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AmendforArnold&Jen
Founded by a libertarian-turned RINO and a member of the Green Party
posted by magullo (63 comments total)

 
I believe that if life was fair, everyone (pending corporate approval of course) would be able to buy the presidency of the U.S. But I'm confused. Who's Jen? She (presuming she's a she) isn't mentioned anywhere on the home page, photo page, or about us page).
posted by LeLiLo at 6:23 AM on November 18, 2004


I too am baffled by the identity of Jen.

Furthermore, Schwarzenegger only becomes eligible as a result of the adoption of the 61st amendment to the US Constitution, anything else and we'd be messing with the future of everyone on the planet.
posted by biffa at 6:31 AM on November 18, 2004


I am a bit torn on this debate (the larger issue of lessening the requirements for POTUS - not Her gubernator in particular). On the one hand, we were founded by non-natives, so that makes it seem like non-natives should be eligible. On the other hand, the founders themselves made this requirement.

Do we really want to allow people born outside this country to be president when we won't even let good presidents hold the office for more than 8 years? That seems a bit odd to me. Personally, right now, I would support removing presidential term limits before I would support this.

Further, I think it's a bit silly to go around changing the constitution essentially for one person.
posted by Yellowbeard at 6:35 AM on November 18, 2004


Jen = Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan, whose family immigrated from Canada when she was a wee bairn.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:37 AM on November 18, 2004


I don't have a problem with having naturalized citizens being able to run for President, I do have a problem with the incredibly transparent reasons used all for the purpose of electing one specific person.

Let's be honest, these people don't care if anyone else can run, they only care about getting Arnold elected. If the Constitution is changed so that only natural citizens and former bodybuilders from Austria can run for President, they'd be happy with that.

Where on the website are the list of reasons why the Constitution should be chaged? I can't find them.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:47 AM on November 18, 2004


The constitution is fine the way it is.
posted by bshort at 6:48 AM on November 18, 2004


But Arnold has been a joke. He's backed by big business and special interests, more than the man he replaced. Meanwhile, he supports the stem cell bond -- great idea, except it just creates future debt, as if California isn't buried already. Republicans will do anything to maintain their stranglehold on our country.
posted by fleener at 6:51 AM on November 18, 2004


Aw, HELLS NAW, we ain't go'n let Canadians be prezdent!

Since America IS a melting pot, perhaps we should let Arnie have the chance to be prez.

But I don't like Arnie the politician and I don't like the way this is being pushed FOR him. If this was being done for a politician I did like, I still wouldn't like the push for that one person to be president.

Come to America, we say, you can do anything, we say. Except be President. That seems to go against the American dream/ideal, yet I'm ok wth that for now.

Ask me again when it's not a push for Arnold.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:54 AM on November 18, 2004


Just think, if this stupid idea comes to pass, Henry Kissinger could run for President. Let's see someone arrest him for war crimes then!
posted by tommasz at 7:04 AM on November 18, 2004


If they pass the amendment, they'll just rescind it when a foreign-born democrat tries to run in 2012. Call it the Tom DeLay rule.
posted by fungible at 7:14 AM on November 18, 2004


So, this is one of those pesky laws that the FOUNDING FATHERS came up with. I hear all about their wisdom when it comes to gun laws, what about now?
posted by dig_duggler at 7:15 AM on November 18, 2004


If we're going to start pushing for more actors to be president, can we at least get one that made a slightly relevant movie about politics?
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:17 AM on November 18, 2004


Sorry I came off so ranty. I just think we need to be consistent when changing the constitution. We cannot hold some of it sacred because it was written by our founding fathers, but other parts are okay for change. Consistency is key.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:18 AM on November 18, 2004


I tend to agree that this is pretty much demagoguery in action.

So here's how it should work, IMHO: Write the amendment -- back it -- but add a codicil that specifies a "sunrise date" 20 years in the future. That way, it's immediately not targeted at Jen Granholm or Arnie Gubernator.

