Tenthers, Truthers and Birthers
Former governor Sarah Palin was publicly criticized this week for writing crib notes on her palm to use during her appearance as the keynote speaker at the National Tea Party convention. She was also accused of wearing a black “Memorial Bracelet” with her son’s name on it that turned out to be a bronze "Deployment Bracelet" given to her by HeroBracelets.org. To her antagonists the bracelet appeared to be black.
Sunday the 7th, the former governor was a guest on Fox News Sunday where she casually used the word “Tenthers” during an interview with Chris Wallace. The term was just a throw away line to most people, but it did not go entirely unnoticed.
In a segment of WABC’s John Bachelor radio show later that day, “Wing Nuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America” author John Avlon joined the host in describing the term Tenthers as an example of coded language used by politicians to speak to their most adamant followers. The use of such terms was described as “the language of a cult.” “When the politicians speak in coded language, if they feel like they are not going to get called on it” Avlon said, “all they are doing is stirring the crazy pot for their own benefit…” He continued, “…and it is a very narrow partisan vision of America. It is by in a [sic] pumped-up hyper-partisanship that seeks to divide in order to conquer.”
Hence, former Governor Palin was stirring the crazy pot by her use of the term Tenthers. In this instance, Tenthers was a term of endearment for those Americans who fully subscribe to the tenth amendment of the constitution. Moreover, since the tenthers are likely to also embrace the 2nd amendment, as well the 14th amendment, calling them crazy is quite possibly an understatement. By this measure, common folk who are also strict constructionists in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas must therefore be obscenely insane. Consequently, the mere mention of these folks seems to provoke intense discomfort in the minds of the professorial elite.
While the former governor used Tenthers affectionately, it was of no such value to Mr. Bachelor or his guest. To them it was coded language used to stir the emotions of the crazies. They were not restrained in their effort to demean the governor and those who agree with her for having the temerity to be communicating in code. Listening to them seriously discuss what they described as the lowest form of politics, they might as well have been discussing the “Truthers,” a term used to describe people who believe that agents of the federal government were responsible for the carnage that occurred on 9-11.
Birthers is another term often used to divide in order to conquer. Birthers are individuals who are unconvinced that the 44th president is a natural born citizen, and who thus claim he is illegitimately occupying the office. Unlike the term Tenthers however, it is unlikely that anyone would use the term in an endearing manner. To identify one’s self as a Birther is the equivalent of claiming to have been abducted by aliens. And at this point in time, to identify someone else as a Birther rates just slightly better than identifying someone as a “Truther.”
Birthers are indeed wrong about President Obama’s eligibility to occupy the office of president at this point in time. The courts have consistently and repeatedly concluded that the issue is moot and anyone who insists on pressing it for now fully deserves any rejection and all of the ridicule they receive for their intransigence. Labeling them as Birthers and associating them with the crazy tin foiled hat crowd is nothing less than appropriate.
The judicial branch made it absolutely clear that it will have nothing to do with the natural borne issue. One after another, as agents of Article III of the constitution, judges removed themselves from the position of arbitrating the constitutional merits of the issue. Even the Supreme Court refused to get involved beyond a conference to determine if they wanted to get involved. The courts essentially “recused” themselves by disqualifying persons and groups who had petitioned them to become involved.
Recusal defined is “to disqualify or seek to disqualify from participation in a decision on grounds such as prejudice or personal involvement.” In case after case judges ruled that the plaintiffs who argued that the president was illegitimate, based on the requirements in Article II of the constitution, did not have “standing” in their courts. In short, the judges and justices said “This case does not belong in my court.”
In the end, the courts have so much as said that the issue belongs in the court of public opinion, and the electorate is the only legitimate and proper arbiter as to the qualifications of a candidate for the office of president.
Although the constitution specifically identifies the candidates’ qualifications for the office of president: “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.” If a 30 year old individual was, hypothetically, allowed to proceed thru the process and received the required number of electoral votes to be elected to the office, then he or she would indeed become president. To date, the courts have consistently demonstrated that no competent judge would dare to challenge the will of the people.
The current president is an example of the hypothetical becoming real, due to the hazy nature of his history and his unwillingness to release various historical records regarding his past. The obscurity thus establishes him as one of the least known individuals to have campaigned for the office of president, yet the court of public opinion demonstrated little interest in the his record and elected him despite several indications that there were wide gaps in the record.
The court of public opinion is comprised of sovereign citizens and their duly elected representatives from the individual sovereign states. They elect a president. Within the framework of separate but equal sharing of powers the agents of Article III, judges and justices, have demonstrated true wisdom and restraint regarding their desire or willingness to involve themselves in federal elections. In addition, in the court of public opinion there are no evidentiary rules and a candidate who pleads the fifth does so at his own potential political peril. Moreover, the court does not require any significant probable cause for the court to investigate a candidate’s record.
Let us assume that the hypothetical 30 year old above elected to seek a second term in office. Acknowledging that no competent judge is going to deny the electorate their choice as to who would be their president, the fact remains that the young president would still fail to meet the constitutional requirement for a second term, since he would only be aged 34 at the time. The electorate could re-nominate him, and re-elect him if they chose to do so, despite the requirements and based on precedence and the demonstrated wisdom of the judges. It is the electorate with the ballot that is the sole arbiter to determine the qualifications of a candidate, and whether or not a sufficient desire exists to enforce those qualifications.
Regarding the current president and his natural born status, the court of public opinion may very well be as complacent in 2012 as they were in 2008. However, if the electorate happens to become more judicious and elects to demand substantially more evidence from the candidate, such as documentation of his qualification for another term, they have standing to do so. They can deny him re-nomination, or re-election, if he is unwilling or unable to produce the evidence they seek. The electorate can also determine what evidence is adequate, or if an independent agent will be acceptable or necessary to authenticate that evidence.
So folks, put those tin foiled hats away for now. In a couple of years time the court of public opinion will once again reconvene and afford you standing to make any and all demands of a candidate, including requiring him or her to produce an original birth certificate. Your position will also enable you to encourage others in the court of public opinion to join with you in your demand for verifiable proof of a candidate’s eligibility for the office of president.
In the meantime, the president’s acolytes are happy to see the tin foil crazy people espousing the rhetoric of illegitimacy, since this president is legitimate and will remain legitimate until January of 2013. However, if recent events are any indication, by 2012 the mood of the country may have changed to the point that the constitution does limit the power of the federal government and does reserve to the individual states, or the people (the Tenthers), the powers not enumerated to the federal government in the constitution. If so, then it is entirely possible that the fifth paragraph of Article II will once again become a requirement (the Birthers), rather than a suggestion, to determine who will be president, the commander in chief and the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.
In November, 2012, the court of public opinion will elect another president. It is entirely possible that a Tenther like Gov. Palin may be the victor, or even a Truther. Nonetheless, if the question regarding a candidate’s natural born status remains unanswered, once again there will be no opportunity for appeal.
Unless, of course, you are crazy enough to wear a tin foiled hat and to foolishly attempt to convince a judge to give you standing to overturn the will of the people.