Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Incoherent at Salon

Salon contributor Gabriel Winant goes on the attack but gets confused even before he finishes his second sentence:
"The only people that I know who are afraid to take drug tests are the people who use drugs," says Rep. Bill Posey. The Florida Republican is the author of the so-called "Birther" bill, which would require future presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates. The fact that President Obama has already submitted -- forgive the extension of Posey's metaphor -- a clean urine sample seems to be completely irrelevant. [emphasis added]
From the first sentence, it is clear that Rep. Posey's bill is about future presidents, not Obama. So, Obama's documentation is, in fact, irrelevant to the bill. Winant continues:
The congressman told Lou Dobbs, "The eligibility of the president to serve under the Constitution has arisen five times, and Congress has failed to do anything about it thus far." Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona Territory, Posey points out. George Romney was born in Mexico. Shoot, John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and, claims Posey, the New York Times and Washington Post thought that made him ineligible. (We must have missed those editions of the Times and the Post. Posey's office has not responded to a request for comment.) [emphasis added]
Yes, Winant, you did miss those editions. All it takes is a few seconds with google to find those articles. On July 11, 2008, for example, the NY Times wrote:
In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”
The Washington Post also covered the story quoting a professor claiming that the constitution was ambiguous on the issue:

Winant continues:
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., tells Stark she "would like to see the documents." One wonders what's stopping her.
Mr. Winant wonders because, apparently, he is unaware that birth certificates in Hawaii are not public documents. It was this lack of official documents that caused this unnecessary controversy, a controversy that, for future presidents, Rep. Posey's bill would eliminate.

I can only suspect that the reason that Salon's Winant does not check his facts is because he prefers to be outraged. To each his own.

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