Aside: I really don't get the appeal of Arnie for President. Well, actually, I think I do, but not at a personal level. People who want him, want him because he's "strong" in the visceral sense. He's strong like a Mussolini (note, not like a Hitler): A hyper-masculine figure with a lot of (at least superficial) charm and charisma; the guy you want on your side because you don't want him against you.

In short, the boom for Arnie is another manifestation of America's lurking "bully culture". I think GW's support really comes from the same base -- all this stuff about values is bullshit, people like him because he's STRONG (i.e., because he beats the crap out of everybody he can put in a gunsight and ignores everyone else). It's often said that Americans want to side with the winner; another way of putting that is that Americans cheer against whoever's getting beaten. Since this is a sometimes psychically unpalatable formulation, we sauce the dish with fairy stories about underdogs. But if you look carefully, you'll see that most of those underdog stories end formulaically with Goliath getting the crap kicked out of him unexpectedly. Sure, the genre is defined by stuff like The Bad News Bears, Rocky, the Karate Kid and Mystery, Alaska, where the underdogs have an honorable relationship with their opponents at the end; but the genre then gets typified by stuff like Rambo [I / II / III], Rocky III/IV, Karate Kid 2, and [Bad News Bears in] Breaking Training.
posted by lodurr at 8:03 AM on November 18, 2004


I just think we need to be consistent

Well, er, consistency is hardly a byword of the GOP. Remember that this is the party of Newt Gingrich who was busy divorcing his wife on her death bed so he could marry his mistress while at the same time trying to impeach Clinton for lying about having sex in the oval office.

It is also the same party that decries affirmative action yet its own Presidential choice, George Bush, used the White Man form of affirmative action to get into Yale with a "C" grade average.

And let us not forget Schwartznegger himself who built a nifty little tent outside his office so he could continue to smoke cigars while at the same time signing a bill that outlawed smoking for those poor slobs who find themselves behind bars.

Do I need to continue?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:07 AM on November 18, 2004


Don't lie. If Barack Obama, say, was born in the West Indies and wanted to run in '08, many of you would be positively screeching for an amendment to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 ;)
posted by dhoyt at 8:07 AM on November 18, 2004


Screw you guys, I'm going home.
posted by tetsuo at 8:13 AM on November 18, 2004


wasn't the natural citizenship restriction on the presidency targeted at the twitchiness about British interference in the fledgling republic in general and at (Caribbean-born) Alexander Hamilton in particular?

I like the sunrise idea. I'm pretty much in support of removing the restriction as long as you're not showing me a picture of Arnold while you do it. Of course, such an amendment is likely to gain less support without such a (for some asinine reason) likeable mascot. Arnold's okay, you know, 'cuz he's a 'Murrican furr'ner, but as soon as you're not talking about the Presinator, it's an uphill battle.
posted by Vetinari at 8:16 AM on November 18, 2004


who was busy divorcing his wife on her death bed so he could marry his mistress while at the same time trying to impeach Clinton for lying about having sex in the oval office.

Actually, Gingrich divorced his wife on her death bed many years earlier.
posted by jpoulos at 8:29 AM on November 18, 2004


lodurr: Rocky didn't win in "Rocky." He lost on points. His victory was of the purely moral variety - he made it all the way through, when no one expected him to do so.
posted by raysmj at 8:56 AM on November 18, 2004


raysmj: That was my point. The Bears didn't win in Bad News Bears, either.

dhoyt: If Barack Obama, say...

I like Barak Obama. I like him a lot. But it would be a criminal waste for the dems to put him up in '08. There's just no way a 2/3-term Senator is going to win against the Republican attack machine, especially if his main weapon is reasonableness.

In any case, I stick with the "sunrise clause" argument: Whenever you pass an amendment that sharply benefits its advocates as this does Arnie (and he is clearly an advocate for this), you should at least consider postponing the start date such that it doesn't benefit them so much. Postpone his gratification, if you will. Arnie will be -- what, 70? 75? -- by then; if his steroid-damaged, surgically-mended heart can hold out that long, then more power to him. The big asshole.
posted by lodurr at 9:02 AM on November 18, 2004 [1 favorite]


The sunrise clause is a good idea. I have to say, this reminds me of an issue of Sandman where the amendment about age is changed and this perfect 19 yr old kid is elected president... I don't remember much else about it...

