The dirty tricks are flying on the eve of Super Tuesday. Now John McCain’s eligibility as a “natural born citizen” is getting questioned by Mitt Romney’s attack machine.
At issue is the provision in the U.S. Constitution that states only “natural born citizens” are eligible to be elected president. John McCain was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal zone, the son of an Admiral.
“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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
–U.S. Constitution, Section 1, Article II
The issue was clarified in 1790 by the U.S. Congress, which resolved that “… the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”
Of course, Congress doesn’t rectify constitutional questions. That is up to the Supreme Court, which upheld that definition in the Dred Scott case. Dred Scott was vacated by constitutional amendment, seemingly leaving the question open again. Not so fast. The Supreme Court has deferred the question in case law back to Congress which resolves the question with the 1790 definition.
The hypocrisy is astounding. Mitt Romney’s own father was born in Mexico before running for president. Barry Goldwater, the father of the modern conservative movement, was born in the territory of Arizona before it was a state. George Washinton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison were not born in the United States.
And of course, the Panama Canal was built on the blood, sweat, and tears of the U.S. military, led by none other than Teddy Roosevelt. Stop dissing the military, creepy people in suits. Sacrificing your soul to tear down an American military hero is not worth the price.
This sudden “revelation” that John McCain was born in Panama, something we all know, is another kick in the teeth to military men and women serving overseas. The audacity to suggest that their children are not eligible to seek the highest office in the land as they lay their own lives on the line in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.