Michele Bachmann Renounces Her Swiss Citizenship

The congresswoman released a statement saying, "I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known."

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It seems like just today that I was defending Michele Bachmann's dual citizenship with Switzerland. I was reacting to a Mark Krikorian post excoriating the congresswoman for her status. "Today I sent a letter to the Swiss Consulate requesting withdrawal of my dual Swiss citizenship, which was conferred upon me by operation of Swiss law when I married my husband in 1978," Bachmann said Thursday. "I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen. I am, and always have been, 100 percent committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America."

Got that? Bachmann = patriot. Bachmann ≠ Swiss.

But there's one thing that still bothers me. Here's Mark Krikorian's initial reaction to news of official Swissness:
... One's chief political allegiance is expressed through citizenship, through being a member of We the People -- and claiming membership in two national communities is like belonging to two different religions, which means neither is accorded the respect due it ... don't pretend to be Swiss -- it's an insult to both countries. And there is no justification for such a thing...
Now look at how Krikorian's latest starts (emphasis added):
I just got off the phone with Representative Bachmann, and her perplexity and frustration were palpable. She said that the Left and the media (I repeat myself) are all over this story partly because her vigorous advocacy for Governor Romney undermines the president's "war on women" story line regarding Republicans.
This drives me nuts. For goodness sakes, Krikorian, you write at a national magazine that is published in print and on the web. You're a member of the media. You're not on the left. And your assessment of Bachmann's Swiss citizenship was harsher than anything coming from the left.

There's also the irony that you never would've been in a position to write about a story you found important enough to warrant strong criticism but for the fact that other media outlets reported it first. So how is it that you turn around and imply that ideological bias is all that's behind their work? You've set up a standard where your motives for harsh criticism are presumed to be pure, while anyone in the MSM covering the same exact thing are deemed suspect.
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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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