Anyway, the issue about being american born is something to do with the idea that to lead this country you have to really be of it, and not in the least an outsider. Do we really lose much as a country if certain individuals can't run for the highest office? The american dream isn't meant to be about grabbing the most power for yourself - it's meant to have a generational aspect, too. Arnold & Jen can encourage their kids to run for president, if they think the country's so great. No need for them to do it; I doubt america loses anything by restricting this, and if a few people can't go quite as far as they'd like, well, I can't say I'm really weeping for them, if they've got everything up to but not including the white house.
posted by mdn at 9:08 AM on November 18, 2004


I do not understand any of you who think such an amendment is a good idea (regardless of whether you want Arnold in or not). The prohibition was specifically to prohibit a President whose allegiences were to another nation as well as/in liue of the US. Arnold may be born again Uncle Sam, but what makes anyone think that an immigrant 30 years in the future won't have torn loyalties or a traitorous agenda? This amendment is simply a bad idea.

I would further posit that anyone who spouted the "french loving Kerry will sell us out with his global test" crap, and yet supports this amendment idea, is the lowest form of idiotic hypocrite.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:13 AM on November 18, 2004


ladurr: OK, I can see in hindsight that you were getting at as much with "Rocky," but isn't the winning thing in the sequels more easily explained? I mean, who wants to see one movie after another in which the hero keeps setting his sights really high, only to fail but still win a moral victory and gain some dignity? That could be a rather amusing genre, but I couldn't see viewers going for it in most places in the world.

Still, I could see letting the protagonist win once and then losing in the next film, only to make a comeback - sort of like Elvis losing his voice in "Jailhouse Rock" once he gets to be all uppity, only to come back humble with a heart-melting crooner thing going at the end.
posted by raysmj at 9:13 AM on November 18, 2004


I like Barak Obama. I like him a lot. But it would be a criminal waste for the dems to put him up in '08. There's just no way a 2/3-term Senator is going to win against the Republican attack machine, especially if his main weapon is reasonableness.

So, in short, you wouldn't want him to be the equivalent of a sacrificial lamb a la Rocky in the original film. You want him to be a winner, a man who isn't setting his sights to high. Gosh knows America loves a winner!
posted by raysmj at 9:19 AM on November 18, 2004


i predict if this thing passes, tom clancy (or someone else with similar writing style) will come up with one hell of a sleeper agent-for-president novel.

perhaps even a movie.

that does well enough to spark a career for some hot new actor.

who ends up as president.

posted by caution live frogs at 9:33 AM on November 18, 2004


After thinking about it somemore, I'm betting Arnold will be president one day. If not, it'll be a close thing. The Republicans and him want this too much. They'll find a way, oh yes they will.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:34 AM on November 18, 2004


mdn, you're thinking of Prez, who was an actual DC Comics character, with his own title in the early 70's, long before Neil Gaiman dusted him off for his Sandman appearance.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:47 AM on November 18, 2004


I like Barak Obama. I like him a lot. But it would be a criminal waste for the dems to put him up in '08. There's just no way a 2/3-term Senator is going to win against the Republican attack machine, especially if his main weapon is reasonableness.

Actually, Americans like a prez without much experience. (Exhibit A: the current one.) I once read a NYT article about how Senators rarely or never get elected president because they usually have a long record that can be scrutinized for inconsistencies or bad choices. (Exhibit B: the last one we ran.)

So while I agree that Obama shouldn't be wasted, never underestimate the foolishiness of the American electorate. I'm thinking it might have been smarter to run Edwards than Kerry.
posted by fungible at 9:54 AM on November 18, 2004


I would not be "screeching" for an amendment for Barack Obama, or Madeline Albright, or any other foreign-born leftish or centrist politician to be president (though I think that both Obama and Albright would probably do fine).

Why is it, though, that the electoral college is somehow sacrosanct because The Founding Fathers Wanted It That Way, but the thing about the President having to be a native-born American is somehow dispensible?

