Tag Archives: birther

Despite win, Trump has no mandate and his legitimacy is in doubt

When Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, Republicans sought to undermine his presidency by purveying the falsehood that he’s not an American citizen. Donald Trump was a prominent promoter of the lie, the face of the so-called “birther” movement.

Soon Trump’s presidency will begin, marked by the stigma of his words and deeds. But the most devastating burden he’ll face is doubt about his own legitimacy. Talk about karma.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, more than two weeks after Trump shocked the world by winning the presidency, votes were still being counted. As of that day, Clinton was ahead  by more than 2 million votes — or 1.5 percent.

Put another way, Trump lost the popular vote by a 1.5 percent margin that continues to grow. That’s significant. It’s a larger margin of victory than either John Kennedy’s win in 1960 or Richard Nixon’s in 1968.

In fact, Clinton has won more votes than any presidential contender in the nation’s history.

Trump certainly cannot lay claim to a mandate. Only 58 percent of registered voters even cast ballots in the race that he numerically lost. The vast majority of eligible voters did not support him at the polls.

Votes are still being counted, and Clinton’s majority is expected to grow. However, most of the uncounted ballots are from states that Clinton won, and there just aren’t enough uncounted votes in states that she lost by narrow margins to give her the White House.

Unfortunately for the nation, her growing majority will not change the outcome in the Electoral College, which determines the winner. When members of the Electoral College cast their votes on Dec. 19, he’ll receive 290 to her 232.

Trump’s opponents have been waging online campaigns to convince Electoral College voters to honor the will of the people and vote for Clinton. More than 4.5 million people have already signed a petition to that effect on Change.org.

Although some electors are not legally bound to vote for the candidate who won their states, there’s virtually no chance that enough of them would vote for Clinton to hand her a victory. Even if they did, it’s inconceivable that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives would accept such a result on Jan. 6, 2017.

The prospect of persuading the Electoral College to alter the election outcome is pure fantasy, something to help us progressives get through the pain of the 11/9 catastrophe.

Neo-Nazis rejoice, baggage piled high

Meanwhile, progressives are pouring our fears and sorrows into ongoing protests against Trump’s presidency. Peaceful marches continued for a second, post-election weekend. Helping to fuel them now is horror over Trump’s hard-right choices for leadership roles in his administration.

Some of those appointments are so right-wing — even alt-right — that the editor of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer praised them in an online editorial. His truth-telling is frightening: “Honestly, I didn’t even expect this to all come together so beautifully. It’s like we’re going to get absolutely everything we wanted. Basically, we are looking at a Daily Stormer Dream Team in the Trump administration.”

As if that weren’t bad enough, no president has taken office with the baggage Trump carries, particularly his globe-sprawling, complex business affairs that on their face present endless conflicts of interest.

For instance, through his Byzantine partnerships and shell companies, the president-elect owes huge sums of money to the state-owned Bank of China and Russian investors close to Vladimir Putin, according to CBS and the LA Times respectively.

How does one begin to square that circle?

Add in the temperament of a 5-year-old boy and his record of maligning and lying and taking advantage, and our guess is that, by Inauguration Day, the sense of buyer’s remorse permeating the nation will be thicker than winter smog in Beijing (where the leaders understand climate change).

With doubts about his legitimacy, the ongoing protests, the rejoicing of the alt-right, and the ethical baggage of his businesses, the next few months could prove every bit as incendiary as the 2016 campaign.

Remember, Trump doesn’t like it when he doesn’t get his way.

Like the campaign, all of this will make for great television — as American democracy circles the drain.

Dem to challenge Canadian-born Ted Cruz’s presidential eligibility

After enduring years of Republicans questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s presidency, at least one Democrat says he’ll file suit against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s right to run for the nation’s highest office, if Cruz becomes the nominee.

Cruz, an ultra-conservative, religious right candidate, is rising in the polls. He’s now in a dead heat with Donald Trump among Iowa Republicans.

A number of Republicans, particularly those associated with the party’s tea party wing, have never accepted Obama’s status as a natural-born American. Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and an African father.

So-called “birthers,” including Trump, have created elaborate conspiracy theories claiming Obama was secretly born in Kenya. The birther movement contends Obama’s parents created counterfeit documents making it appear that he was born in Hawaii so that he could run for president when he grew up.

Many birthers believe the circumstances surrounding Obama’s birth were part of a scheme to plant him as a “Manchurian candidate” who would take his marching orders from the Muslim world.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. He held dual citizenship until 2014, when he renounced his Canadian citizenship.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never clarified whether someone with Cruz’s heritage meets presidential eligibility muster. But New Hampshire election officials rejected arguments that Cruz is unqualified to appear on the ballot there.

In an interview with Fox News radio’s Alan Colmes, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, said he plans to file suit against Cruz’s eligibility if he wins the GOP nomination. 

“He’s technically not even an American,” Grayson said.

