Reported in the New Media Journal:
When Politics Damages the Constitution
Frank Salvato, Managing Editor
The issue of eligibility where the federal government’s Executive Branch is concerned is not one of politics; it is not, in any way, shape or form related to the so-called “birther” issue. The issue of presidential eligibility is one that addresses the protection of our citizenry’s fidelity to the United States Constitution. Yet many disingenuous political operatives – who put the well-being of their political parties or special interests above honesty and good government – and many pundits, editors and producers – unwittingly or otherwise – have seen clear to blur the lines between the “birther” issue and an honest movement to affect the closing of a loophole unforeseen by our Founders and Framers.
With the stunning news that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had vetoed legislation that would have required a candidate for the Executive Branch of the federal government to provide first-source prerequisite materials proving his or her satisfaction of Article II, Section 1, of the United States Constitution, one of the more promising doors to protecting unqualified candidates from accessing the federal ballot slammed shut.
In her letter to Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams, she wrote:
“I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions…I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their ‘early baptismal or circumcision certificates’ among other records to the Arizona Secretary of State. This is a bridge too far.”
FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren:
“…you know, bottom line is, is that I just have to call them as I see them. And it doesn’t help Arizona. This bill is a distraction, and we just simply need to get on with the state’s business.”
There are two fundamental and monumental flaws to Gov. Brewer’s rationale for making such a political decision where the well-being of the nation is concerned:
1) If, in fact, the legislation was to be a distraction, the “distraction” would have already taken place in the form of debate on the issue. The “distraction” – if you can call enacting legislation that would have simply asked candidates for the highest office in the land to prove their eligibility – had already passed. The noise surrounding her veto caused more of a distraction – and, incidentally, more animosity among the Republican base (allegedly Brewer’s base) – than if she would have simply signed the legislation into law.
2) The proposed law outlined a series of documents for certification as having been presented for satisfaction of USC Article II, Section 1 including either a long-form birth certificate or two or more other permitted documents, including an early baptismal certificate, circumcision certificate, hospital birth record, postpartum medical record signed by the person who delivered the child or an early census record. The Secretary of State would only be charged with certifying that the documents were real pursuant to criteria set forth by the issuing states. There is little if any discretion at all to float the charge of “gatekeeping.”
This continuing debate is simply incredulous. It is now a “distraction” to follow Constitutional requirements? We have become so thin-skinned and partisan that the mere question of proof of qualifications is an affront to person, race, heritage and party? I have been unemployed for over a year. Every time I apply for a job I am required to submit a resume and then undergo one or two extensive interviews. For one job I had I was required to send away for a certified copy my High School diploma earned 40 years before. Should I have taken umbrage because they didn’t just accept my word?
Yet this is not just a question of personal trust or respect, this is obedience to the law, adherence to founding principles which have ensured that we are the most peaceful, prosperous, generous and strong nation ever known to man. To risk damage to our nation in order to avoid hurting the delicate feelings of any person, group or political party, just isn’t worth it.
The stark question remains do we as a Nation operate according to the whims of people and political parties, fads and fantasies, idealistic agendas and apologetic policies or do we base our governance, policies and actions upon set written law?
Jan, I’ve stood with you in all the mighty battles you have fought over the past few months, but you are dead wrong on this one. I hope you realize your error or the legislature over-rides your veto, for the sake of the Union.