I have a ton of things that I want to post, but time is limited (as always). So I'm just gonna recycle a comment I left at Matt's place. Markos, at the Daily Kos, supports the idea of amending the Constitution to allow foreign born citizens to be President. I don't agree.
As concerns amending the Constitutional requirements for President, I respectfully disagree. I think Kos makes a good point about the political good will Democratic support for this idea would garner … but that doesn’t make it a good idea. I deeply believe that the Constitution should only be amended when there is a pressing national need to do so, and Arnie’s ambition just doesn’t qualify as that. It is stated (but not supported) that the Article in question is outdated. Considering how much political hay the Repubs made about Kerry being under the control of Paris, I’d like to see a good argument for why the requirement for national birth is outdated, other than just a say-so. I would posit that the dangers inherent in divided loyalties and international manipulation are far greater today then when the Constitution was written. To use an egregious example, Yao Ming is very public, popular, personable, and intelligent. Think of our looming economic and political struggle with China, and I ask you: would you want him as President?
Kos puts forth a very noble and poorly considered sentiment, that we are a nation of immigrants. That’s true, and if we’re talking about civil rights then I will be the first to fight for the inclusion of all. BUT we’re not. What’s under discussion is a matter of job qualifications, and there is no pressing need to change those in the name of equality. You must be 45 years old and you must be born in the states. I don’t see that limiting the pool of available candidates for the job, nor does that appear to infringe on anyone’s rights in the society. It was judged then (and I judge it now) that the most capable candidates are in the pool of those over 45, who were born in the US. Is there any reason to extend the job search further?
Seriously, if it weren’t for Schwarzenegger, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. And I for one find a grave danger in the urge to change the Constitution to custom fit one person. Changing the Constitution should take (almost) an act of God, and I find, in this case, the efforts to be wrong-headed.
This is one of those issues I would delight in being found incorrect on, so please feel free to disagree.