After dinner at Rasika followed by a night of club hopping in Adams Morgan, Cerise and I slept late this morning. I prepared breakfast in bed – duck eggs Benedict, featuring freshly made hollandaise sauce and grilled New Zealand fern fiddle heads with organic Canadian bacon, accompanied by hand-squeezed Barcelona blood orange and Veuve Clicquot mimosas, followed by a couple of large, steaming cups of Grand Marnier cappuccino, of course. The Canadian bacon proved prophetic, as I learned when my iPhone started vibrating – it was my dear younger brother, Rob Roy.
Rob: Tom? Is that you?
Tom: And who else would it be?
Rob: Oh, good, look – have you heard about what that scum-sucking piece of [expletive] Ted Cruz has done now?
Tom: Rob, I know you’re a liberal Democrat, but please, be respectful when referring to our elected federal officials, okay?
Rob: All right, let me rephrase that – are you aware of the latest absurd and ridiculous actions perpetrated by United States Senator Rafael Edward Cruz?
Tom: Um… well… which ones, exactly?
Rob: How about the one where he made his Canadian birth certificate public?
Tom: Oh yes, that. What about it?
Rob: What about it? What do you mean, what about it? Cruz is a conservative Republican! Have you forgotten the huge, rank, ludicrous and unholy stink the conservative Republicans raised about where Barack Obama was born? Have you forgotten how they [expletive] and moaned for years, [expletive], Tom, how they are still [expletive] and moaning that the United States Constitution prohibits him from legitimately holding the office of president?
Tom: No, of course not.
Rob: Well, okay, then! Those [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] conservative Republican birthers claimed that Barack Obama had no right to be elected president of the United States because – and this turned out to be a total scum-sucking conservative Republican [expletive] lie, by the way, as we both know – he was supposedly born in Kenya! Well, [expletive] that, Charley, because, as a matter of actual fact, not some half-witted conservative Republican fantasy, Rafael Edward Cruz was born in Canada, in 1970, and his father was a Cuban!
Tom: His mother was an American.
Rob: So was Barack Obama’s!
Tom: I know. Look, Rob, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution says, quote, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.”
Rob: Right – so there you have it! Barack Obama was born in the United States of America, in the state of Hawaii, at the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, 6085 Kalanianole Highway, City of Honolulu on the Island of Oahu, on August 4, 1961 at 7:24 p.m., as every registered Democrat in America knows, because the DNC mailed all of us copies of his birth certificate!
Tom: So they did.
Rob: Because those [expletive]-hole, [expletive] [expletive] conservative Republicans kept spewing so many [expletive] malicious lies about Obama being born in Kenya, he had no choice but to publish his birth certificate to prove he’s a natural born United States citizen, just like the Constitution says!
Tom: That was, apparently, their motivation, yes.
Rob: So, can’t you see what’s happening now? This… this… Tea Party toady, Ted Cruz, he’s talking about running for president of the United States in 2016, and here he is, born in Canada! So tell me, Tom, how the hell is Canada different from Kenya?
Tom: Well, there’s the latitude, the climate, the topography, the population, the history…
Rob: Oh, come on! You know what I mean! They’re both foreign countries, aren’t they?
Tom: Yes, of course they are.
Rob: And weren’t the [expletive] conservative Republicans and Tea Party [expletive]-heads complaining and [expletive] to no [expletive] end that, because Kenya is a foreign country, that means Barack Obama isn’t legitimately the president?
Tom: That’s more or less what they’ve been saying, yes.
Rob: For years!
Tom: For years and years, yes, definitely, ever since President Obama was elected in 2008.
Rob: Well, now, it’s time these [expletive]-eating [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] [expletive] got a [expletive] a dose of their own [expletive] medicine, don’t you think?
Tom: Ah, well, you seem to have overlooked something.
Tom: Their medicine is poison; a virulent and insidious poison intended to kill democracy and freedom in America. Surely you don’t want to administer that, even to your worst enemies?
Rob: Oh, [expletive] it, Tom, you know what I mean, God damn it! Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander! What goes around comes around! Karma-karma-karma-karma-karma-chameleon! Turnabout is fair play, isn’t it? An eye for an eye and all that, right?
Tom: Speaking as a policy consultant, I would say that a policy of an eye for an eye gets you nothing but a nation of blinded fools.
Rob: Okay, then I would request you tell me, how is that different from us right now, and in what way?
Tom: Good question. So you plan to do something pertaing to these issue, I take it?
Rob: Glad you finally asked! But first – supposed Ted Cruz had to prove he was a natural born American citizen. What kind of evidence would he have to produce?
Tom: Well, to begin with, he’d have to come up with something called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which would have had to be filed within thirty days of his birth, indicating an intention on the part of his parents to claim his American citizenship. Then – although I am a policy consultant, of course, and not a constitutional or federal lawyer – according to the Immigration and Naturalization Act and 8 U.S.C. 1401(g), Mr. Cruz would still have to produce documented evidence that his mother was, as claimed to the Canadian authorities, actually an American citizen…
Rob: So it’s his mother’s birth certificate we’d want to see?
