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Now I'm starting to get scared...
February 22, 2004 4:30 PM   Subscribe

CNN In Feb. 8, 2002 I posted a link hoping Arnie's movie career would keep him too busy to become governor. Twenty-one months later he took office, (obviously I was being tongue-in-cheek, I had no idea it would actually happen). It seems he has his sights set pretty high.
posted by tetsuo (53 comments total)

 
Let foreign born seek the White House

I hate to be paranoid, but the answer to this has to be no if you believe even a quarter of what happens in a Robert Ludlum novel is possible in the real world.
posted by namespan at 4:44 PM on February 22, 2004


"Look at the kind of contribution that people like Henry Kissinger have made"
posted by homunculus at 4:56 PM on February 22, 2004


Is Austria 'old' or 'new' Europe? I don't think anyone from old Europe should be allowed to be President.

Then again, Nicole Kidman for president! Meow. Yes, she's from Australia, I know. Then I could finally get turned on by politics.
posted by graventy at 4:57 PM on February 22, 2004


"The governor can direct the Highway Patrol. He can direct the next 'Terminator 4' movie if he chooses. But he can't direct the attorney general in the way he's attempted to do"
posted by homunculus at 5:01 PM on February 22, 2004


So what are we talking about here?
posted by Witty at 5:16 PM on February 22, 2004


Nicole Kidman was born in Hawai'i. Viva el presidente!
posted by John Shaft at 5:36 PM on February 22, 2004


Mel Gibson was born in New York, let's run him and Nicole against Arnie. (And yet -- hoo boy, do we ever get the government we deserve.)
posted by Zonker at 5:38 PM on February 22, 2004


Henry Kissinger and Arnie are examples of bad foreign-born politicians. But there are/have been equally bad U.S.-born politicians, so Arnie and Kissinger are poor reasons against a constitutional amendment.

Arnie's opportunism aside, the interesting question here is whether an amendment might be in order.

And spellcheck suggests "carnie" in place of arnie. Heh.
posted by orange swan at 5:39 PM on February 22, 2004


If you had bothered to actually watch the interview, you would know that the Governor pretty much blew the question off -- it's not as if he was ranting & raving about pushing the amendment through with the sole purpose being to become the President. He answered it, and then moved on. No biggie. And FWIW, he would probably do a very credible job as such in the event that he did become President.

Oh, and BTW: NewsFilter. And just barely, at that.
posted by davidmsc at 5:49 PM on February 22, 2004


So what are we talking about here?

If Jorge Mas Canosa was still alive I think we'd be talking about who his VP choice would be on the 2008 GOP ticket.

I think the first non-US born president would be from somewhere a little warmer than Austria given the cultural makeup of the US.

As it is we're talking about a mediocre Simpsons episode come horribly to life.
posted by m@ at 5:51 PM on February 22, 2004


I dislike Arnie--to much to the right of center for me, but he does have a point: why restrict foreign born? Because back then, the foreign born were from places we wanted to stay away from and that is why we began a new country and new democracy...but that rule is like the electoral college: out of date and useless today...but changing the constituion not all that easy. The nice thing? Arnie sounds to heavy in his accent to get a popular vote, his state getting deeper and deeper in trouble so he will not be able to claim a great record as go.--but there is always the Supreme Court to puthim in place if Rove wants it.
posted by Postroad at 5:53 PM on February 22, 2004


Here in the UK, Demolition Man was on tv this evening. Another case of life imitating, er, art?
posted by dmt at 6:01 PM on February 22, 2004


The most significant thing in this article is the last four paragraphs.
"If the federal government does great things for California this year I think there's no two ways about it, that President Bush can have California, he can be elected, I'm absolutely convinced of that."
Broken English aside, that's a smooth move. Will Bush rise to the bait? If so, can he avoid charges of favoritism? Would Californians really reward him in the polls if he did? Will Bush resent this kind of treatment (there's a word for this isn't there)? Can the Democrats get a wedge in there? Will other states try this kind of panhandling? Can the Republicans close the ranks if things start breaking up? Somehow, I don't think Arnold is going to get what he wants out of this. The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
posted by wobh at 6:13 PM on February 22, 2004


Nicole Kidman once played a character based on Jessica Stern, so she has as much national security experience as Schwarzenegger does.
posted by homunculus at 6:20 PM on February 22, 2004


A foreign-born person becoming President? Next thing you know they'll outsource the cabinet appointments and move the capital to Bermuda.

