Trumping Political and Judicial Courage
Did Hope for Rising GOP Stars like Bobby Jindal Play a Role in the Obama’s Presidential Eligibility Scandal?
When questions about Obama’s eligibility to serve as President arose, I immediately recognized that this could be the biggest political scandal in U.S. history, bigger even than Watergate. The allegations, if true, would have created widespread political turmoil and would have had to involve people, high up people, ignoring and/or covering up facts. How could a young Senator from Illinois have gotten so far, so quickly, in national politics without some in both the Democratic & Republican Parties taking notice, researching, discovering details of his past and recognizing that there was a BIG potential problem? Especially, given that every other person in Washington is a lawyer, people knew, the media had to have known, known both of the problem and its ramifications. After all, it’s the political big league in Washington.
Having a legal background, I decided to do my own research to satisfy my curiosity and it became abundantly clear that legitimate questions existed and continue to exist. Questions regarding interpretation of Article II, Section I of the Constitution, questions of original intent, British/Kenyan law, acquisition of citizenship, questions about Obama’s birthplace, his adoption, his educational scholarships, his parent’s foreign allegiance/citizenship, his prior inadvertent admissions, questions about his passport(s), etc., exist with sufficient basis in law and/or fact to warrant serious investigation and judicial review. So, like many others at the time, I sat back and waited for the media firestorm to begin. And I waited, and waited, and waited. Not a peep from the media, Hillary, McCain or Republicans. Why?
With an issue this big involving the first competitive African-American running for the Presidency of the United States, his intentional withholding of records and the possibility that he fails to meet the Constitutional requirements for the Office, I just knew that every stone would be quickly overturned to get to the bottom of it. Even though it’s common knowledge that the American media is pretty much left of center when it comes to politics and everything else – ‘the story’, this story was SO big that I was sure they would not be able to ignore it. It wasn’t like other political stories the media ignored such as John Edwards’ love child or Larry Sinclair’s allegations of drug use and sex with Obama. This story went to bedrock, the requirements of who can be President and who can serve as Commander In Chief of our military. To my surprise, next to nothing came from the mainstream media.
Many expected Republicans to wait as long as they possibly could before raising the issue because of the political/media ramifications. It seemed certain that they were praying for the media to take the lead so they could stay on the high road. After enduring eight years of constant Bush bashing and constant negative media spin about Republicans, it’s easy to appreciate their concerns. It’s a shame that Republican fear may have trumped their doing the right thing early on. Had they manned up, we probably would not be in the current situation of having our rights and freedoms in jeopardy.
Republicans had seen the media for a decade artfully portray them as corrupt, uncaring politicians on a reckless spending spree. This portrayal led directly to the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress. Even though, a Republican spending spree pales when compared to an Obama/Reid/Pelosi spending spree. Even though, Republican ‘caring’ has historically meant a limited federal government helping those in need with a hand up in ways that would not bankrupt the nation (sustainability) and Democrat ‘caring’ has historically meant a growing government trying to bait those with needs, real or otherwise, into becoming permanently dependent. What Republicans could count on in 2008 was that the mainstream media would likely report everything Republicans dared say about this critical Constitutional issue as racism, expressed and/or implied.
They were scared of the media in 2008. They were in the political wilderness. However, I believe fear was not the only factor keeping Republicans from speaking from conviction. Republicans might have been reluctant to rock Obama’s boat because their own leadership (those who would have fully understood Obama’s agenda, his past associations and ideology) may have been considering the possibility that losing to Obama might not be so bad.
Maybe they realized that if Obama were elected, Americans would likely be so disappointed and shocked by his policies that Republicans might quickly sweep back in power. Instead of being beaten up for eternity by the media for spoiling the first African American’s opportunity to reach the Presidency, they could be seen as adults setting things right after a rebellious kid’s screw ups. Yes, I think political calculations could well have been trumping principles. After all, the Party did have a few bright stars in waiting such as Gov. Bobby Jindal. They could just bide their time, hope America wakes up as Obama revealed himself and be ready to step up.
