Ever since Barack Obama produced his really-real-for-realsies birth certificate–punctuated by that actually quite funny turn at the White House Correspondents' Dinner–the birther movement has lacked focus. Laguna Niguel dentist/attorney/weekly purchaser of entire Costco pallets of mascara Orly Taitz, along with her many birther frenemies, have been looking around for a new, nationally prominent figure of dubious provenance.
But who? It had to be someone aspiring to the presidency or vice-presidency … foreign-ish … accent would be a plus … medium complexion … last name ends in a vowel….
Hey, what about that Marco Rubio character, the Republican senator from Florida? Did I say from Florida? That's what he wants you to think!
According to the St. Petersburg Times, birther
lawyer litigant Charles Kerchner got his hands on the naturalization petitions by Rubio's parents, who had emigrated to Miami from Cuba in 1956. They didn't become citizens until 1975. Now, that doesn't matter here in the real world. Rubio was born in the U.S., and is eligible for the presidency–or, as many in Republican circles had been hoping, the vice-presidency first, and sooner rather than later.
Of course, in the xenophobic whackadoodle realm of Birtherstan, the term natural-born is up for debate. Our own Orly told the St. Pete Times, “We need the court to finally adjudicate this issue, who is a natural-born citizen.” Her position is, since his parents weren't citizens, Rubio is ineligible for the presidency.
All of this is something Rubio would be able to laugh off as easily as Obama has, but the birthers' digging uncovered some facts about Rubio's family history that don't jibe with his public statements about growing up in el exilio in Miami. As writer Michael Miller of our sister paper Miami New Times explains, Rubio's been telling everyone that his parents fled Fidel Castro's evil commie evilness after the dictator came to power, which would have been no earlier than 1959. Rubio's parents actually came in 1956.
Oops. The Washington Post has picked up the story as well, and Rubio has lamely fallen back on an “oral history of my family” excuse. As Miller puts it, “Yeah, right. Any self-respecting cubano sure as hell knows when his or her family arrived in the United States. Heck, most can tell you the exact day.”
All of this is incredibly damaging to the future political prospects of this far-right, Tea Party darling and “pro-life warrior.”
So, uh … go Orly? And have fun at the birther summit.