Also, doesn't this sound strangely similar to the Manchurian Candidate?

Orrin Hatch, why don't you pass the time with a game of solitaire?
posted by crazy finger at 6:40 PM on February 22, 2004


I'm a first generation American, so I'm the last person to be against people from other countries coming here to make a living - but there's no way someone not born in America should be allowed to become president.
posted by owillis at 6:53 PM on February 22, 2004


You know, if an immigrant-president amendment distracts Congress from passing an anti-gay-marriage amendment, then I'm all for it.
posted by Tin Man at 6:54 PM on February 22, 2004


Well, there you go, it's all a gay immigrant conspiracy. And you know how those bastards breed.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on February 22, 2004


but there's no way someone not born in America should be allowed to become president.


I have no interest in becoming President, and no chance of ever being elected, but is there one good reason why a foreign-born citizen should not be allowed to become President?
posted by gyc at 7:00 PM on February 22, 2004


is there one good reason why a foreign-born citizen should not be allowed to become President?

President Schwarzenegger. :-)
posted by jpoulos at 7:11 PM on February 22, 2004


... is there one good reason why a foreign-born citizen should not be allowed to become President?
... and how do you reconcile that with a country hell-bent on forcing everyone to be considered equal? Is a citizen not a citizen? Not being familiar with the US Constitution, perhaps I have got the wrong impression but surely, once you are a citizen, you have all the rights of citizenship? If I was born in the US, but lived all my life elsewhere, I could be president, but not if I was born elsewhere but lived all my life in the US? Strange.
posted by dg at 7:13 PM on February 22, 2004


It'd be nice to go back to knowing someone's getting plo chops in the Oval Office.
posted by trondant at 7:16 PM on February 22, 2004


There is already a documentary about the future of the nation after Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected president.. it's called Demolition Man.
posted by jozxyqk at 7:23 PM on February 22, 2004


And FWIW, he would probably do a very credible job as such in the event that he did become President.

Which proves how deep in the shit you folks really are, when your expectation have sunk so pathetically low.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:31 PM on February 22, 2004


+s
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:32 PM on February 22, 2004


this thread rox
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:32 PM on February 22, 2004


Because I have no other place to put this: here.
posted by wobh at 7:35 PM on February 22, 2004


I think what the Founding Fathers were worried about is somebody becoming president who had any kind of allegience to another country. Say, for example, we were on the brink of war with Austria. Would President Arnold really be willing to bomb his home country? Maybe, maybe not. But the idea is to avoid the problem altogether.

On the one hand, there are plenty of foreign-born citizens that have no loyalty at all to their country of birth. By the same token I'm sure there are plenty of US-born citizens that have loyalties to countries other than the US. On the other hand, it's hard to see running for president as a fundamental human right, particularly when all other political offices are open to foreign born citizens.

If I were writing the Constitution from scratch, I'd probably leave it out. But why bother passing an amendment getting rid of it? It's rational, if overbroad, and it only affects a tiny minority of people.
posted by boltman at 7:40 PM on February 22, 2004


There is a good reason why foreign born people shouldn't be President, it's called al Qaeda.
posted by crazy finger at 7:43 PM on February 22, 2004


It'd be nice to go back to knowing someone's getting plo chops in the Oval Office.

Yeah, the current occupant seems to prefer sodomizing his constituents.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 PM on February 22, 2004


Actually, Governor Schwarzenegger can become President - if he's thirty-five years old, has been a resident for at least fourteen years, and was born some time in the 1700s and became a citizen of the United States before the ratification of the Constitution. (Article II, Section 1) However, I am given to understand that the Governor became a citizen some time during the twentieth century, so even if he's freakishly old he's ineligible.
posted by jkilg at 7:47 PM on February 22, 2004


To elaborate on my point, and to explain that I'm not a troll, I'm a first generation American (if that means I was born here). My folks are immigrants, they moved to this country to get better jobs, they left a communist state behind, but they also left behind a huge circle of family and friends, people, places, and memories. My parents wouldn't be able to bomb their parents' homes.

