Selective constitutionalism

The following is a column by Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate:

Selective Constitutionalism
By Chuck Baldwin
December 9, 2008

Many conservatives are up in arms regarding the charge that President-elect Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States and is, therefore, not qualified under the U.S. Constitution to be President of the United States.

Article. II. Section. 1. of the U.S. Constitution states, “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 . . . .” Some accuse Mr. Obama of not being born in the State of Hawaii as claimed, but in Kenya, Africa. Several people have filed various lawsuits challenging Mr. Obama’s U.S. citizenship.

Historically, “natural born Citizen” has always been understood to mean someone born in the United States of America. If Barack Obama was not born in the United States, he is absolutely unqualified to be President. Hawaii’s secretary of state says Obama was indeed born in that state. However, to date, Obama’s actual birth certificate has not been publicly released, which only serves to add fuel to the accusations that he was not born in Hawaii.

Many conservatives seem to be obsessed with this controversy, calling it a “constitutional crisis.” The fact is, however, we have been in a “constitutional crisis” for years! The problem is, most conservatives only get worked up over a potential abridgement of constitutional government when it serves their partisan political purposes. In other words, when a Democrat appears guilty of constitutional conflict, conservatives “go ballistic,” but when Republicans are equally culpable of constitutional conflict, they yawn with utter indifference.

For example, the one man who has the notoriety and political clout to actually bring about some meaningful investigation and resolution to the Obama citizenship brouhaha is none other than Senator John McCain. After all, he was Obama’s principal opponent in the race for the White House. Plus, as the standard-bearer for the only other major political party, he has the attention of the national media, as well as the national legislative and judicial branches of government. So, why is John McCain not at all interested in the Obama citizenship issue?

Perhaps one reason that John McCain is so uninterested in where Barack Obama was born is because he, John McCain, was not born in the United States. He was born in the country of Panama. So, let me ask readers a question: Does anyone believe if John McCain had been elected President instead of Barack Obama that any notable conservative would have been distressed about a “constitutional crisis”? Get real!

Yes, I know McCain was born to a naval officer serving in Panama at the time. That fact changes nothing. John McCain was still born in a foreign country, and under a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, is not qualified to be President of the United States. Even our current State Department policy (7 FAM 1100) reads: “Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.”

Does anyone not remember the controversy surrounding the potential Presidential campaign of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? Born in Austria, Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen of the United States and is now Governor of California. However, since Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen, but not a natural born citizen, he is considered unqualified to run for President.

But, again, most conservatives care little about the Constitution’s requirement that a President be a “natural born Citizen.” Like liberals, most conservatives are afflicted with a very debilitating disease that I call Selective Constitutionalism. They only want to apply constitutional government when it helps Republicans or hurts Democrats. Most of them really could not care less about adherence to the Constitution. If they did, they would have been up in arms for the last eight years as President George W. Bush repeatedly ignored—and even trampled—the U.S. Constitution.

Where were these “constitutional” conservatives when George W. Bush was assuming dictatorial-style powers and contravening Fourth Amendment prohibitions against warrantless searches and seizures? Where were they when Bush was ordering our emails, letters, and phone calls to be intercepted by federal police agencies without court oversight? Where were they when Bush was obliterating the Fifth and Eighth Amendments? Where were they when Bush overturned Posse Comitatus by Executive Order? Where were they when Bush dismantled the constitutional right of Habeas Corpus? Where were they when Bush lied to the American people about the invasion of Iraq and took the United States to war without a Declaration of War from Congress? Where were conservatives when Bush turned nine U.S. military installations over to the United Arab Emirates? Where were they when Bush ordered his Department of Transportation to open up America’s airlines to foreign ownership? Where were they when President Bush nullified (using “signing statements”) over 1,100 statutes he did not like? Where were they as President Bush and his fellow Republicans reauthorized one of the most egregiously unconstitutional pieces of legislation in modern memory: the USA Patriot Act? Where were they when Bush signed the blatantly unconstitutional McCain/Feingold Act? I could go on and on.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican Party has been just as culpable in violating constitutional government as the Democrat Party has—maybe more so! If the Republican and Democrat parties had any allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, neither John McCain nor Barack Obama would have been chosen as their respective Presidential nominees.

