« Previous Story | Front Page | Next Story »


Disgraceful

By Vickie Stangl
Opinion | September 17, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. - Just when you think birthers in Kansas cannot sink any lower, a new low appears on the horizon of crazy.

Joe Montgomery of Manhattan wanted to have President Obama's name removed from the November Kansas ballot because Obama's father was born in Kenya. Did you know that President Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) had a foreign born father, too?

Vice President Chester A. Arthur (R) became the 21st president of the United States after President James Garfield was killed in 1881 by a disappointed office seeker.

President Arthur's father was born in Ireland while his mother was from Vermont. The father was naturalized as an American citizen fourteen years after the birth of Arthur. At the time, a few democrats raised objections about Arthur's citizenship,(there was a rumor he was really born in Canada,too) but he managed to lead the nation without being hounded endlessly by birthers.

The term "natural-born citizen" as a requirement for the presidency, is a phrase not without controversy. However, in ruling after ruling, the standard interpretation is that the person running for president must be born on American soil. Therefore, the term "natural born citizen" applies to the person seeking the office, and not one's parents.

A prominent case often cited in this matter is Lynch v. Clarke which actually had to do with a case before the court involving an inheritance dispute regarding the heirs of Julia Lynch.

Lynch was born in New York to parents who were British citizens and the three left for England and never returned to America. However,the Court ruled: "that by the law of the United States, every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of the parents, is a natural born citizen."

Thus, clearly the defining circumstances or guiding rule in establishing who is a natural is born citizen under the U.S. Constitution, and eligible for the presidency, is based upon where that person was born and NOT based upon the parent's birthplace. Thus, just because Obama's father was Kenyan, does not cancel Obama's status as a natural born citizen.

Using subterfuge and legalistic maneuvering to remove a president who is the wrong color, wrong religion and wrong everything to a small segment of the population is the real goal of the birthers. This fringe group of Americans have been grasping at anything they can concoct to discredit and keep the Obama Administration on the defense and weaken his presidency.

It is disgraceful that the partisan official occupying the office of Kansas Secretary of State would even consider such a complaint before the State Objections Board. As reported by Brent Wistrom in the Wichita Eagle, Kris Kobach stated, "...it was incumbent upon the board to do its job thoroughly and not make a snap decision, especially in a case of this magnitude."

Snap decision? This witch hunt by the birthers against the president has been tossed about since he became the nominee in 2008. No decent, fair minded official would deem such a complaint worthy of consideration. The president has provided multiple times his long form Hawaiian birth certificate to the press and to state officials. Nothing will satisfy the birthers that Obama is anything but a foreigner and by foreigner we mean a Muslim.

As for Mr. Montgomery, he must have known that bringing up this issue would not be greeted with cheers. You don't get a medal for supporting something ridiculous. It is bad enough that we have citizens who do not understand their own constitution but the real shock, the real disgrace, is that the State Objections Board did not quietly inform Mr. Montgomery that there were no merits to such a complaint.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach has lost all credibility to serve the people of Kansas when his entire career has been one of self-promotion and crafting laws to suppress voting in America. The Secretary of State office should be the most nonpartisan office in Kansas and yet Kris Kobach has managed to turn it into GOP Central.

Perhaps I can float my own crazy conspiracy theory and surmise that this was all a trial balloon by the Kansas GOP to see if the birther scheme could be raised yet again, and spread to important swing states to throw the Obama election off their game and divert attention to his "Muslim roots."

Frankly, with the clowns running Kansas, I wouldn't care if Obama was born on Jupiter and his godfather was Zeus.


6 Comments

Vickie, isn't it amazing how gullible people are? They don't like Obama! They'll grasp anything that gives validity to their dislike. The 'birther' issue saves their conscience on racism or religious bias. They don't have to rationalize any political differences. The economic policies or foriegn policies don't need to be considered. Most Republicans have accepted that Obama is a bona fide citizen, but the lunatic fringes will cling to rumors.


I have a sense that Montgomery thought he would get a lot of support for his actions. People lite him live in an alternate reality and in truth, many Kansans right now agree with him. I think it's telling that the three state officials took his claim seriously.

Our only hope is that the tide turns in the next few elections and Kansans again come to their senses. I agree with Ken--they get to be anti-Obama without admitting that they're bigots.