Jindal, he’s the young Republican Governor who had a 77% approval rating in 2008. Jindal had taken over the reigns of Louisiana shortly after the embarrassing former Democratic Governor’s performance dealing with Katrina. Louisiana is also the home of some fairly egregious examples of Democratic corruption such as Rep. Jefferson’s conviction and Senator Landrieu appearing to sell her vote for $300,000,000 dollars to Harry Reid. Gov. Bobby Jindal is definitely a rising star in the Republican Party, a fiscal conservative, principled and someone not closely associated with President Bush. He is seen as a leader with a great future. I can certainly see him in the U.S. Senate.
As time passed, more and more lawsuits were filed (over 50) challenging Obama’s eligibility and nothing – nothing from the media, nothing from Hillary Clinton, nothing Republicans in Washington, nothing from John McCain. The issue was a hot potato that carried a truckload of political risk. Democrats, who were acutely aware that they risked losing the carefully groomed dependence of many minority voters, wouldn’t touch it. Politicians of both parties were afraid of the charge of racism – and for good reason. All they had to do was watch the vicious attacks against eligibility attorneys Philip Berg, Dr. Orly Taitz, Leo Donofrio, Stephen Pidgeon, and Mario Apuzzo.
Given that many politicians lack backbone, those of us concerned about the issue had little choice but to put faith with the American judicial system and hope that they would answer conclusively the questions of Obama’s eligibility. Well, so much for faith. Notwithstanding their oaths to protect the Constitution, judges apparently wanted nothing to do with this political hot potato either. Courts have been falling all over themselves from the beginning to do every legal contortion necessary to avoid granting discovery, examining facts and/or applying the law regarding this eligibility issue.
However, we are not defeated. Legal challenges and opportunities for challenges remain and it will only take one principled judge to resolve the eligibility issue. Is Obama a ‘Natural Born Citizen’ eligible to serve as President of the United States and Commander In Chief of its military? But, we all must remember that most judges begin their careers on the bench as politicians; and so far, politics trump a magistrate’s sworn duty.
Had the winner of the 2008 Presidential election been Governor Jindal, you can be sure there would have been endless lines of Constitutional experts brought in by FOX, CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, ABC to explain the history of the eligibility provision, the underlying issues and facts relevant to a reasoned determination. You see, Bobby Jindal was born in Louisiana in 1971 and his parents are Indian immigrants who came here to attend graduate school, nearly the exact factual situation as Obama’s (accepting a Hawaii birth). And had 50+ lawsuits been filed against a Presidential candidate Jindal, the media would have been in a frenzy trying to outdo each other, it would have been like the O.J. trial. I also believe that both the federal & state courts would have been decidedly more eager to get to the merits so that they could be seen as protecting the Constitution, the Presidency and apple pie.
But it wasn’t candidate Jindal – it was candidate Obama. So, instead of having extensive coverage and thoroughly investigating the issue, the media has given next to no coverage. And when the mainstream media decides to cover the issue, they do it so they can spin the story to wrongly equate the meaning of ‘citizen’ and a ‘natural born ‘citizen’ – and to paint those raising the issue as idiots. Where are the real journalists? With the exception of FOX, this is clearly the media’s ‘thrill up the leg’ political bias trumping journalistic principle.
With FOX, I think of them the same way as I think of Republicans. Because FOX is constantly vilified by Democrats and the left lending media, this potato was so hot that even they could not risk being wrong or having a court come to a different conclusion. FOX’s fear trumped their journalistic principle.
I wonder if the Republican leadership figured that if they didn’t complain about Obama in 2008, they would be able to count on Democrats and the Obama media not complaining about Jindal’s eligibility issues should he decide to run in 2012? My first thought was that having such an expectation would be a fool’s dream. However, I’m not so sure now. They all now have a lot of political capital invested in attempting to effectively rewrite the eligibility provision of the Constitution by some sort of contorted waiver/estoppel/abandonment theory. It’s all underhanded and improper; but as long as courts continue to abdicate their own responsibilities, who can know what determined politicians might accomplish?
The whole mess smells more and more like ‘the players’ in Washington have gotten together and decided, or implicitly understand, that the issue and the Constitution are to be ignored. Every player appears to be serving their own self-interest, burying their principles, avoiding risk, and using the mainstream media’s avoidance of the issue as political cover. If the mainstream media ever takes the lead and does their job, the other players will be forced to do theirs as well.
Even when, reports were coming out in Canada that a radio talk show host had revealed that he, his career, family had been threatened; the mainstream American media simply ignored the story. No real investigation, nothing, nada was started. This smells really bad.
