by CalWatchdog Staff | May 29, 2013 9:51 am
May 29, 2013
By John Seiler
Sometimes I wish people would take a course in logic. Here’s a free one.
The Chronicle reported in a story by Richard S. Dunham:
“It seems like an obscure court case from a dusty old law book, but if Canadian-born Texas Sen. Ted Cruz decides to run for president, you’re likely to hear a lot about United States vs. Wong Kim Ark.
“In the 1898 case, the Supreme Court voted 6-2 to repudiate the exclusive language of the infamous Dred Scott case and create an expansive definition of the Constitution’s “natural-born citizen” clause.
“That’s important because the Constitution requires that the president be a natural-born citizen – and Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970.”
So far so good. But then this:
“In 2008, both presidential nominees faced lawsuits to disqualify them based on their place of birth….
“GOP nominee John McCain, the son of a naval officer, was born in the Panama Canal Zone, then a U.S. territory, in 1937, months before Congress approved a law guaranteeing birthright citizenship to children of military personnel serving abroad. To erase any doubt, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan resolution confirming McCain’s citizenship, and a legal challenge to his eligibility was rejected.
“There was far more fuss over false claims that McCain’s Democratic rival, Obama, was born in Africa. A series of lawsuits were tossed out of court.
“None of the anti-Obama ‘birthers’ has stepped forward to challenge Cruz.”
In the comments section, someone named “caldroolidge” (oh, liberals are so clever!) wrote:
“None of the anti-Obama ‘birthers’ has stepped forward to challenge Cruz. You mean they were a bunch of lying hypocrites from the beginning? Shocking.”
Do you see the problem? In 2008, both McCain and Obama were candidates for president. But Cruz is not a candidate. He might be in the future; he likely will be. But as of today, he isn’t. So there’s no reason to “challenge Cruz.”
And the “birthers” only would be “lying hypocrites” if they didn’t challenge Cruz if he becomes a candidate. Caldroolidge also calls them a “bunch,” tying them together. But there were thousands of “birthers,” and it’s almost certain that, should Cruz run in 2016, some of them will challenge him as well on his birth.
I also remember that this came up in the 1968 election when Republican Michigan Gov. George Romney, born in Mexico to American parents, ran for president. He was challenged on his birth, but he faded in early primaries so the issue never got legs. He was Mitt’s pa.
Here’s a syllogism Dunham and Droolidge seem to be advancing:
Major Premise: The “birthers” challenge any candidate for president not born in the U.S. on his eligibility.
Minor Premise: X is a candidate for president not born in the U.S.
Conclusion: Therefore, the “birthers” will challenge X on his eligibility.
But the Minor Premise is false in the case of Cruz because he’s not a candidate. So the syllogism is false.
I grew up with liberal professors and politicians who could think. Guys like Sen. Eugene McCarthy and my professor at the University of Michigan, Carl Cohen. Even though we disagreed on many things, I learned from them and admired them.
Not that conservatives are all that great at logic either, but liberalism seems to have descended into paralogy and name calling.
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