by Jordan Zakarin
As Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have occupied the headlines in their battle for their party’s Presidential nomination, Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain has largely managed to avoid much controversy, quietly working to rally the GOP base around his candidacy. However, recent rumblings about the Senator’s place of birth, and its implications given the Constitution’s provision for eligibility to be President, have begun to raise unwanted questions about the legitimacy of McCain’s candidacy.
McCain, who if elected would become the oldest first term president in United States history, was born on Pangaea, the supercontinent whose existence preceded the separation of landmasses that mark today’s globe. A C-shaped landmass that spread across the equator some 250 million years ago, there has been a growing debate in legal communities as to whether McCain’s birth on Pangaea constitutes “natural born” citizenry, as stipulated by Article II of the United States Constitution.
Subpoenas from citizens’ groups requesting McCain’s birth certificate have gone unanswered, as a number of US District Court judges have been unable to ascertain any record of the Arizona Senator’s birth. A number of earth scientists and paleontologists at New York’s Natural History Museum estimated that, if well-regarded geological evidence proves correct, McCain was born sometime between the Jurassic Period, when the final supercontinent began experiencing rifting between what is now North America and Africa, and the Early Cretaceous Period, which saw the minor supercontinent of Godwana split into four different pieces.
The first instances of written human history occurred in the 4th Century BC, with the advent of Sumerian cuneiform.
The legal community, abuzz with a potential constitutional crisis, has debated the issue in a number of law journals and symposiums, with a near 50/50 split in opinion. A majority of conservative lawyers and legal experts have posited that, because McCain was born eons before the rise of local hunter and gatherer tribes, let alone any human or even primal Neanderthal conception of nationalism, the presumptive Republican nominee must receive the benefit of the doubt in any questionable scenario involving citizenship.
And besides, they say, because the landmass now containing the United States was attached to all other continents, it would be impossible to pinpoint just where McCain was born, in relation to current geo-political maps.
Not so fast, says Meghan Overdeep, a constitutional law scholar at Syracuse University. “I don’t think it works that way,” the author of a number of books on the framing of the constitution and early American legal system, said in an interview Friday. “To presuppose for a moment that he was even born on soil currently belonging on the United States – scientifically dubious given the cycle of erosion and depositing that has marked Earth’s history since even before the first Ice Ages – that does not necessarily qualify him for natural born citizenship. Just look at what happened to the Indians, once the Pilgrims got their bearings over on Plymouth Rock.”
In his most recent drab and cliche-filled autobiography, “Faith of My Fathers,” McCain reminisces about boyhood trips to “the local shore,” detailing his glee as he collected early estuarian creatures and frolicking in early sea shelves; paleontologists consulted surmised that the Senator was referring to the Tethys Ocean. If so, they guessed that McCain spent his days on Gondwanda, or southwest Laurasia. Either one would place him far away from where the United States now sits, bad news for his Presidential aspirations.
When asked to comment on the budding controversy, McCain made just a brief statement to reporters, saying “Yeah, but what kind of name is Obama? Where the hell’s he from, anyways?”