Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thank You, Nathan Deal

Let me be the first to thank Rep. Nathan Deal for bringing an issue of vital importance to the attention of Georgia voters.

During an online chat in November, Rep. Deal wrote “I am joining several of my colleagues in the House in writing a letter to the President asking that he release a copy of his birth certificate.”

The other week Deal’s office confirmed that this letter was sent, though it bore only Deal’s signature. Thus far Deal has declined to release the letter or discuss its contents, but I still choose to believe that the letter exists, despite not having seen it for myself.

Of course, Deal’s concerns about the President are nonsense. President Obama’s birth is already more well-documented than any U.S. President in history; the public has his certification of birth in Hawaii, confirmation of that birth by Hawaiian vital records officials, and birth announcements in two Honolulu newspapers. More Americans could probably name the hospital that birthed the current President than could name the state that gave us the last one (Connecticut).

But Nathan Deal nonetheless exposes another politician whose eligibility is hardly as settled as President Obama’s. And that person is Nathan Deal.

Deal is currently running for Georgia Governor. Per the Georgia Constitution, the Governor must have been a U.S. citizen for at least 15 years.

I have never seen any proof that Nathan Deal is a U.S. citizen. Unlike President Obama, he has never released any records of his birth. The documentation that is publicly available leaves many things to be desired. Extensive online research turns up only an alleged birthdate and birthplace of Millen, Georgia. Who were his parents? What was the hospital? Who was the delivering doctor? These are questions that need answers.

You see, there are unsourced internet rumors that Nathan Deal was not born in Georgia at all. That instead, his mother gave birth to him while his parents were in Canada, dodging the WWII draft. They then returned to Georgia and registered his birth here. Moreover, there is further rumor that Nathan is actually the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. I’m not saying these rumors are true, but when can we expect Deal to produce the documents that would put them to rest? What is he hiding?

And unfortunately, a birth certificate alone cannot settle this matter, even after it’s been forensically examined. Deal has been a U.S. Congressman since 1993, and was previously a Georgia State Senator beginning in 1981. Both offices have citizenship requirements, yet in his nearly three decades in elected office, Nathan Deal has never publicly produced a shred of evidence to support his presumed U.S. birth and citizenship. Three decades of evasion. Even his Congressional website says nothing about his birth, opting instead for the conveniently ambiguous statement that he “was raised in Sandersville, Georgia.” His gubernatorial campaign website avoids the subject of his youth entirely.

And are you aware his first name is not actually “Nathan”? It’s John. John Nathan Deal. Did he ever legally change his name? Could his surname still be Rosenberg? We simply don’t know.

All of this means that Georgians deserve firm proof of Deal’s eligibility for the office he now seeks. He should produce witnesses to his birth, and evidence of his parentage. He should release his records from law school, college, high school, and kindergarten. Plus his parents’ marriage license, military records, Bar records, and baptism records.

Before he objects, these rumors merely mirror those that Deal’s fellow eligibility skeptics, his fellow ‘Birthers,’ have levied against Obama as grounds for their skepticism, and records that they have demanded the President produce. So if Deal empathizes with their conspiracist campaign, surely he cannot consider it unreasonable to be held to a similar standard. And I, for one, eagerly await him to live up to it.