America cannot be saved on a technicality, by birthers or otherwise

 Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 96.7 FM. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

OPINION –Opponents of Barack Obama have long questioned the legitimacy of his citizenship. They claim that Obama’s birth may have taken place outside of the United States. If Obama were born in Kenya, as some claim, he would be in violation of the Constitution’s requirement in Article 2 Section I that a candidate for president must be “natural born citizen” of the U.S.

To this end, the so-called “birther” movement has spent much of the last four years demanding that Obama provide his original birth certificate as definitive proof that he was actually born in the U.S. After inexcusable foot-dragging, the Obama administration last April released a copy of the president’s certificate of live birth from the state of Hawaii.

Not surprisingly, birthers are dismissing the Hawaiian birth certificate as a fraud and have redoubled their demands for clear proof of the president’s eligibility to hold office.

Now a judge in the state of Georgia has given the controversy a new twist by agreeing to hear a case challenging Obama’s ability to appear on the ballot in several states unless he proves his eligibility. Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski, had earlier labeled the hearing as “baseless, costly and unproductive.” During the packed hearing in a Georgia courtroom on Jan. 27, 2012, the defense table was conspicuously empty as neither the president nor his attorneys were present.

The case is noteworthy for a couple of reasons:

First, the birth citizenship question is not as remarkable as the allegation that the president initially exerted considerable pressure on the Georgia Secretary of State to drop the matter, then openly ignored the subpoena summoning him or his legal counsel to the Georgia courtroom. The question this raises is whether the president is still subject to the laws of the land or whether he can simply ignore the legal process at his whim.

Secondly, the mass media has shown a clear reluctance to lend any degree of legitimacy to the issue, by refusing to cover it at all. This may be one of the strongest indicators yet of how the press increasingly exists to sell the agenda of the political class rather than informing the public. The questions around Obama’s birth citizenship could be examined thoroughly and objectively without creating a bully pulpit for the president’s detractors. But the silent treatment on the part of the press serves to raise more questions than it puts to rest.

There is far more important question that deserves serious consideration; what if both the president and the birthers are wrong?

From the standpoint of proper government, the president should be subject to the very same laws and legal protections as any American citizen. He is not a unitary executive who is permitted to act above or outside the law when he pleases. If a president’s policies include engaging in unjust wars, torturing or killing without due process or infringing upon liberty, those policies don’t become more or less legitimate based upon where he was born.

The birther movement appears to be straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. The president’s birth citizenship issue is a classic example of technicalitarian thinking. This is the belief that the problem with government is that someone in a high position isn’t following a technicality of the written law. Where are the concerns about the real abuses of executive power listed above? These are actual policies and powers being claimed by the current administration, not just some magic loophole by which Obama got elected.

Suppose that the birthers were proven correct. Barack Obama was removed from the presidency. How would our national situation have changed? We’d still be a nation mired in debt and war. Government would still refuse to recognize constitutional limits on its powers. Our popular culture would remain a moral cesspool. Not one of these problems had their genesis in Obama. Not one of them would go away if he were removed from office on a technicality.

The bitter truth is that Barack Obama’s presidency is a result of, not the cause of, our societal decay. Those who are serious about correcting America’s problems would be best served to begin by fixing the person we see in the mirror.


email: [email protected]

twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright 2012 St. George News. 


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  • Chilidog February 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Bryan, There are several inaccuracies in your editorial. Firstly, however, you are right, about birthers not being satisfied with the the documentation from Hawaii on the President’s birth. Birthers have moved the goalposts so much in this regard over the past 3 years that they could keep a full time roadie crew employed. But on to the innacuracies. The recent administrative law case in Georgia, only applied to the presidential preference primary in Georgia, not to “several states” as you state.
    Secondly, this was not a trail (sic) court, it was an administrative law hearing. Administrative law hearings are not even part of the justice department, but are chartered under the executive department. There are completely different set of rules for these types of hearings. Mr. Jablonski did not “exerted considerable pressure on the Georgia Secretary of State to drop the matter.” Rather he simply pointed out that there was no legal basis for the hearing in the first place and that the judge in the case had allowed the proceedings to denigrate into a political circus. (a point that was not only justified, but completely borne out by the absurd performance by the plaintiffs lawyer, Orly Taitz who jumped into the witness stand to act as her own witness).
    Secondly, contrary to what has been claimed by the birthers and other misinformed persons, the judge did NOT order the president to appear in his court room. Yes, it is true that the Judge denied the motion to quash, but that is not the same thing as issuing a motion to compel. (If the judge wanted to order the President to appear, he would have issued a motion to compel). The judge’s denial of the motion to quash seemed based more on a personal animus between the judge and the defense lawyer. In any case, it was a moot issue because as per Clinton v. Jones, a motion to compel would have never survived a challenge in a Superior court. In other words, the administrative law judge was playing silly games to make himself look better. Unfortunately, it backfired on him when due to the total baseless nature of the plaintiff’s claims.