(I actually don't think that anything is sacrosanct because the Founding Fathers Wanted It That Way--that battle was lost once we started electing senators directly--but it's interesting to see how people cherry-pick their strict constructionism.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger will never be the President of the United States.

Re: Gingrich/wife/deathbed: Gingrich divorced his first wife while she was being treated for cancer, serving the papers on her in the hospital; it was his second wife whom he divorced for the employee with whom he had been carrying on a six-year affair, during which time he was loudly condemning Clinton for...er...carrying on an affair with an employee.

Let's get the sleaze factors straight.

Also, note that Gingrich's first wife was his high school geometry teacher. EEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:10 AM on November 18, 2004


Amending the Constitution to allow Arnold to maintain the GOP's deathgrip on the reins of power in this country is a slippery slope I have absolutely no interest in starting to slide down.

Arnold's a freakin' meathead. He's already embarrassed himself many times over as our Governator. Though he does speak better English than our current sitting president.
posted by fenriq at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2004


Or Lantos. I mean, I wouldn't even call for an amendment to the Constitution so that Tom Lantos could run for President. And I do love me some Tom Lantos.

Speaking of Holocaust survivors, are we really going to elect someone President whose father was a Nazi storm trooper?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:28 AM on November 18, 2004


The prohibition was specifically to prohibit a President whose allegiances were to another nation as well as/in lieu of the US.

Then how is any Bush family member in office?

The thing that really irks me about Arnie is that he calls himself a Republican - and fiscally that is only somewhat true - while socially he is more liberal. So is he using the Republican machine to get the rules changed? And then will he please come out as the Libertarian/Independent he seems to be?
posted by OhPuhLeez at 10:30 AM on November 18, 2004


I think the Oval Office is the perfect place for Ahnold. After all, his favorite recreational activity is getting "plo chops."
posted by wadefranklin at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2004


biffa: "Schwarzenegger only becomes eligible as a result of the adoption of the 61st amendment to the US Constitution, anything else and we'd be messing with the future of everyone on the planet."

we're already messing with the future of everyone on the planet, why change now?
posted by DBAPaul at 10:49 AM on November 18, 2004


dhoyt: ...screeching...?
None. Nobody. As usual, you have nothing to propose, but you've succeeded in muddying the waters with sarcasm and strawmen aplenty.

Your trolling MO is wearisomely predictable by now:
1. Wait for a post that evokes controversy along broad left/right lines.
2. Without demonstrating even the baseline integrity of offering an opinion of your own, toss out snippy little asides of mockery, invariably aimed at the left position.

You're a bore and a coward, and your "calculated dick persona" is nothing but a drag.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:53 AM on November 18, 2004


hear hear! what adamgreenfield said.

all this about "well your side is exactly the same" is bullshit. we're not perfect. we do bad things. but we don't do the *same* bad things. the obama example is utter bullshit, pulled from your ass.

what's the last amendment the democrats got seriously behind? the ERA? compared to flag burning, the anti-gay amendment and now this? yeah, we're exactly the same. right.
posted by jpoulos at 11:01 AM on November 18, 2004


In any case, Obama was born in Hawai'i.

Thanks for playing, dhoyt, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:20 AM on November 18, 2004


Actually, I went back and read dhoyt's comment and he didn't say that Obama wasn't born in the US. His straw man was so straw-y that he said "Well, if Obama had been born in the West Indies" (which would be a neat trick for someone who was the child of a Kenyan father and a mother who was born and grew up in Kansas) "bla, bla, bla."

Yep, and if Dick Cheney had wheels, he'd be a rollerskate.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:24 AM on November 18, 2004


I said ;)

Sheesh.
posted by dhoyt at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2004


Yabbut, that ;) doesn't automatically counteract the many times you've said stuff like this for serious.

(Although I should not cast stones, as I am the lazy slug who didn't even read the original dhoyt post, let alone the emoticon at the end. However, let me remind everyone that

NEWT GINGRICH'S FIRST WIFE WAS HIS HIGH SCHOOL GEOMETRY TEACHER!!!!!! EEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!)
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:52 AM on November 18, 2004


not understand any of you who think such an amendment is a good idea (regardless of whether you want Arnold in or not).

