufacture one and hammer home at that. Impossible (and I mean that literally) to find a candidate without some vulnerability.

    They are already starting on Ted Cruz, that mean, uppity, son of a bitch! It is inevitable.

    And they did the same thing to John McCain about his Panama Canal birth, so much that Congress had to pass a special resolution declaring him eligible.

  44. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: I repeat that none of the cases or quotes you cite bears on the fact situation of Rubio’s birth.

    Nor am I defining “natural born citizen” as the same as “citizen.” I did not offer any definitions that purport to do so. I was responding to something you offered regarding naturalized citizens, and I was pointing out that Rubio is not a naturalized citizen although his parents were.

    My point is that you are wrong about the law. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to define “natural born citizen” any way you think makes sense. The point is that the courts are highly highly unlikely to agree with you.

    “Natural born citizen” is a phrase used mainly to distinguish from “naturalized citizen.” The latter is not a citizen of this country at the time of birth, and is never eligible to be president or vice-president.

    Someone could be born to citizens living legally in another country (such as John McCain) and even live there for quite some time, and still be a natural born citizen. One can be born here to non-citizens “under the jurisdiction of the US” (legal permanent residents seeking citizenship) and still be a natural born citizen—that is, a citizen at birth. Rubio did not have to be naturalized.

    There is no doubt that a lawyer could make an argument that Rubio is not a natural born citizen. A lawyer could make an argument (and will, if someone pays him/her) that the moon is made of green cheese (although I’m not suggesting the argument about Rubio is as fanciful as that). But that does not make it correct, nor does it mean it has much of a chance of carrying the day in a courtroom.

  45. njartist49 Says:

    Argument is useless. Those so-called conservatives who came over from the socialist position are simply too imbued with the “constitution is a living document” manure. All they have become is last year’s liberals: like Shammity, they will argue against this year’s progressive position; then, next year, the same argument will become their conservative argument.

    The knowledge is there; they simply will not accept it. They do not understand the ground upon Conservatism stands.

  46. neo-neocon Says:

    njartist49: if you’re referring to me, you’re certainly incorrect.

    First of all, I was never a socialist.

    Second of all, my position on this would be (and has been) the same whichever person or party is involved.

    Thirdly, the Constitution is very unclear on this point, so it is disingenuous to say that this has anything to do with stretching the Constitution in a way the framers clearly did not intend.

  47. Ymarsakar Says:

    Was Obama electable?

    The ones who decide who gets elected or not, aren’t the voters in a so called election. That’s not how democracies work after a period of time.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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