An anti-climactic US presidency
Nothing alters the fact that as soon as votes have been counted, the Americans have spoken – catapulting to power – one Democrat Barack Obama as the 44th US president. And few more days before Obama should assume office come January 20, 2009, a looming question on whether or not he is a natural born citizen to be an eligible president is gathering adherents in the internet by every tick of the hour to the point it is seen to end in a constitutional crisis.
Barack Obama is a US senator alright but apparently the US constitution has not set the same requirement for the Office of the President. It sets the higher standard that the candidate should not only be a US citizen but a natural born citizen at that. Thus, if official documentary proof will show that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States, then the issue should first be resolved. No less than the Supreme Court should step into the scene and to lay final judgment on whether or not Obama should assume watch to the office 64 million Americans have placed him – the White House.
The US Supreme Court has been perceived to have taken varying attitudes to the lawsuits that have already been filed – refuses to take up the citizenship issue, declines to make an opinion on the question of eligibility, holds off decision to grant hearing, and so forth. However well the camp of Obama can hide the vault copy of Obama’s birth certificate from scrutiny, until shown, not few Americans will always press that Obama himself speaks the truth surrounding his citizenship and eligibility as stipulated in Section 1, Article 2 of the US Constitution (USC).
In all likelihood, it is going to be Catch 22 – case of damn if you do, damn if you don’t. If Obama admits to the fact that he is not a natural born citizen of America, then his political detractors can easily prepare the menu for his possible impeachment – if and when – he insists to take oath and assumes office. On the other hand, if Obama claims that he is a natural born citizen under specific provisions of the US Constitution other than Section 1, Article 2 of USC, then there may be special judicial course of action at the disposal of the newly elected president, just maybe. It is not far removed either, that the Supreme Court can assume a rather activist stance to ‘rationalize’ when it takes to the view of defending Obama from what maybe a judicially overstretched perspective.
The idea that confronts every average American is the simple requirement that the truth be revealed since the issue has been thrown in the intellectual landscape. And it does not have to be mired in the realm of pure legalese as when it must compel the Supreme Court to rule over the case. In the end, the internet that is largely responsible for making sure Obama wins in this presidential election might be the same vehicle that could in fact, unmake Obama. But this is full of implications in the higher scheme of things.
Not remotely, observers find it strange that America has voted for that one who would later on be proven to be one who is not eligible to become US president on account of his citizenship requirement. The new president of the strongest nation in the world that is America has been elected and yet will be ejected even before he assumes official watch. The strongest legal argument against those who press on the eligibility issue is yet to be discussed in any forum in the internet. Thus, until the issues are joined, the American people have no way of making their own judgment as to which theory to believe.
There ought to be two schools of thought on this controversy: one commits to the thesis that Obama is not a natural born citizen of America and the other embraces this prevailing claim’s antithesis – that Obama is a natural born citizen. There is the bar of public opinion if the Supreme Court is found to be slow in the action. A host of questions will remain unanswered until Obama confronts the lingering doubt in the minds of the American public that he is possibly not a natural born citizen of US and therefore should be held accountable for every patent violation of the Constitution.
Certainly, Obama cannot be a mere guest at the White House since he must be its lawful occupant in order to be able to exercise the powers of the President. The US Constitution cannot be set aside without a final answer to this citizenship question. Until addressed, the seeming controversy might divide a wedge among the American people in what would evolve as the new – Great Intellectual Divide. There might just be one more day left to save the pond where water lilies double in size each day choking other life forms underneath. US does not deserve to be in the kind of situation it is in at the moment. It bears watching how Obama can clear his way out of the noose. Perhaps, there shall not be any farther obstacle to the new president-elect to assume the vast reservoir of presidential powers since the presidency of America cannot operate in a vacuum.
PRIMER C. PAGUNURAN
UP Diliman, Quezon City Email: nielsky