Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


The Iowa GOP wants to strip President Obama of his citizenship for having accepted an award from a foreign ruler (in this case, The Nobel Prize).

Their basis for this is the first Thirteenth Amendment, which was never ratified by a sufficient number of states.

“If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”

The original intent of this amendment was to prevent some ne’er-do-well or other from selling out the United States for a foreign barony or other lucre.

However, its application to Barack Obama and his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize seems bizarre in the extreme.

After all, Barack Obama is not the first President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Teddy Roosevelt received it for brokering the peace that ended the Russo-Japanese War in the first decade of the Twentieth Century.

Woodrow Wilson got it for his work in helping to establish the League of Nations (which we never joined, due largely to Republican opposition in the U.S. Senate). (Where have we heard that phrase before?)

But then again, maybe there is some merit to deterring Presidents and former Presidents from receiving awards from foreign potentates.

The interesting question in the case of Barack Obama is: how can one strip American Citizenship from an alleged Kenyan, or from a putative Indonesian, who supposedly is not an American citizen in the first place?


  1. spacemanspiff

    Sounds like an MTV hidden camera show or something.

    Is this from a comedy site? LOL!

    Wow. This costs money too. This “work” they are doing is on somebody’s dime.

    What a waste. Unbelievable.

  2. You don’t hear much clamor for a return to state charters for corporations.

    It is old news that our nation was once incredibly resistant to corporate influence. The Dutch India and other early nationals were hardly friends to our fledgling nation, and to seal the deal, back in the day, the laws were skewed not just corporate charters to operate on our shores, but charters within each state that they wished to operate in, which likewise had to spell out their intentions, and more importantly what greater good their operation would support in those states.

    It was the Framers’ intent to limit corporate influence by watering down their operations through the skien of the states’ needs. That went out the window as time went on, and Western expansion was seen as paramount into territories where government was disorganized, at best.

    The argument to base our actions on our Framers’ intent, then means opening up a whole can of worms that would divest us of the legal notion of “corporate citizenship” and likewise of “lobbying” and “campaign contributions” by companies, which our Framers would have called “bribes.”  It should be interesting to see how this shakes out in the end, and if anyone remembers that portion of the Framers’ intentions.

    I want to base decisions of national import on laws that never passed.  That seems like a brilliant system.  

  3. HappyinVT

    Chuck Grassley and whomever else is in the Iowa Congressional delegation about this.  Make them either support or denounce this mess.

    This whole thing is so freakin’ frustrating.  Oppose the guy on the issues but, Jesus, move on from the citizenship crap.  Like someone’s really going to strip a sitting president of his citizenship.  At best, this would wind up in the Courts until long after Obama’s left the White House because, presumably, there would be arguments as to whether the lack of citizenship would be retroactive to pre-Inauguration.  I don’t think the Constitution addresses that.  Also, do they think McCain becomes president?  We’d get Biden and … what a minute.  Would Biden get to choose a replacement VP?  Wouldn’t it be a hoot if he either chose Obama and became “ill” and couldn’t be president anymore?  Or, someone really Left like Bernie Sanders?

  4. Rashaverak

    Did you overlook Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7?

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

    and this legal opinion?

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