The Problem with Populism, Example #137

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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26 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    Wow, even Grover Norquist is a secret Muslim and on the terrorist take. O tempora, o mores!Report

  2. j r says:

    Are Grover Norquist and Glen Beck leaders of the same movement?Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to j r says:

      One is an unprincipled charlatan who pushes crazy economic nostrums and wild conspiracy theories, and the other is a Mormon.Report

  3. greginak says:

    Who wins when Beck goes after Norquist……the American Public.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    The Gaffney-Geller axis of right wing thought (sorry, ‘thought’) have had a crusade against Norquist (and specifically, Norquist’s wife) for some time. Because that’s what they do.

    Frank Gaffney is the guy, who, for instance, thought a re-designed Star Wars logo (not that Star Wars, this one, now officially the Missile Defense Agency.

    Pam Geller is the one who recently had a bunch of her ads on SF Muni busses vandalized, which a whole lot of people who should know better seemed to think was kosher. (It was creative, I’ll give them that)Report

  5. LeeEsq says:

    Calling Dr. Hoftstader, calling Dr. Hoftstader. We have a paranoid delusion in politics. Needs help immediately.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    We need a higher class of populist.Report

    • Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

      Well, to be honest what we need is a re-application of sanity filters.

      There’s always crazy populists, on any topic or of any partisan ideology. But it’s rather new that they’ve drifted to the top and have access to big, giant microphones.

      It’s okay to have lunatics, but it’s not okay when they take over the asylum.

      Any group is a constant fight between the sane and the crazies (because let’s face it — crazies have PASSION. Crazies show up, you know? Sane people can’t match the drive of a man who believes him and his tinfoil hat are all that stands between the world and the Aliens from Andromeda). The GOP has had a real issue, the last decade or so, of people fed on red meat rising to high visibility without ever learning to see through the trick, to realize the red meat was — at best — highly dumbed down stuff to get the masses screaming, and you needed a lot better understanding of the issue before you could make sane decisions.Report

  7. Crprod says:

    The problem with Beck vs Norquist is that it makes people like John Bolton appear to make an unmerited appearance of sanity.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I can’t believe I’m defending Donald Double FIshin Trump, but the fact that Cruz came through the birth canal in West Canukistan makes it a fair question, even if answerable through a careful reading of the US statutes. (It hasn’t, after all, been thoroughly adjudicated in the US court system)

      It’s the birthers that *aren’t* asking the same questions about Cruz that are the morons and/or the hypocrites.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

        Not that I want to defend the birthers, but if Obama had been born in Kenya, that actually potentially had slightly different ramifications than Cruz born in Canada, in terms of birthright citizenship, as Cruz met the criteria of citizenship at birth while Obama (if he had been born in Kenya) might not have.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

        Yeah, I think it’s a fair question as well. We went thru this with McCain (Panama!), Obama (Kenya, clearly) and now Cruz (Canukistan).

        Here’s the CRS take on from Wiki:

        The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.[1]

        Done deal, as far as I can tell. (Except for Obama, clearly.)Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:


        Do you mean because Obama’s mother was so young? I’ve seen that argument, but it seems specious as hell.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        Will, how? Both Cruz and alt-universe Obama would have been born of American citizen mothers with foreign national fathers* in a location that’s not under the soveriegn government authority of the United States. (and not a special case like the Panama canal zone pre-retrocesion nor the current status Guantanamo Bay naval base, which was somewhat adjudicated in the various Gitmo cases)

        (Ted Cruz’s father became a naturalized US citizen in 2005 – when Ted would have been 35)Report

      • zic in reply to Kolohe says:

        Both marriages gave the fathers residency rights and the children birth rights.

        And any argument against one plays out the same against the other.

        But more importantly, at least Kenya isn’t a communist country.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:

        Given her age, her soul hadn’t yet matured into fully American.Report

      • Gabriel Conroy in reply to Kolohe says:

        I´m curious, too, how it would have been different. However, I wouldn´t be surprised if immigration and citizenship law is\was so weirdly and arbitrarily worded that it could make a difference.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

        @kolohe The issue is touched on my @mike-schilling . According to the law at the time, the mother had to have lived in the US for a sufficient period of time after turning a certain age, and his mother hadn’t while Cruz’s mother had. The law was changed in 1986 (and I suspect it was not generally adhered to prior to that, in cases like Kenyan-born BHOs).

        (What’s particularly weird about this is that if his mother and father hadn’t been married, Kenyan-born Obama would have had citizenship free and clear. The law was – and still is – more lenient towards the children of unmarried mothers than married ones. In fact, that’s an argument that Obama was born American no matter what: by virtue of the fact that Obama Sr was still married, his marriage to Obama’s mother was invalid.)Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kolohe says:

        Here are the specifics:

        “For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.”

        His mother was too young to meet that requirement. The questions are how the law was enforced generally, and how it should have been. My guess is that clerks usually let it slide, but I may be overestimating the flexibility of the bureaucracy. There are also other issues such as standing to sue and whether you can strip someone of birthright citizenship they were in fact given (even if via fraud by the parents). And whether his parents were actually legally married.

        The path towards actually delegitimizing Obama’s eligibility seems awfully narrow to me. But there are nonetheless issues in play for Obama (if one believes he was born in Kenya) that were not in play with McCain and are not in play with Cruz (as far as I know).Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        Will, thank, ylsned.Report

    • I have occasionally wondered if someone delivered by C-section is “natural born” or not. Assuming that the SF “artificial womb” technology arrives someday, would such a person be “natural born”?Report