After Banging the Birther Drum for Years, the GOP’s First 2016 Candidate Is a Canadian

art-canadian-flag-ted-cruzSen. Ted Cruz made it official yesterday. He’s running for president. It’s fair to say he has zero chance of winning his party’s nomination, much less the general election. It’s further fair to say he’s in the race for the same reason that Newt Gingrich teased a run for the presidency for so many cycles before jumping in — and for the same reason that Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Alan Keyes and others have run — to sell books and/or land a hosting gig on Fox or hate radio.

The twist here is that Ted Cruz was born in Canada — Calgary, Alberta, in 1970, to be precise. His mother was an American citizen, but his father was a Cuban national — and, worse, a member of Fidel Castro’s Communist Party.

For years now the extreme right’s birther brigade has insisted that anyone who is born in a foreign land is not a “natural born” American citizen and therefore ineligible to serve as president — although they didn’t seem to mind it in 2008 when John McCain, their party’s nominee, was a native of Panama. Of course, the difference then was that McCain white, sorry — was born on a military base to parents who were American citizens.

Cruz’s foreign-born status ought to be a problem for his base, many of whom are birthers who still insist that Pres. Obama was born in Kenya. They acknowledge that the president’s mother was an American but contend that being born to an American parent on foreign soil does not qualify as natural born, according to the Founders. Obama’s Kenyan father is the subject of scorn from birthers like Gingrich and election-fraud convict Dinesh D’Souza because Obama Sr. was not just a non-citizen, he was, they say, ideologically more dangerous even than a Castro commie — he was an anti-colonial.

You know, like the Founders.

Birtherism has been a cause célèbre on the extreme right. It made a media darling out of Russian immigrant Orly Taitz and drove traffic to World Net Daily. It also spawned dozens of lawsuits around the country as well as three attempts to make the Supreme Court rule on the matter. The court declined each time — including refusals by Republican Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia.

Cruz’s candidacy kicks the ball back into the birthers’ court. Here is a candidate who actually has all the characteristics they claimed to abhor in Obama: He’s foreign born and, by their standards, mixed race — with a father who was a communist.

So it’s also fair to say that if Cruz’s candidacy fails to enrage and energize birthers now, their true motivation in going after the president will be exposed for what it appeared to be all along.

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