David Sanger on Afghanistan, France, Egypt, and China

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times and WNYC contributor David Sanger, discusses the situation in Afghanistan, the elections in France and Egypt, and the latest on the situation in China with activist Chen Guangcheng.


David Sanger

Comments [13]

Chris Garvey from New York delegation to the Constitutional Convention

Here is a good discussion of what natural born citizen meant at the time of the Constitutional Convention:

June 18th, 1787 - Alexander Hamilton suggests that the requirement be added, as: "No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States."

July 25, 1787 (~5 weeks later) - John Jay writes a letter to General Washington (president of the Constitutional Convention): "Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen."
September 2nd, 1787 George Washington pens a letter to John Jay. The last line reads: "I thank you for the hints contained in your letter"

September 4th, 1787 (~6 weeks after Jay's letter and just 2 days after Washington wrote back to Jay) - The "Natural Born Citizen" requirement is now found in their drafts. Madison's notes of the Convention

The proposal passed unanimously without debate.

French text (about "natural" born citizens): "Les naturels, ou indigenes, sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays, de parens citoyens"
To English, gives this: "the natural, or indigenous, are those born in the country, parents who are citizens"

May. 10 2012 03:14 AM
Restore Sanity from Westchester

To Chris Garvey: I just re-checked the presidential eligibility requirements in the Constitution (Article I, Section 1), and it just says natural born citizen -- which has always meant born on U.S. soil, with no requirement that one's parents be citizens at the time of birth. So why are you concerned with all these candidates' parents? Are you proposing that the constitutional requirement be changed?
Also, can you fill us in with more information about the Constitutional Convention to which you are a delegate? Some of us might like to participate, or at least follow the deliberations. Thanks.

May. 03 2012 12:41 PM
Chris Garvey from New York delegation to the Constitutional Convention

Notice how we are not the only country that requires its president to be a Natural Born Citizen (born on native soil of 2 citizen parents).
Egypt also disqualifies such non natural born citizen candidates.
The issue in our Constitution was to avoid a commander-in-chief who inherits divided loyalties.
But we can't seem to get anyone in the election process to disqualify:
Romney - Mexican father who never naturalized;
Rubio - Parents were Cuban when he was born, naturalized later;
Obama - British subject father, adopted by an Indonesian father to become an Indonesian foreign student. Candidate possibly born in Kenya;
Santorum - Italian father (never naturalized), disqualified by the voters;
Chester Arthur - never mentioned his British subject dad.

May. 03 2012 10:55 AM
Janet from Manhattan

Why stay with these well traveled capitals? There is lots of ink and air already spent on them. I would like to see you address the confusing and complex situation in Mali.

May. 03 2012 10:43 AM

"How do you deal with your banker?"

That's a ridiculous point by Clinton and absurd for Sanger to parrot it as his own insight in the proper handling China.

The fact is, China is so extended in American investments, which are entirely vested in the political, military and moral stability of the US, that we are, oddly, China's banker.

May. 03 2012 10:43 AM

To the last genius who called - is he awake? Why is the US being "timid" with China because they are oppressing their workers? Well, duh. How about the US doesn't want to prevent that? How about the US actually likes the situation where China gets to enslave workers so US companies can make huge profits? If the commerce clause didn't prevent child labor in NJ, believe me, the US would get their goods from NJ. But it can't. So it needs to go beyond its borders. Is that hard to understand?

May. 03 2012 10:40 AM
RJ from prospect hts

It's a shame that David Sanger perpetuates the false dichotomy of the French lifestyle--they actually don't work themselves into an incredibly high-stress, mental-health, substance-dependent, American-style way of life and therefore are "not competitive"--and not factor in the dominance of the "competition" paradigm promulgated by the U.S. economic system. Sure, take away government-managed Medicare from future generations--the one program that's proven itself to get seniors out of poverty since its creation in the 1960s. That'll be a great triumph of "our" way of life over the "lazy" workers in the French economy.

May. 03 2012 10:36 AM

In terms of Afghanistan; it would have been far more effective and a hell of a lot cheaper without any of the bloodshed to have offered all Afghani women and children a safe haven in the USA replete with housing and education.

Leave the ignorant religious nuts to kill each other.


May. 03 2012 10:30 AM

Are they still referring to Mr. Sanger as a journalist??

May. 03 2012 10:25 AM

Sanger and the Times offer nothing you can't get from US government press releases. That's why I no longer pay this guy's salary (by subscribing to the paper) - hopefully his paper will go bankrupt and he'll be able to spend more time with the family.

About the Chinese dissident - the only thing that will be considered in resolving the matter is a solution that allows China to keep exporting low cost goods to the US, including employing slave labor, period, case closed, end of story. No other consideration ("human rights") has ANY bearing on our relations with China. That is IT. Get used to it - if you don't like it, try to change it, but you won't be able to. Oh well, too bad.

May. 03 2012 10:16 AM

Re: Chen Guangcheng - no news discussion I've come across explains why Beijing doesn't simply overtly condemn the local officials who've been beating Chen & his family. Isn't it in Beijing's PR interest to shift the blame to local thugs?

May. 03 2012 10:09 AM

How well did it work out the first time we abandoned Afghanistan

May. 03 2012 10:04 AM
Joshua Jake Levine

Where is Romney on America's unconditional defense of Chen Guangcheng's rights?

In a scenario where Obama is anything less than firm on defending Guagcheng, wherever it leads -- and Romney sides with Guagcheng in a standoff between his rights and China's will, I (a relatively liberal American and enthusiastic Obama voter in 08) vote for Romney in a heartbeat.

Even Chinese investors undoubtedly appreciate America's black and white stance (and at least rhetoric) on human rights and rule of law, and expect it, build it into the premiums they are willing to pay for our companies, real estate and in many other transactions. As your guest likely knows, the real clash here (and the million dollar lesson for those who don't normally follow this stuff) is undoubtedly between provincial and national Communist powers. America getting in the way of a classic, epic standoff is the last thing we or the Chinese would need or expect.

Analysis aside, defending and protecting Guangcheng is a wonderful opportunity for either or, preferably both 2012 US Presidential candidates, to remind Americans and the world what we stand for and what we would fight for.

May. 03 2012 09:58 AM

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