I think it's a good idea because I am a naturalized citizen myself. I know I will never have a chance to be President even if this passes but it just seems like the right thing to do, to accord all citizens a chance to run for President.

The prohibition was specifically to prohibit a President whose allegiences were to another nation as well as/in liue of the US. Arnold may be born again Uncle Sam, but what makes anyone think that an immigrant 30 years in the future won't have torn loyalties or a traitorous agenda? This amendment is simply a bad idea.

And what makes you think that just because someone was born in the U.S. they won't be a traitor or a sleeper agent? That's just a ridiculous argument. I trust the voters to make the right decision.

It just frustrates me, as a naturalized U.S. citizen, to hear all this talk about the loyalties of immigrants and the opposition to an amendment such as this. If anything, naturalized citizens tend to be even more patriotic than native born Americans. I almost feel like a gay man reading a thread on gay marriage on Free Republic.
posted by gyc at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2004


I think that naturalized citizens should have the same rights as every other citizen and that includes the right to run up gigantic budget deficits and start stupid wars by being awful presidents.
posted by Arch Stanton at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2004


Kudos to the last two post (gyc & Arch Stanton)!!! All is equal, right?

I think it will be interesting to see how this debate will unfold within the larger anti-immigration sentiments that seems to be more and more prevalent in the US? Or will they have no bearing on each other?
posted by brolloks at 12:42 PM on November 18, 2004


There's lots of things in the Constitution that I think need to be changed, or clarified in today's language.
There are lots of laws that are either obsolete, ambiguous, or just plain BAD LAW.

The problem I have is that I don't trust the people in "Power" to change them in a way that works FOR the citizens.

Everything the current administration touches turns to crap.
(GWB = The Anti-Midas)



(Woo-Hoo!! First Post!!)
posted by Balisong at 1:10 PM on November 18, 2004


Ask me again when it's not a push for Arnold.

Jennifer Granholm is a well-respected Democrat. I personally believe she would make an excellent president (she's not doing too badly with our state in less-than-ideal times). There was much discussion of this from Democrats well before Arnold was ever elected governor (indeed, it was discussed on MeFi at the time -- if I wasn't lazy I'd search for it).

My support of the amendment would be because the reasoning behind it is obsolete. The founding fathers also knew full well that the Constitution should not be viewed as sacrosanct, but rather as a living, breathing document. That's why they included the power of amendment. (In fact, there's a real good argument to be made that the founding fathers would be appalled by all the de facto constitutional amendments made by activist Supreme Court justices -- both liberal and conservative).

On preview: The problem I have is that I don't trust the people in "Power" to change them in a way that works FOR the citizens.

The Constitution can only be amended with the support of 2/3 of each house of congress, and must be ratified by 2/3 (34) of the states. Almost by definition it can't be easily modified on the whim of the people in "Power."
posted by pardonyou? at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2004


My guess is: no bearing. Anti-immigration sentiments are about poor people; Arnie is rich.

(Re Sidhedevil: I dunno, my high school geometry teacher was pretty hot.)
posted by hattifattener at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2004


People really thought that the Constitution should be amended so that Jennifer Granholm could run for President? I think Jennifer Granholm is great, but I can't imagine that too many people care whether or not she can run for President. And that website just includes her as the skimpiest of afterthoughts.

I have no real animus against naturalized citizens running for President of the US (though I do feel we were spared the prospect of a Kissinger candidacy by this provision, for which alone it deserves some kind of thanks).
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2004


You want [Obama] to be a winner, a man who isn't setting his sights to high. Gosh knows America loves a winner!

I want someone with great potential to not be wasted on a fruitless windmill-joust.

Put another way: I want him to be a winner. I don't want him because he is a winner.

