Ted Balk

By Bill Maher

The Republican base is mad at Marco Rubio for working on immigration reform with people like Chuck Schumer. Here's a recent cover of The National Review:

You see, they want a Latino to run in 2016, but not just any Latino. They need one who's openly hostile to other Latinos. Enter Ted Cruz. He's the Texas Senator and anti-immigration hardliner who leaked to multiple sources last week that he was "mulling" a run for president -- which is how candidates raise money to run for president. And you can bet the farm that he will run, because he's got Newt Gingrich's ambition and ego mixed with the steely-eyed focus of a serial killer. He's young and Cuban, like Rubio, but even Tea Baggier -- and totally unwilling to compromise with liberals on anything, including eating with a knife and fork.

There's only one problem: he wasn't born in the United States. He was born in Canada and moved to this country when he was four. And there's an attempt to label anybody who challenges his eligibility a "birther." Sean Hannity told Cruz, "I hear birther cries building on the left." But this is completely different: Barack Obama wasn't born in Kenya; Ted Cruz was born in Canada. 

The Constitution says, "No Person except a natural born Citizen... shall be eligible to the Office of President." Cruz says he's eligible to run because his mom was a U.S. citizen, and therefore he's a U.S. citizen who didn’t need to be naturalized. Great, but then what the hell was that whole Obama "birther" thing about?

Over half of Republican primary voters thought President Obama was illegitimate because they claimed he wasn’t born here. They didn’t give a damn that his mother was. If they don’t have a problem with Cruz running, it’s just an admission that they only care when it involves one of the black countries.

Can you imagine if it'd turned out President Obama wasn't born in America and had lived the first four years of his life in Kenya? They'd be drawing up the articles of impeachment. Donald Trump would take a victory lap. Then again, he took a victory lap when it turned out he was wrong, which everyone already knew, so maybe he's just a douche.

But here's the thing: Ted Cruz is perfectly American enough to be president. His mom was an American citizen. His father became an American citizen. And every memory Ted probably has is from the years he spent in America. Except for when he was at Harvard, which he considers the Soviet Union. 

Would it have mattered to the nation if Barack Obama really had been plopped out in Kenya? With the exception of wingnuts and Donald Trump, no, it wouldn't. Should it matter if Ted Cruz was born in Canada? Of course not.

And this is what I'm talking about when I say that the Constitution could use a page one re-write. This country is no longer under the threat of a British or French spy who lives here for years and then runs for president as a double agent. Would it make a great HBO series? Sure. But in reality we don't need a law that says people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Granholm, and Arianna Huffington can't run for president. Because they can lose just fine on their own.

So, as much as I’d like to disqualify Ted Cruz because he's everything that I hate about politicians wrapped into one man, the fact that he was born near the oil fields of Calgary should not be an issue. Unless that's where he picked up the lead poisoning.