Thursday, January 7, 2016

Natural Born (Killer): Ted Cruz!

Blame Canada! Blame Canada! They're Not Even A Real Country Anyway!
The Omnivore had waited a bit to see if it would just die--but it hasn't--so here goes:

Trump Goes Birther on Ted Cruz

The Donald didn't go "full birther" (never go "full birther")--but he said that he was concerned that Cruz's Canadian-birthplace would be a venue for the Democrats to make trouble during the general. Just musing, you know? Just "asking questions."

This is kind of brilliant.


1. Cruz is (Probably) Qualified to be President

Probably. So legal experts / constitutional experts generally agree that Cruz (and Obama, and John McCain) would all pass the "natural born citizen bar" despite being born elsewhere (Obama was born in Hawaii--NOT part of the US, really, if you think about it). That should pretty much end the story, right?

But . . .

2. Is Anyone Really SURE?

The what-does-"natural born"-mean question has not been litigated in the courts for a presidential candidate. This means it could be kinda up in the air, right? I mean--maybe? So . . . is Trump right? Well . . . no. But this fact is the tinder that allows the fire to grow.

3. Worse: There Is Some Good Conspiracy Theory Out There

During the run-up to 2008, Obama was plagued by a slew of doomsday rumors that his candidacy would self-destruct (the "Whitey Tape", allegations of gay sex, and, of course, the birth-certificate). For Ted Cruz, there is:

  • A Cruz Documented Timeline: it shows Cruz's mom was a Canadian Citizen at the time of his birth!
  • There is an "interview" wherein Cruz says that one must be "born on the soil" to be a natural-born-citizen. The source is, shall we say, questionable--which is being generous--extremely generous--but it it's fodder for the conspiracy mill.
This is the "flame" that will light the tender--people who are not heavily invested but smell blood and then pounce (either without doing the research--or not caring).

4. Everyone In The Senate Wants To Stick A Knife In Cruz's Back. Trump Is Selling Ginsus

Both John McCain and Rand Paul have picked up the scent (John doesn't know if he's qualified to be President. Rand knows for sure Cruz is qualified to be Prime Minister of Canada!). This isn't to mention Democrats who have gotten in on the deal.

The result of this high-profile, news-dominating Cruz-Birther stuff on every major network. It's brilliant!

The Take-Away

The lessons here are two-fold:
  • Donald Trump knows how to hit. This isn't a character flaw in Cruz--but it's a weak-point in his ultra-con appeal and Trump knows how to "just-asking-questions" concern-troll it.
  • The birther-base has a real problem. The conspiratorial guys can just say there's no conspiracy with Cruz--but is with Obama--but the 'hard kore super-Constitutionalists' who stuck out the birther position on a specific reading of "natural born citizen" will have to tie themselves into a knot to back Cruz--who would likely be their first choice.
This is another example of the GOP reaping what it wanted (just for Obama, not its own minority candidates).

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