Bachmann blasted by right blogs
By: Tim Mak
May 11, 2012 12:10 PM EDT
Rep. Michele Bachmann insisted Thursday
she’s withdrawing her Swiss citizenship to “make it perfectly clear” that she’s a “proud American citizen,” but intense criticism from the right may have forced her decision.
The news that the Minnesota Republican became a Swiss citizen
on March 19 was greeted poorly by conservative blogs — which normally argue in her favor — as writers called her dual citizenship “treason,” “career-ending” and an “insult."
A former Bachmann congressional staffer told POLITICO that the congresswoman sometimes acts “impulsively” and suggests that she must have registered for citizenship without considering all consequences.
“She didn’t think there was anything wrong with holding or applying for Swiss citizenship while serving as a member of the U.S. Congress. She didn’t think it might be perceived as a conflict of interest as a candidate for president or for reelection to her House seat,” said the staffer. “But one might think she’d be better served to focus first on her constituents in Minnesota and then on her fellow citizens in Switzerland.”
Mark Krikorian, an influential anti-immigration writer who contributes to the National Review and heads the Center for Immigration Studies, led the charge in the blogosphere with three articles in two days about how Bachmann’s dual citizenship was wrong.
“This is outrageous and she needs to hear about it… Dual citizenship isn’t simply a matter of convenience, a way to make travel easier or a sentimental tie to the Auld Sod,” argued Krikorian
. “It’s an insult to both countries.”
Elsewhere, the criticism was even fiercer.
“Dual Citizenship Is Treason,” blared a headline at the Daily Paul
, a website “inspired by” Ron Paul.
“I am against dual citizenship of any kind. When you benefit from the blood spilled by patriots in the past, the least which can be requested of you is undivided allegiance. The United States is not like any other country… For most of the country’s history, dual citizenship was considered the equivalent of political bigamy,” wrote a blogger there.
“Just when you think it’s safe to vote for a Republican, along comes Michele Bachmann… with what should be a career-ending piece of news, at least on the national level,” remarked
Michael Walsh at National Review’s The Corner. “Good grief.”
“How she thinks that she can sit in the US Congress of the United States after swearing allegiance to the country of Switzerland is beyond my comprehension,” wrote conservative blogger Lori Stacy on Examiner.com
. “Michele Bachmann needs to step down immediately and apologize profusely to all of our citizens and especially the residents of her district in Minnesota for carrying on this egregious offense of representing them since March 19th after becoming a citizen of a different country.”
Indeed, the entire “Swiss miss” flap — lasting all of two and a half days — appears to illustrate the emerging influence of blogs.
“This would seem easily fixable by writing to the Swiss foreign ministry politely asking that they not consider her a Swiss citizen,” wrote Kirkorian in another post
on Thursday morning, detailing a phone conversation he had had with Bachmann.
That day, that’s exactly what she did.