  • Chilidog February 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Byan, another point, The news media covered Donald Trump’s embarrassing foray into birtheism (sic) quite well thank you. The news media is a lot smarter than most people give them credit for, they know when a story is dead. Birtherism is dead. The president has released his birth certificate, once in 2008 and again in 2011. The only reason a media outlet would give the birthers any play these days would be for comic relief. Orly Taitz DID look like a clown trying to argue her case by jumping into the witness stand herself.

    But, as the Judge observed, the evidence and testimony she presented had “little, if any probative value.” In other words, it was garbage.

  • Chilidog February 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Bryan, the real question is why did you bother to write about the Georgia case and completely ignore the most important issue: The judge ruled for the empty chair! The judge looked at the arguments and “evidence” presented by the birther plaintiffs and found them to be completely without merit. The Georgia Secretary of State, backed down from his “at your peril” stance. You are right, the birther movement is indicative of the sory state of politics today, like the 911 truthers of Bush’s day, or those that insist that the moon landings were faked, they are symptomatic of a stain of ignorance and credulity that permeates the political discourse. There is no cure for this mindset, all you can do is pat the birthers on the head and say as they do in Georgia: “why bless your little hearts.”

  • WetterWashington February 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I agree it would have been better to have just skipped the Georgia hearing, which turned out to be much ado about nothing.
    But Bryan point about the Imperial President is still valid, this has been a growing issue for many administrations (both GOP and Demo). Carter was probably the last Citizen President, and Truman before him. You have to roll back into the 20’s for the next one before that.
    After the Nixon affair Congress really worked to trim back the powers of the President, but every President since Carter has worked to broaden the powers once more.

  • IJustWantTruth February 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Bryan, a number of recent cases including some of the complaints in the Georgia case you cited do not depend upon the birth certificate conspiracy for rationale of whether or not President Obama is a natural born citizen.

    In my opinion, the media has packaged the birth certificate conspiracy with the genuine constitutional question as to whether or not Obama is a natural born citizen. His father was an alien who never naturalized or indicated a desire to naturalize. Documents obtained by the Boston Globe awhile back show President OBama’s father may have intended to put him up for adoption.

    In any case, because one of his parents was a foreign national, President Obama is ineligible to be President. Congress knew that this eligibility rule was ambiguous and subject to controversy. Here is more information on that:

    The bottom line is Congress knew about this problem. They knew what the remedy would be. They knew there were risks to not fixing it. But they didn’t get the job done.

    In the meantime, due to the packaging of the birth certificate controversy with the NBC issue, the mainstream media can have an excuse not to cover it. But they have damaged our democracy by failure to separate the two issues and allow the genuine constitutional issue be heard on it’s merits.

    Deceptive bloggers have filled in the vacuum left by the media via a disinformation campaign that essentially tries to declare people who bring complaints based on NBC as crazy. Well, anyone who has questions about the NBC issue is not crazy. Congress wasn’t crazy when they tried 24 times to change the law.

    What we have here is willful ignoring of a genuine issue. The courts so far appear to be playing along. But all it takes is one court to turn this into an enormous issue for our whole country.

    I predict a case will be heard by the Supreme Court and that the outcome will invariably produce disappointment and joy. For my part, I will be happy simply in that the Rule of Law was followed to it’s proper conclusion.

  • John Woodman February 14, 2012 at 10:42 am


    The birther movement has two branches. The first claims that Mr. Obama has a forged birth certificate because he was born somewhere other than Hawaii. The second claims that two citizen parents PLUS birth on US soil are required to make a natural born citizen; therefore Mr. Obama is not eligible.

    Both claims are without merit. I personally conducted a thorough investigation of all of the claims of evidence for forgery and was unable to find a single claim, computer-related or not, that would stand up to a real examination.

    As a result, I wrote an entire book detailing the results of the investigation. Except for a single debate in which I was simply ridiculed and shouted down by the “birther experts,” the birthers have ignored the book completely. The title of the book is, “Is Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate a Fraud? A Computer Guy Examines the Evidence for Forgery.” Anyone is welcome to examine the evidence for themselves. In spite of the fact that I’ve been ridiculed by birther “experts” Jerome Corsi, Mara Zebest and Karl Denninger and told that there is supposedly “nothing” in my book that is of any merit, none of them has ever successfully refuted a single substantive point — and I made a great many.

    The other claim — that birth on US soil PLUS two citizen parents is required to make a natural born citizen — is equally without merit. I won’t go into detail here, but I have already done so to a good degree at my blog. The only likely effect of promoting this bit of birther propaganda is that they may convince enough conservatives of their position to wrongly ruin the Presidential or Vice Presidential chances of some of the best potential candidates that conservatives have — like Senator Marco Rubio — who, despite the birther propaganda, is in fact entirely Constitutionally eligible to serve as President or Vice-President.

    You are quite correct when you state that the birther movement strains at gnats and swallows camels.

  • Linda February 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    The more important question that the writer should have asked is “If the person who has sworn an oath to uphold & enforce the Constitution knowingly does so outside the requirements of the law for attaining to that position of said oath, then what binds the unlawful person to even uphold the law”.