And w.r.t. Rocky etc., the alternative to scoring a humiliating win isn't "losing nobly", it's "competing honorably." There are lots of models for it in film and TV, but they tend not to be as successful. In Every Which Way But Loose, Eastwood's character befriends his big opponent, and they team up to best the bad guys -- then proceed to beat the crap out of one another in a fair fight. Look at the ending of The Outlaw Josie Wales ("As far as I'm concerned, Josie Wales died a long time ago"). In Grande Prix, they fight hard all season for the prize, but come together at the end to honor their fallen competitor.

I'm arguing that there are a few genre defining films that are built around ideas about things like honor and that have a basically optimistic view of people's attitudes toward competition; and then there are genre exemplars, which are really just about finding the most reliable route to money. And that route goes via humiliating someone bad so the audience can identify with the hero.

To make a vague stab at bringing it back around to topic: That's Arnie all over. Can you even imagine him making a movie where he shakes hands with the loser at the end? (FWIW, I think Stallone could probably still pull that off....)
posted by lodurr at 2:09 PM on November 18, 2004


but it just seems like the right thing to do, to accord all citizens a chance to run for President.

Uhhm, Why? Seems? I would seriously appreciate a rational argument as to why. Many convicted felons in some states are regranted full citizenship after time served. Should they be given equal recognition (AND MONEY) to run for president? Chalabi is personable, could easily be sponsored in , and could have his citizenship in months. Should he be afforded the same due weight as a candidate for "leader of the free world"? And if so ... Why?

And what makes you think that just because someone was born in the U.S. they won't be a traitor or a sleeper agent? That's just a ridiculous argument. I trust the voters to make the right decision.


Consider the last two elections, and I think you're being silly. Haven't you heard of the PNAC? If they thought it would further their agenda, they would promote Osama Bin Laden for President, with enormous amounts of money and voter manipulation. Indoctrination can happen in the US (as our current President is ample proof of) and the American people will swallow the load whole if it's sold correctly. But what that person won't be, is a sleeper agent for non-American governments. That is precisely the reason for Article 2, Sec 1, c. 5. Lets say this: Jen gets elected. The US has reason to go to war with Canada (due to the lewd behavior of Terrence and Phillip). What does she do, where do her loyalties lie, and will they be trusted? She reacts harshly and bombs the Baldwin brothers. Did she do that for nationalism, or because it was the right thing to do? These variables need not come into play, and I've seen no one here yet argue for why they should.

It's simple. Don't amend the constitution unless there is a pressing reason to do so. I agree with pardonyou? on this point only: that the Constitution is dynamic. But even he asserts that this article is outdated and obsolete with NO argument as to why. Because one person "might" make a good President? That's not an argument ... that's just stupid. So I ask: What is the pressing concern that should motivate a change to the Constitution of the United States? Seriously, has any argument yet addressed that here? Uhhhm, nope, doesn't look like it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:41 PM on November 18, 2004


It strikes me as only right that all US citizens should be equal under the law; particularly under the highest law.

As for questions of divided loyalties, or inexperience in American culture, or whatever: that's why we have an election. Let the people decide.

If anything, naturalized citizens tend to be even more patriotic than native born Americans.

Amen. This has been my experience as well.

I'm surprised to see so much vehemence in this thread. I didn't realize people felt so strongly about Schwarzenegger. I (a liberal Democrat) have actually warmed to him considerably in the past few months. The stem cell thing helped; it was gratifying to see him give a big "fuck you" to his national party.

On preview:

Many convicted felons in some states are regranted full citizenship after time served. Should they be given equal recognition (AND MONEY) to run for president?

I would argue yes. Once a convict has served his time, he should be reintegrated into society. This includes full political rights. There should not be multiple tiers of American citizens.

I suppose if you don't find equality a compelling moral issue, Wulfgar!, then you just don't. I want to be part of a society based on equality, however, as do, I believe, most Americans. It's one of our fundamental political and moral convictions: "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." and all.

...they would promote Osama Bin Laden for President, with enormous amounts of money and voter manipulation.