Tom: Yes, and also certifiable documentation that she resided in the United States, its territories and/or possessions for periods of time totalling not less than five years, at least two years of which occurred after her fourteenth birthday…
Rob: Okay, that’s right! That’s what we want to go after, the whole [expletive] megillah, that’s what – and make sure everybody knows about it! I’m thinking, we put up a TedCruzIsAForeigner Web domain…
Tom: That would be you and Katje, I assume?
Rob: Right, sure, and Jason, and some of our like-minded friends.
Tom: Just don’t go assuming I’m getting mixed up in this, because…
Rob: Oh, no, no, no… I understand, you’ve got to stay neutral and all. So, anyhow, I’m thinking Twitter hashtags like #NoCanadianUSPres, a Super PAC to Stop the Canadian Invader, plus grass-roots door-to-door, boots-on-the-ground Democratic Party organization to not only completely neutralize Ted Cruz as Republican presidential material, but conclusively demonstrate what kind of lying, scheming, dishonest…
Tom: It seems to me your proposed strategy overlooks a key difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Rob: Really? What’s that?
Tom: Democrats are constrained by reality and Republicans aren’t.
Rob: Huh? What are you saying?
Tom: Simply that your contemplated strategy is fundamentally flawed.
Rob: Because why, might I ask?
Tom: Because reality hasn’t been a part of Republican thinking for quite a while.
Rob: Oh yeah? Since when?
Tom: Since about 1980.
Tom: That was the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
Rob: 1980? You have got to be [expletive] kidding me!
Rob: What the [expletive] do you know about 1980? You were in like, elementary school!
Tom: Yeah, but it’s part of my job description to know ancient history, okay? And the Republican Party disconnect with reality goes back at least as far as 1980. For example, Ronald Reagan believed that eighty percent of air pollution comes from trees.
Rob: What the [expletive]? That’s totally [expletive] insane! You making this up?
Tom: No way. I kid you not, little brother. Furthermore, Reagan also believed that homeless people choose to live on the streets because they want to, that federal spending on the education causes economic collapse, and that all the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.
Rob: What! That’s totally [expletive] Looney Tunes! You can’t be serious!
Tom: Serious as a heart attack, unfortunately. Ronald Reagan is famous for his… um… highly imaginative fabulism, which he often used to win elections. For example, he’s famous – at least among those who study such things – for his masterful creation of a mythical “welfare queen” from “the South Side of Chicago,” who had over seventy aliases, thirty addresses and was collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. She got complete health coverage from Medicade, received monthly Social Security payments for twelve different bogus accounts, and bought prime T-bone steaks with food stamps. She drove a brand-new Cadillac, wore mink and diamonds, and enjoyed a tax-free yearly income in excess of $150,000. And that, by the way, was in 1979, when $150,000 was actually a lot of money.
Rob: Some people would say that’s a lot of money now! How the [expletive] could sane, rational, educated people listen to such obvious bull-[expletive] and [expletive] believe it? What the [expletive], are the Americans really just a bunch of ignorant morons or something?
Tom: Interesting comment, little bro. Look, there was this guy, Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville, who wondered essentially the same thing about us.
Rob: What, last week? Last year?
Tom: No, about one hundred and seventy-five years ago.
Rob: No [expletive]? What the [expletive] is matter with us?
Tom: You know, Rob, sometimes, when I’m dealing with my domestic clients, at least, it occurs to me that’s essentially what I get paid to figure out. Look, dude, this Republican disconnect with reality has continued, basically without significant interruption, all the way from 1980 to the present day. Take Newt Gingrich, for instance – you know, the guy who shut down the federal government over impeaching Bill Clinton – you remember him, right?
Rob: Remember him? That son of a [expletive] is still around!
Tom: Right, and he believes that the UN Agenda Number 21 for global sustainable development is a One World Government conspiracy to confiscate US citizen’s private property. He also believes that atheist bigots are persecuting Christianity in America, that same-sex marriage is ruining the US economy and that a secret elitist cabal of left-wing sympathizers wants to replace Christianity and Judaism with Socialist Islam as the national religion. What’s more, he thinks the Democrats are conspiring to make Barack Obama President for Life, starting with a third term in 2017, and, get this – he wants to build, and I quote, “a large array of mirrors that could affect the earth’s climate,” in space in order to improve US agriculture.
Rob: Holy [expletive]! The mother-[expletive] is totally bat-[expletive] crazy!
Tom: Ah, it’s all relative, really. There’s George W. Bush, for example. I’m sure you remember how he fantasized about weapons of mass destruction as a reason to invade Iraq, then proclaimed that allied forces had found them, then ignored questions pertaining to the veracity of that statement. As a member of his conservative Republican cabinet once put it, quote, “We have delivered a coup de grâce to nothing less than the reality-based community. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” Then there are conservative Republicans like Paul Ryan, who maintains that the existence of snow in winter in Wisconsin is evidence against climate change and that scientists are engaged in a world-wide conspiracy to fake global warming data. Ryan also believes that the Pentagon brass conspire with the Obama administration to ask for less money than the military needs.