Regarding the Democratic leadership, anyone watching the recent antics of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid concerning the healthcare takeover (with their buying of votes, conducting the people’s business in secret, not allowing debate or time to actually read the bills, misrepresentations, manipulation of the numbers, and their constant ridicule those in opposition) must realize that it’s not the means that count to these people – only the ends. Therefore, I have no doubt that they would turn a blind eye to the possibility that the Constitution might have been violated by Obama and those who have attested to his eligibility. Oh, that was Nancy Pelosi who did that.
Regarding Hillary Clinton, she’s an old school hardball politician who is probably worrying more about her status and legacy now; rather than actually doing the right thing and demanding that Obama provide documentation proving that he is a natural born citizen. I guess it’s not a fight she’s willing to take on given that she is also the wife of the ‘first black President’.
Regarding the mainstream media, all you need to do is check who has been a consistent donor to Obama & Democratic politicians through the years. Then check for yourself what they are reporting, what they are leaving out, how stories are slanted, how far are they slanted and the frequency of displays of bias. There was a study out of, I believe, UCLA around 2004 that found that 18 of 20 major media outlets were left of center and that Brit Hume and the Drudge Report did indeed provide fair and balanced news coverage. Today, the media appears to have dropped all pretense of being objective.
Regarding John McCain, he is also a seasoned politician who probably values his own legacy more than tackling such a big political nightmare. Especially, given that some have questioned his own ‘natural born citizen’ status, he might prefer someone else take the lead.
A few Republican politicians have displayed courage by trying to introduce legislation that would require that candidates must provide proof that they are in fact eligible for the offices they seeking. Of course, Nancy Pelosi is keeping this buried and it will not see the light of day while she is the Speaker of the House. This type of legislation is extremely important should Republicans gain power in 2010. It cannot be allowed to stand that politicians can willy-nilly change the effect of the Constitution without going through the proper process. Talk about elitism!
Representative Nathan Deal has made the boldest direct display of courage to date by sending Obama a letter asking that he provide proof that he is a natural born citizen. Congressman Deal was of course immediately, repeatedly and viciously attacked for doing this one small act to protect the integrity of the Constitution. However, Rep. Deal’s act is very important because it provides a proof that a Member of Congress had specific concerns over Obama’s eligibility to serve. It is the first time that a sitting President has been confronted in this way. Well done! History must not be scrubbed to hide Obama’s probable criminal deception to obtain the Office of the Presidency.
Republicans took the easiest path in 2008 because they were fearful and had been relegated to the wilderness in 2006. With the emergence of the grassroots Tea Party revolt, Republicans are now poised to make substantial gains in 2010. I believe people are looking for genuine, principled, limited government, fiscal conservative leadership. Unfortunately, current Republicans will have to do this year because they are the best choice for the nation until better candidates emerge. However, all candidates should take heed that millions of Americans recognize that they must pay attention to what Congress is doing.
And just a friendly reminder, those of us who are concerned about the eligibility issue will also be paying attention. Please don’t consider running Gov. Jindal for the Presidency in 2012. As much as we (I) may like him, he is not a ‘natural born citizen’ and we (I) will not put our politics above principles founded in the Constitution!
Putting the country, the Constitution, & the rule of law ahead of politicians’ self-interest were called for in 2008 – and the call was ignored. Democrats and Republicans alike failed to answer.
After rereading this piece, I am more discouraged and fearful that the courts may well let down America, her Constitution and her people by failing to take the bull by the horns and look at the issue of Obama’s eligibility. (The court system was the only institution that I had a great deal of faith in but it looks like faith has been misplaced.)
It may ultimately fall to the military (who deserve to have a Commander In Chief who is in fact eligible to serve in that honored position and is legally capable of issuing ‘lawful orders’) to utilize the Uniform Code of Military Justice and demand that Obama establish the facts.
May I suggest Section 935. Art. 135. COURTS OF INQUIRY and possibly
Section 883. Art. 83. FRAUDULENT ENLISTMENT, APPOINTMENT, OR SEPARATION
Any person who–
(1) procures his own enlistment or appointment in the armed forces by knowingly false representation or deliberate concealment as to his qualifications for the enlistment or appointment and receives pay or allowances thereunder…