Media Obsessed With Birther Claims Against Harris, Forget Left’s Attacks on Cruz, McCain

August 15th, 2020 4:00 PM

It is always amazing to see just how virulent is the liberal media’s addiction to hypocrisy. 

This current obsession with race surfaced, but of course, with the selection of California Senator Kamala Harris to be Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate. As journalists were cheering the Democrat —  her mother is from India, her father from Jamaica —  a legal scholar raised the question of whether Harris was eligible under the Constitution as a “natural born citizen.” She was born in Oakland, California, which should resolve the question. 

This issue has been used against 1964 GOP nominee Senator Barry Goldwater. Why? Because Goldwater was born in Arizona - when it was a territory and not yet a state. In 1968 it was used against GOP Michigan Governor George Romney —  father of Mitt —  when he ran for the GOP nomination. Why?

Because Romney was the son of Mormon missionaries -who were living in Mexico when Romney was born. Then of course, there was Senator John McCain, said to be ineligible because he was born in Panama when his father was stationed there early in his military career in the US Navy.

Joy Behar declared herself a “Cruz birther.” In 2016, ABC had little outrage about the citizenship attacks on the conservative senator. The New York Times raised the birther issue against McCain. 

But all of this quite accurate history is ignored by the liberal media in their instant, not to mention reflexive, use of the race card. In the case of Kamala Harris, the legal arcana of whether a “natural born citizen” means someone must be born to parents who are already American citizens to run for president long pre-dates Harris’s arrival on the scene. 

Over at Mediaite was this story about the question being asked of President Trump at his press conference on Thursday. He had not heard of the issue and said he would look into it. The Mediaite reporter than says this: 

“Trump infamously pushed the racist Birther conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama for years before finally bowing to reality just two months before the 2016 election.”

The Washington Post dutifully went to the Biden campaign for comment, and happily ran this response from one Andrew Bates, a campaign spokesman. Trump, said Bates, “was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama.” 

There was even more to this Bates statement, as run here by the BBC. The President, said Bates, “has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency.”

The left wing Talking Points Memo instantly played the race card, headlining: "Trump Ignites Yet Another Racist Conspiracy Theory, Aimed This Time At Kamala Harris." 

The Chicago Tribune chimed in with this: He (Trump) was a high-profile force behind the so-called ‘birther movement’ — the lie that questioned whether President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, was eligible to serve.”

And on…and on this obsession with playing the race card went across the perpetually race-card playing media.

It should be unnecessary after all this time to point out the stunning duplicity if not sheer ignorance on display here. But since the media is determined to go down this road, let’s go to the facts. 

Birtherism was invented by a Democrat —  in 1880. Its target was a Republican —  and a white man. That would be then-Republican vice presidential candidate Chester A. Arthur. Arthur, recall, was elected vice president in that 1880 election on the GOP ticket headed by James A. Garfield. Alas, Garfield was shot in July in the Washington train station by a “disappointed office seeker”, lingering until September when he finally died. Which made Arthur president.

Here is the story, as outlined in this case by one Gordon Hylton, a Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law who had been  earlier been “a longtime member of the Marquette University Law School faculty.” Hylton posted his piece of history in October of 2009 on the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog - and it can certainly be found elsewhere as well. He says this:

“Questions of Arthur’s eligibility for the nation’s highest office surfaced during the 1880 campaign.  Arthur was the son of an Irishman who emigrated first to Canada and the then to the United States, and who finally became a naturalized United States citizen in 1843, fifteen years after his son Arthur’s birth in 1829.  Arthur’s mother was a United States citizen born in Vermont but whose family emigrated to Canada where she met and married her husband.  By the time of Arthur’s birth, his parents had moved back to Vermont.

The controversy over Arthur’s citizenship status centers around the place of Arthur’s actual birth.  By one account he was born in his family’s home in Franklin County, Vermont.  If this was true, then he was clearly a natural born citizen.  On the other hand, the competing account has it that he was born during his pregnant mother’s visit to her family’s home in Canada.

If the latter story is true, then Arthur was technically foreign-born, and in 1829, citizenship in such cases passed to the child only if the father was a United States citizen, and, of course, at this point Arthur’s father was still a citizen of the British Empire.

The principal advocate of the “born in Canada” theory was Arthur’s fellow New York lawyer Arthur P. Hinman who was hired in 1880 by the Democratic Party to investigate Arthur’s ancestry.  Hinman initially undermined his owned credibility by embracing an argument that Arthur was himself born in Ireland and didn’t come to the United States until he was fourteen years old.  That story was patently false and easily disproven.

However, Hinman later discovered acquaintances of the Arthur family in Canada who told him the story of Arthur’s accidental Canadian birth.  Convinced that he now had proof of Arthur’s foreign citizenship, he published his findings in 1884 in a short book entitled How a Subject of the British Empire Became President of the United States.  Hinman’s book appeared near the end of Arthur’s presidency, and no official action was ever taken on the basic of his alleged evidence.”

Thus, the birth of “birtherism.” A Democratic invention, targeting a white Republican president.