First, let’s get it straight: I do not believe it to be true. I will say that much of this concern about where the president was born and whether his parents were citizens and how this all balances together: it’s all relatively moot. There are theories and suppositions about what it all means: but for the most part it boils down (exactly as the decision was laid out in 2008) that Mr. Obama qualifies as a “natural born citizen” as it matters today.
All this time I have alway thought that the “birthers” (as they are commonly known) just wanted to get Mr. Obama out of office: I can only assume that this is because of his Democratic association (when I’m feeling generous) or because they don’t like his race (when I’m feeling more snarky). But recently I came upon an interesting qualification. Some of them want to prove that he was not eligible for office in order to “roll back the clock”, as it were, and to make his presidency “null and void”. They want to eliminate any of his actions as president. That wouldn’t really happen… would it?
So I did some research. A number of people had opinions like that one expressed on Yahoo Answers. (This is why I don’t usually check this site: it’s worse than wikipedia as far as opinions are concerned. The “question” deteriorated into a political argument.)
He would be impeached and the GOP would sue over the 2008 elections under the context that the entire election was invalided with a DNC ineligible candidate. He would be forced to step down but as Biden wouldn’t become President, he was part of an ineligible ticket, they would both be forced to step down under the Constitution and that would leave both President and Vice President open. That would make the third in line for President (speak of the house) President and Vice President would be the Senate majority leader (I could be mistake about that part).
Basically everything that Obama vetoed, voted on and pushed through could be challenged as illegal. If it is found out that Obama is not a legal born American it would be the worst disaster in DNC history, GOP would be screaming for blood, DNC would try to push some sort of act that makes it legal for a non-american born citizens to be President.
Please don’t quote me saying the above. It is not correct… probably written by a “birther”. But it illustrates the depth of the concern, and the problem with inadequate research. If people honestly think that would happen, it would cause enormous confusion across the country… and the world. It’s not 2008 any more.
In fact, there is precedence to this kind of concern: and an answer.
In Ryder vs. the United States (1995) the de facto officer doctrine was described by Chief Justice Renquist: it “confers validity upon acts performed by a person acting under the color of official title even though it is later discovered that the legality of that person’s appointment or election to office is deficient…’The de facto doctrine springs from the fear of the chaos that would result from multiple and repetitious suits challenging every action taken by every official whose claim to office could be open to question, and seeks to protect the public by insuring the orderly functioning of the government despite technical defects in title to office.’“. (see 94-431)
This applies to president and every office on down. What it is saying is that Mr. Obama’s actions, taken as president, remain the actions of a president even if he is found to be ineligible to run. He would be impeached, perhaps, but it would not invalidate his presidency.
Oh: and just to be clear where I stand on this issue. I agree with snopes.com and about.com. The claim has now been rung through the ringer so many times that it has become an “urban legend”. It might have the ring of truth, but it has been disproven time and time again. People who want to believe it, for whatever reason (racial or party discrimination, I don’t care: but something is blocking the light of truth), refuse to budge. There are still people who think the earth is flat. I realize that some of my readers might even be “birthers”: but understand one thing. I believe there might be some fuzziness in this whole question about interpreting the words that define the qualifications for president of the U.S.: but fuzziness is exactly that. It has not yet been decided. Unless and until it is decided, the law falls on Mr. Obama’s side. You might think you know the intent of the framers of the Constitution: but you’re not the only one.