I was born in the United States. I grew up among Americans, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance, most of my memories are of the USA. My home and my town is a place that is close and connected- it is a place of love, peace, community, neighbors and friends working together for a better world for everybody; and I'd push the red button a million times to protect that.
posted by crazy finger at 7:53 PM on February 22, 2004


I agree with boltman. I seem to remember that the original reason was that the found fathers were afraid of some English Duke or high society person coming over to America and taking things over. Ruling by proxy. It made sense.

I hope we're not so low on good presidential hopefuls that we have to resort to outsourcing...
posted by geoff. at 7:55 PM on February 22, 2004


"If you had bothered to actually watch the interview, you would know that the Governor pretty much blew the question off -- it's not as if he was ranting & raving about pushing the amendment through with the sole purpose being to become the President. He answered it, and then moved on. No biggie. And FWIW, he would probably do a very credible job as such in the event that he did become President.

Oh, and BTW: NewsFilter. And just barely, at that."


Rant:
It just wouldn't be metafilter without someone saying "you aren't reading this the right way", and then telling you your post doesn't belong here. I love MeFi, but this phenomenon never ceases to amaze me. Can't we just comment on the subject or pass it by rather than becoming a bunch of backseat editors?
End Rant.

Ok, now you can all tell me how this rant should actually be on Metatalk or something.
posted by tetsuo at 8:41 PM on February 22, 2004


the stifling heat of September
Somehow
it seems to destroy us

posted by clavdivs at 8:44 PM on February 22, 2004


geoff. - that's hilarious! Best comment tonight in a very interesting thread. [This is good!]
posted by Lynsey at 8:51 PM on February 22, 2004


My suspicion is that, at least from Orrin Hatch's end, this is a ploy to draw immigrants to the Republicans. I wouldn't be surprised if come late November, no one but Schwarzenegger is talking about it anymore. I'd love it if the Democrats picked this up and went more aggressive with it--the native-born stipulation has been one of my least favorite Constitutional clauses for a long time (that and the whole 3/5-of-a-person thing).

Can't say I'm worried about a foreign-born president being reluctant to attack his country of origin. For one thing, a candidate from a country with which we're not reasonably friendly simply won't get elected. Secondly, I quite like the idea of having a president who realizes that people and places destroyed by bombs are valuable even if they're not American people and places. If there is no alternative to a war on the nation in question, I hope the president would have the integrity to go through with it, but it would be a comfort to know that he truly didn't want to.
posted by hippugeek at 9:00 PM on February 22, 2004


crazy finger is right on
posted by bshort at 9:16 PM on February 22, 2004


Agreed, I don't think I want a crazy finger anywhere near the red button either! I watched the interview (funnily enough, it was on after I'd just finished watching Terminator 3) and Arnie did blow off the question really.
posted by Onanist at 11:05 PM on February 22, 2004


Henry Kissinger and Arnie are examples of bad foreign-born politicians.

Don't underestimate Arnold's political skills. I watched him on Meet the Press Sunday, and I was impressed with his plain-spokenness, his willingness to admit error, and his ability to take all of Russert's questions in stride. And I'm a liberal Democrat who would walk off a pier before ever voting for the guy.

My sister-in-law lives in California and was outraged by his long mistreatment of women on the set of his films, and she has to stop herself from liking the guy.

Arnold even manages to buff up the image of Pete Wilson, one of the most hated politicians in California history. When you compare his performance to President Bush on the same program, liberal Democrats should be glad it would be incredibly difficult to amend the Constitution so he could run for president.
posted by rcade at 6:34 AM on February 23, 2004


there's no way someone not born in America should be allowed to become president.