Now you're just being silly.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:49 PM on November 18, 2004


mr_roboto, I thank you for the ignorant straw man, but feel it necessary to remind you that being a Presidential candidate isn't a right that is self-evident at all. It is subject to the rules of organization set by any entity, ours codified in the Constitution. You've made a wonderfully vacuous appeal to emotion, but still haven't explained the pressing need or even any advantage to altering the organizational document of this country to allow non native citizens to run for President. Being President is a service and a job, not a God given right.

All US citizens are equal under the law. The highest law says that those not born here can't run for President. That's the law. That law can be changed ... I'm just saying that a) there's no reason to do it and b) the consequences of that change have been poorly (emotionally) considered in this thread. So I ask again, in the hopes that you will quit squeezing your bleeding heart for no purpose, what is the advantage gained to the nation by changing the Constitutional article number 2?

And I posit that its clear that you don't understand the PNAC at all.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:27 PM on November 18, 2004


Many millions of us native-born Americans can't be president either, so how about an amendment requiring that presidents can't always be straight, white, Christian, men?

Makes as much sense as this one (little to none), which is clearly not about Granholm (she's an afterthought so they don't seem biased). If we're going to open up the job requirements, why not actually really open them up?
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on November 18, 2004


Presidents aren't always straight, white Christian men. James Buchanan was a homosexual; Thomas Jefferson was a Deist; and Warren G. Harding was considered in his home town to be "black".

Here's the thing: it's not illegal for gay, Jewish, black women to run for President, whereas it is illegal for naturalized American citizens to run for President.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:49 PM on November 18, 2004


All US citizens are equal under the law. The highest law says that those not born here can't run for President.

Huh?

These words do not mean what you think they mean. All Americans should be equal under the Constitution. As the Constitution is currently written, they are not. The Constitution should therefore be changed.

So I ask again, in the hopes that you will quit squeezing your bleeding heart for no purpose, what is the advantage gained to the nation by changing the Constitutional article number 2?

It will give legal equality to all US citizens. There's an inherent moral value to that. Equality is a fundamental good. If you think that's an appeal to emotion, you had better reread your Locke.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:23 PM on November 18, 2004


The Constitution can only be amended with the support of 2/3 of each house of congress, and must be ratified by 2/3 (34) of the states

[pedantic]
3/4 of the states. Also, 2/3 of states can call a convention to propose amendments.
[/pedantic]

Many convicted felons in some states are regranted full citizenship after time served. Should they be given equal recognition (AND MONEY) to run for president?

They can run for President now. The only legally binding qualifications for President are:

(1) Natural born American citizen
(2) Resident in US for 14 years
(3) At least 35 years old
(4) Are not term-limited out

That's it. You can run for President as a prisoner serving time if you want to, or as an inmate of an insane asylum. You won't get many votes, but you can run. At least one person has actually been elected to the US House out of prison, but that was a long time ago -- he was in prison under the Alien and Sedition Acts.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:58 PM on November 18, 2004


One of Eugene V. Debs's most successful Presidential campaigns was in 1920, where he garnered almost a million votes from within a Federal penitentiary. (I was looking for an image of the campaign button that said "Vote for Prisoner #9653" but I can't find one.) Oh, and Debs was a big old atheist.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:20 PM on November 18, 2004


It will give legal equality to all US citizens. There's an inherent moral value to that. Equality is a fundamental good.

As good old Locke himself would require: Prove it. You keep claiming it, yet you've yet to prove it ... so please do so. I'll happily accept your proof on its merits, if you would be so kind as to actually offer one.
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:44 PM on November 18, 2004


wasn't the natural citizenship restriction on the presidency targeted at the twitchiness about British interference in the fledgling republic in general and at (Caribbean-born) Alexander Hamilton in particular?

The former was probably a consideration, but not the latter, because the prohibition against naturalized citizens becoming president wouldn't have applied to him. If it had, none of the Founding Fathers born in Britain could have been president either. The prohibition that limited the presidency to the native born only went into effect after the Founders' generation.

According to this antiwar.com column, a major concern of the Framers was the partition of Poland among Russia, Prussia, and Austria (!!!), partially attributable to Catherine the Great's interference in getting King Stanislaw II elected.
posted by jonp72 at 7:57 PM on November 18, 2004


As good old Locke himself would require: Prove it.

