January 15, 2007

Sadly, the California congressional delegation seems to contain a fair share of xenophobes, particularly among the Democratic contingent. According to the LA Times, at least seven California Democrats on the Hill would oppose any move to amend the Constitution to remove the ancient anachronism barring naturalized citizens from running for the Presidency. More telling, a number of supporters say that such a change would be a "low priority," adopting the language many civil rights "supporters" used in the '40's and '50's to justify their inaction in combating Jim Crow. Speaker Pelosi also qualifies her support, demanding that any such amendment have a ludicrously long residency period of thirty-five years.

There are a thousand good reasons why Ahnold should not be elected President, but the fact that he was born in Austria almost sixty years ago isn't one of them, and efforts to point to immigrants having divided loyalties and/or dual citizenship, or references to his piggish behavior on movie sets, are irrelevant to this topic. The real issue is that the governors of Michigan and California, as well as millions of other loyal Americans, are barred from running for President, and it is no different than a Constitutional provision limiting the office to Christians, or to men. Kudos to Henry Waxman, who averred "I favor a constitutional amendment to allow naturalized citizens to run for president, even those I may not support myself."

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