While we are on the subject, if anyone cared about constitutional government, Hillary Clinton (or any other U.S. Senator or House Member) would obviously be determined as ineligible to be given any appointment in the Obama administration under Article. I. Section. 6. of the U.S. Constitution. Why? Because the Constitution prohibits House or Senate members taking Presidential posts if the salary of the job they would take was raised while they were in Congress.

However, several past Presidents have skirted this constitutional prohibition (including Presidents Taft, Nixon, and Carter) by lowering the salary of the job back to what it was so the nominee could accept the job without receiving the pay increase that was approved while the appointee was in Congress. In fact, this sleight of hand actually has a political name. It is called “the Saxbe fix,” after Nixon’s appointment of Senator William Saxbe to be attorney general.

Do we have a “constitutional crisis”? You bet we do; but it is not limited to Barack Obama or the Democrat Party. The real constitutional crisis is the manner in which the American people have, for years, allowed civil magistrates from both major parties to routinely violate their oaths to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. God help us!

*If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:

http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/donate.php

© Chuck Baldwin

This column is archived as FAM 1100) reads: “Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.” Does anyone not remember the controversy surrounding the potential Presidential campaign of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? Born in Austria, Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen of the United States and is now Governor of California. However, since Schwarzenegger is a naturalized citizen, but not a natural born citizen, he is considered unqualified to run for President. But, again, most conservatives care little about the Constitution’s requirement that a President be a “natural born Citizen.” Like liberals, most conservatives are afflicted with a very debilitating disease that I call Selective Constitutionalism. They only want to apply constitutional government when it helps Republicans or hurts Democrats. Most of them really could not care less about adherence to the Constitution. If they did, they would have been up in arms for the last eight years as President George W. Bush repeatedly ignored—and even trampled—the U.S. Constitution. Where were these “constitutional” conservatives when George W. Bush was assuming dictatorial-style powers and contravening Fourth Amendment prohibitions against warrantless searches and seizures? Where were they when Bush was ordering our emails, letters, and phone calls to be intercepted by federal police agencies without court oversight? Where were they when Bush was obliterating the Fifth and Eighth Amendments? Where were they when Bush overturned Posse Comitatus by Executive Order? Where were they when Bush dismantled the constitutional right of Habeas Corpus? Where were they when Bush lied to the American people about the invasion of Iraq and took the United States to war without a Declaration of War from Congress? Where were conservatives when Bush turned nine U.S. military installations over to the United Arab Emirates? Where were they when Bush ordered his Department of Transportation to open up America’s airlines to foreign ownership? Where were they when President Bush nullified (using “signing statements”) over 1,100 statutes he did not like? Where were they as President Bush and his fellow Republicans reauthorized one of the most egregiously unconstitutional pieces of legislation in modern memory: the USA Patriot Act? Where were they when Bush signed the blatantly unconstitutional McCain/Feingold Act? I could go on and on. Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican Party has been just as culpable in violating constitutional government as the Democrat Party has—maybe more so! If the Republican and Democrat parties had any allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, neither John McCain nor Barack Obama would have been chosen as their respective Presidential nominees. While we are on the subject, if anyone cared about constitutional government, Hillary Clinton (or any other U.S. Senator or House Member) would obviously be determined as ineligible to be given any appointment in the Obama administration under Article. I. Section. 6. of the U.S. Constitution. Why? Because the Constitution prohibits House or Senate members taking Presidential posts if the salary of the job they would take was raised while they were in Congress. However, several past Presidents have skirted this constitutional prohibition (including Presidents Taft, Nixon, and Carter) by lowering the salary of the job back to what it was so the nominee could accept the job without receiving the pay increase that was approved while the appointee was in Congress. In fact, this sleight of hand actually has a political name. It is called “the Saxbe fix,” after Nixon’s appointment of Senator William Saxbe to be attorney general. Do we have a “constitutional crisis”? You bet we do; but it is not limited to Barack Obama or the Democrat Party. The real constitutional crisis is the manner in which the American people have, for years, allowed civil magistrates from both major parties to routinely violate their oaths to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. God help us! *If you appreciate this column and want to help me distribute these editorial opinions to an ever-growing audience, donations may now be made by credit card, check, or Money Order. Use this link:
http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/donate.php

© Chuck Baldwin

27 Responses to “Selective constitutionalism”

  1. Roscoe Says:

    Anyone know the backstory to the constitutional requirement? Aren’t voters capable enough to decide if some Indian-born kid brought here by his parents at age 6, or a child of on-duty military personnel stationed abroad, or even someone like Arnold whose adult life has been spent in the U.S. deserves their vote as president?

