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February 28, 2008
New York Times Still Trying to Bring Down McCain
It's very obvious that the New York Times "Plan A" for destroying the candidacy of John McCain didn't work out too well. Rasmussen reports that an astonishing 66% of people following the McCain story believe it was a smear job. Just 24% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the "newspaper of record."
Not content in digging a whole so deep that all of Pinch's millions will not be able to get them out of, the Times tries "Plan B" in their Get McCain Campaign: an attempt to start a controversey about McCain's birth in the Panama Canal Zone and how that might disqualify him from being president:
Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office. In other words, despite expert opinion that this is a non issue, by God we're going to make it one anyway, says the Times. This is truly desperation on their part. The intent of the Founders was to keep recently arrived immigrants - and in 1787 this was a problem - from winning the presidency. There were no requirements for citizenship except that you reside in the United States. The Founders wanted to make sure that someone who had only been in the country a few years and may have had emotional and even financial ties to the old country be prevented from becoming president and Commander in Chief.
Almost since those words were written in 1787 with scant explanation, their precise meaning has been the stuff of confusion, law school review articles, whisper campaigns and civics class debates over whether only those delivered on American soil can be truly natural born.
To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.
“There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,” said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. “It is not a slam-dunk situation.” Mr. McCain was born on a military installation in the Canal Zone, where his mother and father, a Navy officer, were stationed. His campaign advisers say they are comfortable that Mr. McCain meets the requirement and note that the question was researched for his first presidential bid in 1999 and reviewed again this time around.
Despite expert opinion (not to mention the argument that if McCain is denied the chance to run that every serving American serviceman overseas will be told not to have a child born out of the US because the kid can never become president) the Times tries to be helpful and get the "Let's throw McCain off the ballot" ball rolling:
Ms. Duggin and others who have explored the arcane subject in depth say legal argument and basic fairness may indeed be on the side of Mr. McCain, a longtime member of Congress from Arizona. But multiple experts and scholarly reviews say the issue has never been definitively resolved by either Congress or the Supreme Court.I would say to the TImes, give it up guys. This dog ain't hunting any more than vicious smear tactics will.