They already can, IIRC. The Constitution requires only that they be a natural-born citizen. I believe that means they could be born outside America, as long as one of their parents is an American.
posted by kindall at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2004


I hope we're not so low on good presidential hopefuls that we have to resort to outsourcing...

Well, this administration has come out and said that outsourcing is good for America...so, I'm all for outsourcing the government, and most jobs above director...ship all those bastards off to sea. We'd all be better off.
posted by dejah420 at 7:41 AM on February 23, 2004


The Constitution requires only that they be a natural-born citizen. I believe that means they could be born outside America, as long as one of their parents is an American.

Sorry, meant to include this is post above...but I'm an idiot before my giant caffeine infusion...anyway, yes...more or less, you are correct. An american who was born outside of the country to American citizens, is an automatic American...assuming the parents aren't expatriates.

For example, my husband was born on a U.S. military base in Germany...and there was never any question about him being German.

But, if for example, Citizen A leaves the country and moves to say England, marries an English citizen and they have a baby in London...that baby is not accorded automatic American citizenship.
posted by dejah420 at 7:46 AM on February 23, 2004


But, if for example, Citizen A leaves the country and moves to say England, marries an English citizen and they have a baby in London...that baby is not accorded automatic American citizenship.

Might or might not be. The relevant factor there is the length of time the US citizen was resident in the US.

If you've been resident in the US* for some length of time, and some of that length of time was before the age of 14, you pass your US citizenship along automatically.

So, yes, if you leave the US as an adult, move to the UK, marry and have a kid with a Brit, your kid will be a US citizen from birth.

BUT if that kid doesn't live in the US before age 14, and/or doesn't live more than N years in the US, then (s)he will NOT pass along US citizenship automatically -- though (s)he would be able to bring any spouse and kids back to the US with instant greencards under an I-130. In the UK, this would only take a couple-few months; in other countries, a couple-few years.

Fun, huh? And to make life even more fun, the rules vary depending on when you were born.

*I dunno whether residence abroad while your parents are serving in the military or foreign service counts as US residence or not; I'd hope so anyway
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:11 AM on February 23, 2004


America should be governed by Americans. No foreigners need apply. Sorry. I can imagine some enemy brainwashing a child from an early age and then sending him here. Granted, it's unlikely such a person would ever get elected, but why go through the process when the idea itself is flawed. We have more important issues requiring our energy and attention.
posted by Slagman at 9:40 AM on February 23, 2004


George Will made the case more than a year ago.

Personally, I don't have a problem with it. The idea of a sleeper agent becoming president is pretty far-fetched. Probably about as likely as a foreign government turning an already eligible citizen and getting them elected for president.
posted by obfusciatrist at 10:08 AM on February 23, 2004


it's an idiotic rule. there are plenty of people born in the US that nevertheless support the Taliban / Al Qaeda / right-wing fanatics / skinheads / etc etc. A much more efficient rule is: whoever wants to become a president needs to have his personal dossier open for public scrutiny. In fact, I find many immigrants to be fiercely pro-American and anti- their own countries of origin. Rules that discriminate blankly on the basis of birthplace, race, religion are negating what made America so special - its focus on the individual.
posted by bokononito at 10:19 AM on February 23, 2004


America should be governed by Americans. No foreigners need apply

So just because a citizen was born outside of the country, they're not American to you?
posted by gyc at 10:30 AM on February 23, 2004


What's the whole 3/5-of-a-person thing?
posted by Lleyam at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2004


Keef For President.
posted by liam at 11:24 AM on February 23, 2004


What's the whole 3/5-of-a-person thing?

to find a state's population for purposes of representation in the House, you add up the number of free people (not including Indians) and 3/5 of "everyone else," ie, slaves.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:34 AM on February 23, 2004


I think a write in campaign for Arnold would be an excellent addition to this years presidential election.

As for allowing foreign born to become President, count me as against.
posted by daver at 1:26 PM on February 23, 2004


note that having slaves count as people for purposes of Congressional representation would have been bad for the slaves, unless they also had the right to vote.
posted by boltman at 10:20 PM on February 23, 2004


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