Obama has weakened his presidency all on his own without any help whatsoever from any so called "fringe" groups.


Yep! Obama weakened his presidency by halting the stock market crash and precipitous jobs decline in his first two years, all in spite of the Republicans obstinance and declaration that he would not get anything done. Then in the next couple years he hasn't been able to work micracles, but jobs have increased more than the previous 2 years decline, we eliminated Osama Bin Laden, pulled nearly all the troops out of Iraq and are winding down the operation in Afganistan.

Statistics show approx 4,500,000 jobs lost in 2008. Obama took over in 2009. We.ve had a negative 131,000 jobs in 4 years. What a failure!!

It took Bush's administration 8 years to make the mess we had when Obama took over. And what a failure Obama has been, He couldn't bring us back to balanced budget and surplus income in less than 4 years. He couldn't reduce the unemployment rate to where it was before Bush took over. He didn't let us get over extended into unwinable conflicts in the mid East. WHAT A FAILURE HE IS!!!

Let's put Mitt in and he can buy and sell a few states or countries and we'll be in 'hog heaven'.


“It took Bush's administration 8 years to make the mess we had when Obama took over.”

Wrong. It’s taken over a hundred years of malignant, Progressive movement “rot” to bring us to the nightmare mess that Obama inherited when he took over - a festering that goes back all the way back to the father of the Progressive movement, Teddy Roosevelt, is to blame. A festering that has been piled on from the likes of Woodrow Wilson and sixteenth amendment, FDR and the New Deal, LBJ and the Great Society, Jimmy Carter and the Community Reinvestment Act, Bill Clinton and his meddling with bank redlining, Barney Frank and his incompetence with Fannie and Freddie, and on and on and on. And yes, GWB, who never backed off from a single spending bill. You simply cannot single out any one presidential administration with blame over what we endured in the second half of 2008 – you can’t. And what keeps me awake at night, what we saw in 2008 was just a precursor to the “Big One” if we don’t as a nation get dead serious with reducing federal spending and keeping it under control.


The "austerity" push on the right amounts to what former Kansan Thomas Frank describes as "The Wrecking Crew." The goal is for corporate plutocrats/the rich (take your choice) to (1) own even more of government than they already do, to privatize all they can that might make them even richer (2) to eliminate as many regulatory agencies as they can to, yes, make them still richer, and (3) where they cannot eliminate regulatory agencies, to defund them to the extent those regulatory agencies cannot regulate effectively in the public interest. Further, to break unions, eliminate the minimum wage, workplace health and safety regulations, etc. because...well, you know, "fat cats are really good guys and love common people." That way we can get back to Lords and Manors and stuff. If Broxton really wants to reduce spending, and were serious about it, he/she would holler for reducing the outrageous US military spending. Instead, he/she basically wants to return to the "Gilded Age" when the few were mooching off the many, dressing really nice, sitting in the front pew at church, and screwing average people regularly. No thanks, we've seen all that sh*t before--the sh*t they'd like to shovel our wag again.

Read "The Wrecking Crew." You'll be smarter when you do.


Post your own comment here


Do you want to read more? You've only just scratched the surface at the Kansas Free Press. We have so much more to read! Nearly all of the pieces published here are timeless and relevant, regardless of when the articles were first published. To discover more, please take a look at our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:



About This Page

This page contains just one story published on September 17, 2012. The one written previous to this is titled "Damned If He Does, Damned If He Don't" and the story published right after this one is "Wow! You didn't know that?"

Our most current stories are always updated on our Front Page.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to poke around in our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

Recently Featured Stories

My Response As a Kansan to Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti has come on board The Nation magazine to fill in for Katha Pollitt as the feminist columnist while Pollitt is on leave to write a book. I've found reading Valenti's columns thought-provoking and insightful. She often takes …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Roots of the n-word

While N-word dialogue has slackened following Saline County Commissioner Gile's use of it recently, the word still has great power. So, let's look inward at the N-word. To reach a much deeper path to understanding, simply go to Ad …
Corporate Tax Reform

Basehor, Kans.--For an interesting twist on the corporate tax debate, look at Alan Sloan's opinion in the April 29 issue of Fortune Magazine. In all of the froth about corporate taxation, neither proponents of tax reduction, nor corporate critics, …

News and Opinion





Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of KansasFreePress.com. If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press, KansasFreePress.com, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.