  2. Maynard Says:

    The Constitution is just a piece of paper. Get it through your heads already.

  3. DonaldRaymondLake Says:

    and the Constitution Party is just bearly about the constitution!

  4. Bill Lussenheide Says:

    Chuck Baldwin makes several excellent points. Without the “Standard Bearer” of the Constitution, we are nothing more than a mob ruled, relativistic, anarchy.

    In the song “America the Beautiful” in its second stanza, speaks of “THY LIBERTY IN LAW”. Without the anchor of the Constitution our very liberty is terminally doomed.

    O, beautiful for pilgrim feet,
    Whose stern impassioned stress,
    A thoroughfare for freedom beat,
    Across the wilderness!
    America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
    Confirm thy soul in self-control,
    Thy liberty in law!

  5. Red Phillips Says:

    Roscoe, are you kidding? The Indian kid and Arnold examples are very clear cut. They are NOT eligible to be President.

    The military child is another story. The idea that natural born means born on American soil is not as clear cut. I think it more closely means not a naturalized citizen.

  6. Mark Seidenberg Says:

    John Sidney McCain III was born at 6:25 PM at the Colon Hospital on August 29, 1936. That hospital was located in the City of Colon, Republic of Panama. He was not born in the Panama Canal Zone. His mother Robert McCain n’ee Wright was not married to John Sidney “Jack” McCain II at the time of the Panama birth of John McCain III, because the event
    of January 21, 1933 at a bar in TJ, Baja California, Mexaco was not a
    marriage under the laws of Baja California. Since 1927 all marriages had
    to be conducted at the Office of the Civil Registry. A bar is not an office
    of a civil registry.

    Under the terms of the Collective Naturalization Act of August 4, 1937, viz.,
    8 USCA 5e, to be part of the class of children included in the collective
    naturalization, Congrees required that one or both of the parents be employed by either the United States Government or the Panama Railroad Company (or its successor in title) at the time of birth. At the time of that
    29 August 1936, birth Roberta McCain n’ee Wright was not married to
    John Sidney McCain II, therefore, John Sidney McCain II was born out of
    wedlock. He could receive no citizenship rights from the John Sidney McCain II.

    On John Sidney McCain III’s birth certificate, Roberta Wight listed her
    employment as a houe wife. Therefore, John Sidney McCain is not a
    United States Senator nor was never a Naval Officer, becuase those offices require him to be a United States Citizen, which he is not.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party.

  7. Mark Seidenberg Says:

    Just re-read my last comment. I made a typing error. I will correct it now.
    John Sidney McCain III was born out of wedlock. Admiral John Sidney “Jack” McCain was born in wedlock.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party.

  8. Clark Says:

    ...if chuck didn’t want to foist ‘the abortion gestapo’ i might have voted this year..

  9. Red Phillips Says:

    We need an originalist Constitutional scholar (there are very few of them) to look into what the Framers intended by the “natural born” language.

  10. Clark Says:

    ...it appears ‘roscoe’ may indeed vote for anyone that ‘boobus tubus republicratis’ wants him to ‘vote’..

    ...thoroughly fluff-dried by the brain laundry..

  11. Yosemite1967 Says:

    Baldwin is right on the money. I know way too many Republicans (almost every last one of them) who get “up in arms” about Democrats ripping the Constitution to threads but didn’t even bat an eye whenever Bush was shredding it. Sooo brainwashed. Sooo ignorant.

  12. Roscoe Says:

    Clark, please learn to read and draw proper assumptions. I’m asking why the Founders put the “natural born” requirement in. I know it is unconstitutional but why deny voters the right to choose between a popular mainstream libertarian who happened to be born in, say, Costa Rica, and two run-of-the-mill statist looters who were born in the good ole USA?