    The main responsibility of the Executive Branch is to uphold and enforce the law. How many laws has Obama broken lately? How many times has he ignored the law and bypassed Congress to rule by fiat thereby litterly giving the “finger” to the country. By allowing an unqualified person into the position of “sheriff” of the country irrespective of the law, then what follows is lawlessness. Haven’t we had enough of that with “lawful” presidents without allowing a lawlessone who has no regard to the law to attain to it? Has our national & economic security become so passe’ that the rule of law no longer matters, especially for the one that is supposed to enfore law?

    ALL dictators/tyrants, current and passed have attained that position by entering into their positions unlawfully, that is outside the bounds of their constitutions. I guess the writer cares not about the rule of law. Natural born citizen is not a technicality, it is a safety measure put in place to thwart off illegitimate tyrants.

  • Amused February 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm


    I get it, President Obama won the election and has a good chance at winning re-election and you don’t like it. Face facts, the vast majority of Americans voted for President Obama and you want to nullify the election by claiming some sort of imaginary crimes. If President Obama has broken any laws then the only way to remove him from office is for Congress to impeach him and the Senate to convict him, so far the Republican run Congress hasn’t chosen to do so. As for this “birther” silliness, I find it amusing how a few dead enders can so thoroughly convince themselves of this delusion that no amount of evidence to the actual truth will convince them otherwise. President Obama won, you lost. Get over it.

  • Fred February 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Dear Bloggers,

    Consider the following:


    Eric Holder (racist) who refused to prosecute the Black Panthers voter intimidation case

    Fast and Furious. Why is Holder not in prison already? A Federal Officer Brian Terry was killed
    due to ATF and DOJ actions. Am I correct? Holder lied and people died! No one was killed by Watergate!

    Barry does not like Jewish People and Israel (Reverend Wright taught him well).
    Maybe he will pick Mel Gibson as his Vice President if he gets in again.

    He gave 900 million to Hamas! Why would he do that? Unless…………..?

    He produced a phony Birth Certificate which has been proven to be a fraud. Isn’t this a felony?

    Suspicious SSA #. Is he using another persons number? Selective Service Number?
    Investigators have said he has 39 different SSA #’s. FRAUD?


    Why did Barry and his wife had to surrender their law licenses in Illinois?

    His open support for Muslims and the Muslim Brotherhood

    His idol Frank Marshall Davis. His friends Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dorn.
    His friends Van Jones and Color of Change, ACORN. Louis Farrakhan.

    What is his real name: Obama, Barry Soretoro, Bari Shabazz or what?

    Now he signed the illegal NDAA. What’s next?

    ObamaCare is illegal and unconstitutional.

    He will not seal the borders or protect America. Didn’t he swear an oath to do this?

    He and Soros owns the media and they is why they protect him every chance they get.

    The courts have been compromised and every challenge to Barry has been thrown out
    or dismissed due to “no standing”. What is this all about.

    He has been stepping all over the Constitution. He makes Watergate seem like nothing.

    He recently appointed a member of La Raza to his administration.

    He raised 350 Million to run for President. Arab money???

    It is very apparent the radical left have taken over the media, education, and the courts. It took them
    many years to put their people in place but they have been successful. Look at MSNBC which is the propaganda part of the White House and even has Al Sharpton on . Unbelievable how low they are to have this racist on.

    Nothing happens by accident. This has been well planned. Senator McCarthy was so correct.

    • Amused February 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Wow Fred, that was pretty funny. You rock.

  • Firefly February 15, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Amused, you may find it funny….but most of it is true. It is fairly easy to factcheck those statements. And all you can say is “that was pretty funny, you rock”?? Really?? How would you defend those people Fred names in his comment? Holder, Davis, Ayers and Dorhn, Jones and Farrakhan. What can you say about those people that would be positive? And these are the people Obama listens to and values their opinion. What say you?

  • Amused February 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I was hoping Fred was being satirical, satire is better than mental illness. Speaking of mental illness, fact checking is more than parroting birther blogs and YouTube drivel that you agree with.

    What say I? Stop listening to fat drug addicts spewing filth from AM radio and turn off Fox “News”, join reality for a change. I gotta admit though, you guys are pretty funny 🙂

  • Dr. Conspiracy February 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    At my age (61) I have seen more than a few Presidents come and go and I have seen scandals and abuses a-plenty. What I have learned is that few can resist expediency in such a powerful position as the Presidency, and that most folks are OK with these abuses so long as they feel safer.

    I think it was Jimmy Carter that said that America deserves a President as good as its people. I think it’s almost axiomatic that they get exactly that.

  • Jack Quinn March 2, 2012 at 7:32 am

    If Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, that would not automatically make him ineligible to be president. If his mother is a US citizen, then he is a “natural born US citizen,” no matter where he was born. George Romney was born in Mexico and John McCain was born in Panama. No one questioned their right to run for president, and rightly so, because these two foreign-born men are both “natural born citizens” of the US,

    George Romney had dual citizenship, both Mexican and US. Mitt Romney, should he care to acknowledge it, would also have Mexican as well as US citizenship.

    I wish bloggers would get their facts straight.

    Jack Quinn

  • Jack Quinn March 2, 2012 at 7:34 am

    PS/ If Mitt Romney gets elected president, as the son of a Mexican citizen, he will technically be our first Latino president.

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