Colmes, a liberal, didn’t disagree, suggesting it’s hypocritical of Republicans to have a problem with Obama’s birth certificate while Cruz was “literally born in another country.”

Under Title 8 rules, if a person is born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its territories to parents that include an alien and a U.S. citizen, that person is eligible for the presidency — but only if the natural-born parent was “physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of 14.”

Because the law is vague, Congress passed a resolution in 2008 stating that John McCain, who was born in Panama to a military family on assignment there, was a natural born citizen eligible to run for president.

Tea party favorite Ted Cruz to renounce Canadian citizenship

Tea party favorite Ted Cruz, frequently mentioned as a 2016 Republican candidate for president, is saying he will renounce his Canadian citizenship.

Cruz, a first-term U.S. senator from Texas, has released his birth certificate showing he was born in Canada. He provided a copy of the certificate first to The Dallas Morning News and then to The Associated Press.

His status is an issue, because only “natural born” U.S. citizens can be elected to the presidency.

Cruz, according to The AP, has long maintained he is a U.S. citizen at birth because his mother is American. Late on Aug. 19, the senator said he might hold dual citizenship but, if so, he would renounce his Canadian citizenship.

Right-wing Watch, a watchdog group founded by left-leaning People for the American Way, says Cruz’ status presents a conundrum for conspiracy-minded birthers who for years have questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility because they claim – without evidence – that the president was born abroad to an American mother and that he’s orchestrated a massive cover-up.

The Congressional Research Service has said that someone in Cruz’s situation is “most likely” eligible to serve in the White House, according to The Washington Post.

The Post also noted that foreign-born U.S. citizens have run for the presidency – including George Romney and John McCain – but they didn’t win the election and thus the courts have not decided the question of “natural born.”

Tommy Thompson’s son: Send Obama back to Kenya

Campaigning for his father yesterday, Jason Thompson, the son of former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, was videotaped at a Republican event saying that voters have an opportunity to send President Barack Obama back to Kenya.

“We have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago – or Kenya,” Jason Thompson, told listeners during a Kenosha County Republican Party event. Listeners broke into laughter and one woman added, “We are taking donations for that Kenya trip.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brad Courtney also spoke at the event, which was videotaped by a Democratic Party operative.

The campaign of Tammy Baldwin, Thompson’s Democratic opponent who maintains a slight lead in the polls, declined to comment on the statement. Jason Thompson’s joke reflected the long-discredited conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Africa  – the so-called “birther” controversy that has haunted his presidency.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday, Tommy Thompson accused Baldwin of being “anti-Jewish.” Challenged by reporters, he changed his accusation to “anti-Israel.” Baldwin’s maternal grandfather was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia.

In 2007, Thompson displayed his own attitude toward Jews while addressing a conference of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism during his short-lived presidential run. He complimented his Jewish audience on their success at pursuing wealth, noting that earning money was “part of the Jewish tradition.”

Told that he’d just insulted his audience, the gaffe-prone Thompson tried to apologize in a way that only made the situation worse.

“What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion,” Thompson explained.  “You’ve been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that.”

Cher blasts Donald Trump as Obama releases birth certificate

Cher has joined the growing chorus of celebrities denouncing Donald Trump for his insinuations that President Obama was born outside the United States.

“Pls retweet! Donald Trump (mr. chapter11) is Only a Mean Spirited BAD ACTOR who couldn’t find his ass with both hands & a map!” the diva tweeted on April 27.

In another tweet on the same day, Cher observed, “Donald Trump is Pompous Asshole! Saw him in Aspen with one Dcup chick after another Everyone up here thought he was a complete idiot.”

Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV star, has re-energized the so-called “birther” debate in an attempt to grab media attention as he explores a likely run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The president sought to put an end to the long-simmering debate by releasing copies of his original long-form birth certificate.

“We don’t have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama told reporters. “We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do.”

Trump took the White House response in stride, claiming credit for forcing the release of the birth certificate.

“Today I am very proud of myself because I have accomplished something that no one else has accomplished,” Trump said. “I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue.”

But Trump added that he wants to see and examine the birth certificate for himself.

In related news, Rosie O’Donnell announced April 27 that she would not live in a Trump property while staying in Chicago to tape her upcoming talk show for the OWN network.

O’Donnell had previously said on the “Howard Stern Show” that she would be staying in a Trump high-rise on the Chicago River, stirring criticism from LGBT activists. Trump opposes marriage equality.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation praised O’Donnell’s change of heart.

“Rosie O’Donnell has sent an important message to the majority of Americans – gay and straight – who don’t agree with Donald Trump’s statements against marriage equality for all loving and committed couples,” GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement. “Fair-minded people should think twice about supporting a businessman who courts our dollars but advocates denying gay and lesbian couples protections that all families need to take care of each other.”

O’Donnell and Trump have feuded publicly in the past.