Rob: Less money?
Tom: So Paul Ryan says. And you have another shining example in Sarah Palin, who goes around claiming that the federal government has created death panels to review people for their health viability for when Obamacare kicks in. She also believes that creationism should be taught in schools as an alternative to evolution, because evolution is “just a theory,” and that God directed the United States to invade Iraq. She’s a big fan of Newt Gingrich, too, which I suppose figures. Then you’ve got Senator John Cornyn, who believes the that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is a plot to take control of gun regulation, and Mitt Romney, who endorsed that conspiracy fantasy as well as a similar one positing that the United Nations is attempting to regulate how Americans raise their children. There’s Mark Rubio, who imagined that his parents fled Cuba to escape Castro, when, in fact, the family came here in 1956, three years before the Cuban Revolution, just to make more money and live better, like every other Hispanic immigrant would have at the time. Listen, Rob, I could provide you with examples all morning, but it should be clear, conservative Republicans and Tea Party bozos basically believe what they want – that, as Senator Mitch McConnell tells us, rape cannot cause pregnancy, because, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” as he said; that FEMA is building concentration camps; that the moon landing was faked by the Democrats, and so on and so forth. You see, Rob, once you remove reality from your political philosophy, it’s damn near impossible to put it back.
Rob: Okay, so?
Tom: So you’re wasting your time inveighing against Ted Cruz – the conservative Republicans and Tea Party clowns have already invented a fantasy to deal with it.
Rob: Which is?
Tom: That Canada isn’t a foreign country.
Rob: No [expletive]? They’re saying that?
Tom: They are.
Rob: Well, I’m sure the Canadians will be mighty interested to hear about it!
Tom: Let me assure you Rob, that the Canadians do not contribute an aerial fornication what various and sundry benighted dingbats in our esteemed Republican Party say.
Rob: Well, they should.
Tom: No, they shouldn’t. Look, that whole “natural born citizen” thing in the Constitution, it’s not what you think.
Tom: Meaning that the first “natural born citizen” to enter the White House was Martin Van Buren in 1836.
Rob: Van Buren? He was like… I donno, he wasn’t the first one, that was Washington… um…
Tom: He was the eighth president of the United States, born three years after the Constitution was ratified. Rob, as near as any constitutional scholars can ascertain, the purpose of Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution isn’t to keep Ted Cruz – or Barack Obama, for that matter – from becoming president. It was to keep foreign potentates from becoming naturalized citizens so they could rule America.
Rob: Huh? Why would the Founding Fathers want to prevent that?
Tom: Because back then, in the eighteenth century, that’s the normal way things were done. The British Parliament made Prince George of Denmark a naturalized citizen so he could copulate and produce heirs with Queen Anne. It didn’t quite work out, though. However in 1705, they did the same thing again for Sophia, granddaughter of King James I via the Queen of Bohemia, who was consort to the Elector of Hanover, George Ludwig, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and he turned out to be the primary male ancestor of the current House of Windsor.
Rob: What the [expletive]! You’re saying the Queen of England and all her family are Germans?
Tom: No, thanks to an Act of Parliament in 1705, they’re all English. And something like that is what the Founding Fathers were concerned about happening here in America. That’s what the “natural born citizen” stuff in the Constitution is for – preventing some European noble from taking over as our hereditary head of state. It’s strictly eighteenth century politics, like that clause in the Bill of Rights which prohibits quartering troops in people’s homes; it’s simply not an issue anymore.
Rob: So, even if Obama had been born in Kenya, he’d be eligible to be president?
Tom: Probably. His mother was an American citizen and she definitely fulfilled the residency requirement. But the issue has never actually been taken to court and litigated, so who knows? It’s a moot point anyway, because Obama was born in Hawaii when it was a bona fide State of the Union.
Rob: Ted Cruz, on the other hand…
Tom: Haven’t you been listening to what I’ve been saying? Liberal Democrats like you could drag Ted Cruz into the Supreme Court and get them to unanimously rule he’s not eligible, and as far as conservative Republicans and the Tea Party idiots would be concerned, none of it would mean anything – it might as well have never happened. They live in a parallel universe, Rob, and as H. Ross Perot once said, it’s just that simple.
Rob: Well, getting the Supreme Court to rule that he’s full of [expletive] with his claim to eligibility for the presidency might at least keep Ted Cruz out of the White House.
Tom: Take it from me, Ted Cruz will be what keeps Ted Cruz out of the White House. Now, if you will excuse me, my coffee is getting cold.
Rob: Oh, sure, sorry, Tom. Thanks for the advice.
Tom: No problem. Advice is my business. Say hi to Katje and Jason.
Rob: Okay. ‘Bye.