I cited Locke because the argument you're looking for is in his Two Treatises on Government. You can read it here.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:10 PM on November 18, 2004


>If Barack Obama, say, was born in the West Indies and wanted to run in '08

Screw that. Obama can deal with the limitations. If anything we need serious term limits on congress and possibly a shorter presidential limit. Too little change in a rapidly changing society spells disaster.

Also, its smart to keep in mind that this is an issue that is self-serving for the GOP. What if tomorrow a Saudi born millionaire (or a Jewish millionare) with lots of popular support comes to power. The GOP will go apeshit over its own amendment. Essentially, the question is why should we let foreign born nationals take high levels of power when they have a real psychological connection/bias to their home culture and country. Arguably, we're seeing this with Bush and "red america." Bush sure as hell doesnt represent anyone I know.

Remember when Dan Rostenkowski was removed from power by a congressional law? That law was now repealed to protect DeLay's crimes in Texas. That's moral vision for ya.

>It will give legal equality to all US citizens.

Will it? What poor person or minority has been president? This is a pathetic grab at power because the GOP has a millionare celebrity at their disposal. How about a REAL lowering of the barrier to entry? Federally funded elections? Donations over 50 dollars per person made illegal? etc. Reminds me of futurama:
Woman: We favour unreasonably huge subsidies to the Brain Slug Planet.

Fry: OK, but what are the Brain Slugs who control you gonna do for the working man?

Woman: Attach Brain Slugs to them.

Fry: (sarcastic) Sure, you say that now!
posted by skallas at 10:12 PM on November 18, 2004


Also, its smart to keep in mind that this is an issue that is self-serving for the GOP.

Except for support from a few Republican politicians, I seriously doubt Arnold would ever win the nomination. Not only is he too liberal for the GOP base, probably even more Republicans would oppose amending the Constitution than Democrats, so what we're arguing about is probably never going to happen anyway.

Essentially, the question is why should we let foreign born nationals take high levels of power when they have a real psychological connection/bias to their home culture and country

I don't think it's fair to group all naturalized citizens in this fashion. There are plenty of U.S.-born citizens who have just as much of a "real psychological connection/bias" to another country, yet we let them run for President.

It seems to me that there's a distinct lack of trust that the people will be able to figure out for themselves whether someone is too biased for or connected to another country to become the President of the United States. I'm sure a great majority of MeFi probably do think that 50%+ of the voters are idiots, but why not let the people decide? In any case, if the voters do vote a Manchurian Candidate into office, there are always other safeguards such as impeachment.

I mean, we let non-U.S. born citizens hold every other powerful office or governmental positions, from Supreme Court justices to members of Congress to cabinet officers such as Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense, positions that arguably have just as much power as the President in influencing the policies and direction of the country.
posted by gyc at 12:24 AM on November 19, 2004


Remember when Dan Rostenkowski was removed from power by a congressional law? That law was now repealed to protect DeLay's crimes in Texas. That's moral vision for ya.

Ooh. ChicagaFilta!

Actually, skallas, Rostenkowski resigned from the powerful position he held as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee:

> Under normal procedures of the House Democratic Caucus, Rostenkowski would have to step down from the committee chairmanship if he were indicted on a felony punishable by at least two years in prison.

He stepped aside temporarily (in his own words)

pursuant to rule 49 of the rules of the Democratic caucus.

That November, he was narrowly defeated for re-election by a Republican (who served one term in that Bluest of seats before being defeated himself by Rod Blagojevich, now Governor).

The Republican rule in question applies only to the Republican caucus. It allegedly was changed in 1994 in order to shame the Democrats into removing him from his chairmanship, but that was a rule they already had in place.

In the end, he served two years in a federal penitentiary after a plea bargain (which conspicuously omitted any charges stemming from the House Post Office scandal which had been the Republicans' clarion call). DeLay may well face the same eventual fate (hope springs eternal), but his party was not directly responsible for Rostenkowski's fate.
posted by dhartung at 1:07 AM on November 19, 2004


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