  13. DonaldRaymondLake Says:

    Roscoe, the phrase is ‘non sequitur’...........

    Bill the shill…......

  14. Cody Quirk Says:

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party.

    (which is currently being disputed)

    BTW, you misspelled ‘Barely’ Don.

  15. Cody Quirk Says:

    Baldwin is right on the money. I know way too many Republicans (almost every last one of them) who get “up in arms” about Democrats ripping the Constitution to threads but didn’t even bat an eye whenever Bush was shredding it. Sooo brainwashed. Sooo ignorant.

    = Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

  16. Maynard Says:

    Perhaps they don’t think Bush has shredded the Constitution. Wouldn’t that make it kind of silly for them to be “up in arms” about it?

  17. Clark Says:

    ...(apparently some republicrats have not yet awakened to the “DEAD LETTER” status of ‘the con.’)

    ...methinks the loud money dummies CONTINUOUSLY ‘flail at the leaves of the tree of evil instead of striking the root$’..

  18. Yosemite1967 Says:

    Maynard, I’m sure that a lot of them don’t think that Bush has been shredding the Constitution. That was exactly my point. Are you one of those who doesn’t think that Bush has been shredding it?

  19. Maynard Says:

    I don’t care if he has or not. The thing holds no meaning for me other than an interesting historical document.

  20. Mark Seidenberg Says:

    To: Cody Quirk,

    What is being disputed? That I wrote sincerely when I made my posting.
    I was re-elected Vice Chairman of the American Independent Party at the
    AIP State Central Committee meeting in Sacramento on July 6, 2008.
    Today is December 11, 2008 and I am still the Vice Chairman of the AIP.
    I was first asked to run for Vice Chairman of AIP by the late William Shearer, co-founder of the Party.

    I know that some in the Constitution Party dispute that I am Vice Chairman
    because I am Jewish. I know that some members of my prior Synagogue
    disputed me being an officer of it Men’s Club, because I was was Non-Egalitarian. The real problem now as I see it. Both Jews and Christian are
    wasting their time in the Republican and Democratic Parties. The AIP is
    the third largest party in California and we will not support the view of the
    socialist that control both major parties. What we had is 2008, each of the
    major political parties are run by socialists and picket an undocumented
    alien as their presidential choice, thereby giving the American People no choice.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party.

  21. Don Grundmann Says:

    I know that some in the Constitution Party dispute that I am Vice Chairman
    because I am Jewish”

    Response : Mark – No one – absolutely no one – disputes that you are Vice-Chairman because you are Jewish. You are not Vice-Chairman because 1) you are a outright liar since 2) I was elected Vice-Chairman at the Los Angeles convention of the party; the true, real, and only convention of the party. These are the true, real, and only reasons that you are not Vice-Chairman. Please don’t play the ” Jewish card ” to cover up or excuse your total corruption and non-stop lying; actions which are a total embarrassment, dishonor, and shame to true jewish, or any other, citizens. You are not Vice-Chairman because you are corrupt to the bone and beyond. If Bill Schear were still alive he would wrap his cane around your neck and strangle you because of your utter, total, and complete corruption as shown by your attack upon the AIP; your outright backstabbing lying in order to destroy what he had worked so hard and for many years to build. Bill didn’t understand that you are a Republican operative/mole with the mission of destroying the AIP and, especially, the CP. You are the total opposite of what Bill Schear worked to build and what the AIP represents. The current governor of Illinois, reviled throughout the nation for his apparent corruption, is a angelic figure compared to the corruption which you, as a Judas political rapist, both represent and practice. He is far more to be trusted and supported than a below-the-bottom-of-the-barrel rodent such as yourself. I look forward to seeing you ( + Robinson and Noonan ) face the same dilemma which he faces – jail time; with yours coming for deliberately filing false documents with the Secretary of State office. Justice is coming and its slow grinding wheels will sooner or later find you and your fellow rats. It is only a matter of time.

    Don Grundmann Vice-Chairman American Independent Party of California

  22. Simon Girty Says:

    I’m Sparticus

  23. Mark Seidenberg Says:

    To Don Grundmann:

    In your December 11th, 2008 posting at 5:34 PM, you stated that: “I was elected Vice Chairman at the Los Angeles convention of the party; the true,
    real, and only convention of the party.”

