It seemed a little silly over the weekend when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) felt compelled to release his birth certificate. The right-wing Texan was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother, which immediately made Cruz an American citizen. With the senator apparently eyeing national office, and with much of the right fascinated by birth certificates in recent years, the move was apparently intended to resolve any questions about eligibility.
But in this case, it didn’t work out the way Cruz hoped. The Dallas Morning News noted that, as a technical matter, Cruz had dual citizenship — he was an American by virtue of his American mother, but he was also Canadian the moment he was born on Canadian soil. Cruz could, in theory, obtain a Canadian passport, register to vote in Canada, and even run for Parliament.
And so, late yesterday, Cruz filled out a form, renounced any claim to Canadian citizenship, and released a written public statement…
“Because I was a U.S. citizen at birth, because I left Calgary when I was 4 and have lived my entire life since then in the U.S., and because I have never taken affirmative steps to claim Canadian citizenship, I assumed that was the end of the matter.
“Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship. Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. Senator, I believe I should be only an American.”
What a strange story. Ted Cruz, the Harvard Law School grad and Supreme Court attorney, didn’t realize he had dual citizenship until two days ago? Because his Mom told him not to worry about it?
I have no doubts about Cruz’s eligibility, though I have to admit, seeing conservatives wring their hands about a “foreign-born” candidate is awfully amusing given the circumstances.
Though my friends and relatives in Canada try to maintain a tolerant attitude about American nutball politics, they will have a boatload of fun over this latest example of Tea Party xenophobia.
Birther stupidity infects the American right-wing as thoroughly as racist ideology. But, if you grew up in the United States someplace other than the Confederate state of mind – and after the McCarthyism decade – you may not be aware of the America First kind of bigotry that’s considered a requirement among uneducated bigots who still aren’t convinced the United States Constitution gives everyone the right to vote.
There will be dancing in the streets of Ottawa.