Birtherism reborn?

For some time now I have wondered why the “birthers” of recent years — those who questioned Barack Obama’s birth in the United States and hence his eligibility for the presidency — did not apply the same criterion to Ted Cruz, about whose birth in Canada there is no doubt. Cruz’s status as a “natural-born citizen of the United States” is based on the American citizenship of his mother. But then, to my knowledge, no one ever questioned the citizenship of Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, so that, by the standard applied to Cruz, Obama’s hypothetical birth in Kenya should be irrelevant.

Well, leave it to Donald Trump. According to a headline in the Washington Post, “Trump says Cruz’s Canadian birth could be ‘very precarious’ for GOP.” In his usual weaselly way, “Trump said he was providing a candid assessment of his leading opponent rather than initiating a personal attack and reviving the ‘birther’ debate that he once led against President Obama. He repeatedly said he is hearing chatter on the topic among voices on the right. ‘People are bringing it up,’ he said.”

We’ll see where this goes.


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