    In you recall on July 5, 2008, the American Independent Party held the 2008 Convention at the Auditorium of the California Secretary of State
    Building in Sacramento, California. At that convention, I was elected Convention Chairman . During that convention Ambassador Dr. Alan
    Keyes and Pastor Dr. Wiley S. Drake were chosen as the AIP ticket for
    President and Vice President.

    I recalled that you spoke at the Sacramento Convention of the American
    Independent Party on July 5, 2008.

    I remember that in the Kansas City Convention in April, 2008 you could
    not get any member of the California delegation to vote for you as President of the United States of America. Why is that Dr. Grundmann?

    When and where was this so-called convention held? Was there any other
    officers of the convention elected beside Don Grundmann? If so, who were
    these so-called officers and who elected them?

    I am the Vice Chairman of the American Independent Party and have been
    such since September 3, 2006. If you recall you voted for me as that 2006
    convention.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party.

  24. Don Grundmann Says:

    I recalled that you spoke at the Sacramento Convention of the American
    Independent Party on July 5, 2008.

    I remember that in the Kansas City Convention in April, 2008 you could
    not get any member of the California delegation to vote for you as President of the United States of America. Why is that Dr. Grundmann?

    When and where was this so-called convention held? Was there any other
    officers of the convention elected beside Don Grundmann? If so, who were
    these so-called officers and who elected them?

    Response : 1) Mark, you know that I only ” spoke ” at your fake convention to declare you and everyone else there to be the Judases and liars that you are. 2) There were several people from the delegation who still were going to vote for me even after you, Robinson, and Noonan had betrayed me and shifted the majority of the delegation to Keyes without my knowledge.

  25. Don Grundmann Says:

    Mark : ( In continuance of my above comment ) I asked all of my supporters from any state to vote for Chuck Baldwin when I realized the extent of the corruption of Alan Keyes. Alan Keyes lost but your corruption, betrayal, and lying has never stopped. 3) Your 3rd comment/paragraph is beneath nitwit. The officers will be the ones which restore the party from your corruption.

    Don Grundmann Vice-Chairman American Independent Party

  26. Red Phillips Says:

    Keyes is a war monger and a sore loser. After his brief stint trying to convince the CP that he was only a moderate interventionist instead of a crazed interventionist, he advocated intervention on behalf of Georgia against nuclear armed Russia. Keyes is a deluded and dangerous man.

    Of course as a staunch Lincolnite he refuses to acknowledge that South Ossetia had duly seceded.

    Mr. Seidenberg, your association with Keyes taints you and your rump party.

  27. Mark Seidenberg Says:

    To Dr. Don Grundmann:
    You state in your posting of December 11th at 1 1:31 pm: “The officers will
    be the once which restore the part from your corruption”. First, I am not
    corrupt. I have been following the California Election Code and the manual
    of parlimentary proceedure we adopted at the July 5, 2008 Sacramento
    Convention of the American Independent Party in the conducting of that
    convention, since I was elected Convention Chairman. Again, are there
    any other so-called officers elected by this so-called convention in Los
    Angeles? As of now the only one I can tell is claiming that a convention
    conducted in Los Angeles, elected anyone is you. Let me get this correct
    Don Grundman was elected at a “convention” a vice chairman in Los Angeles. The so-called Los Angeles convention elected no one else as an officer. Is that corrent? Who were the delegates to your so-called Los
    Angeles Convention and under what authority did it conduct business, if
    in fact it conducted any business?

    Don, the American Independent Party held it convention in Sacramento
    on July 5, 2008. I was elected th chairman of that convention. You were
    a delegate to that convention and spoke at the convention.

    Also Don, I was the elected head of the California Delegation to the April,
    2008 Kansas City Convention. I took the tally of how people wanted to
    vote. You and you alone informed me that you wanted to vote for your-
    self as President of the United States. At the time of the first tally the
    top picks where Keyes, Baldwin, and Dr.Jerome Corsi. There was just one person that wanted Dr. Don Grundmann for President of the United States and that was you.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party.

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