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Ted Cruz poses a dilemma for birthers: If they admit he's a natural-born citizen, they have to give up their precious Obama conspiracy—or possibly invent a new one
I think Eliana Johnson of National Review intended this as an effort to wash the conservative movement's hands of birthers by labeling them as bipartisan, but it actually does a pretty good job of exactly the opposite:
Birthers, it turns out, can be bipartisan. They have a new target — the rapidly rising GOP senator Ted Cruz.
Though he bears all the marks of a Texan — the swagger, the signature twang, and the ever-present cowboy boots — 42-year-old Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother and a Cuban father. By dint of his mother’s citizenship, Cruz was an American citizen at birth. Whether he meets the Constitution’s requirement that the president of the United States be a “natural-born citizen,” a term the Framers didn’t define and for which the nation’s courts have yet to offer an interpretation, has become the subject of considerable speculation.
Despite initially saying that Calgary Cruz's eligibility is an open question, Johnson eventually makes it clear that every serious legal scholar thinks this speculation is idiotic. The reason for that is simple: U.S. law clearly defines Cruz as a citizen from birth thanks to his mother's citizenship and there's no chance a court or any other branch of government would interpret this as anything other than Cruz being a natural-born citizen who is eligible for the presidency.
Nonetheless, as Johnson documents, there are plenty of people who don't realize this, including Ann Coulter and Carl Cameron—both of whom have said Cruz is ineligible—and Donald Trump, who hasn't made up his mind. (Coulter later corrected herself.) Moreover, many of the same anti-Obama birther conspiracy sites refuse to accept that Cruz is a natural-born citizen.
Notice that there aren't any progressive or Democratic birthers on Johnson's list. True, Cruz is a Republican and President Barack Obama is a Democrat, but this doesn't mean that birthers are bipartisan. What it means is that some birthers are trying to be consistent, because if birthers were to accept Cruz as a natural-born citizen, they'd also have to accept Obama as one, because they both had American-born mothers.
For a birther to simultaneously say that Cruz is eligible but that Obama is not, saying the president was born in Kenya wouldn't be enough. They'd also have to say his mother wasn't his mother. I'm sure there's some of them who go that far, but for most birthers, the real problem with acknowledging that Cruz is eligible is that they'd also have to acknowledge Obama is eligible.
My first choice would be for this whole birther thing to just go away. It's clear as day that Ted Cruz is constitutionally eligible to be president and birthers are insane to suggest otherwise. But I have to admit, if birthers end up taking down Cruz just because it's the only way they can hang onto their Obama conspiracy theory, it would be pretty damn hilarious. So until they get a grip on reality, I'm going to happily keep on calling him Calgary Cruz.