Birtherism: Now Nastier Than Ever

Author Jerome Corsi
Author Jerome Corsi
Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

You thought President Obama had laid the birther issue to rest by releasing his long form birth certificate last April? Not a chance. Witness the debut at No. 6 on The New York Times bestseller list of Jerome Corsi's new book, Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President. Clearly, there are plenty of Americans out there who just can't let this go. But more than that, writes Michelle Goldberg over at The Daily Beast, the book's brisk trade "suggests that birtherism is mutating in sinister ways, becoming much more explicitly racist." How so? Corsi – a notorious crank who had a big hand in the Swiftboating of John Kerry cites a fringe constitutional theory popular among white supremacists and nativists to argue that even if Obama was born in the United States, he still might not be a "natural-born citizen" because his father was a foreign citizen, which would make him ineligible for the presidency. The theory rests on a distinction between how the 14th Amendment (ratified in 1868) defines citizenship and how the Constitution, as originally written, does. One problem with that line of reasoning: it would disqualify just the children of immigrants but all black people from the presidency, since the unamended Constitution didn't consider black people citizens. The success of Corsi's book, writes Goldberg, is proof that the birther movement "is still there, and it's more rabid than ever."


'Why Birthers Won't Die' [Michelle Goldberg/The Daily Beast]

RS Politics Daily Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.