The XX Factor

Bachmann Accused of “Treason” for Swiss Citizenship

Michele Bachmann has renounced her short-lived Swiss citizenship

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Michele Bachmann’s short-lived experiment as a Swiss citizen ended awkwardly this week, when her beloved philosophy of American exceptionalism came back to bite her in the tushy. It turns out the far right concluded that her brief bout of dual citizenship made her anti-American. Remember that this is the congresswoman who skyrocketed to fame on an accusation that Barack Obama was anti-American. Oh, the irony!

A little background for anyone who tuned out of Bachmann’s adventures after she dropped out of the presidential race in January. Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, he of the alleged pray-gays-straight therapeutic philosophy, was born to Swiss immigrants, which made him, the congresswoman, and their children eligible for dual citizenship, Politico reports. In March, according to reporting by Politico and a Swiss reporter, and seemingly confirmed by a Bachmann spokeswoman, Marcus, Michele and three of her children decided to add Swiss citizenship to their American citizenship. (More recently, Bachmann’s famously disorganized office changed this account, claiming that she’s actually been a dual citizen since she married Marcus in 1978, and that it happened “automatically,” as if without her consent. Whatever.) In any case, news that Bachmann had opted to become a “Swiss miss,” as Politico delightfully termed her, upset pundits on the right wing, who called her dual citizenship “an insult to both countries,” “political bigamy,” career-ending,” “egregious,” and tantamount to “treason.”

All which appears to be why she announced Thursday that she would withdraw her Swiss citizenship. “I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known,” she said in a statement. How awkward for the Republican from Minnesota, who waxed on and on about her reverence for the Constitution and has said that God created our government.

How can you go on and on about how America is the very best nation in the world and then reveal yourself to have divided loyalties? How did this terrible mistake happen? Politico, take it away:

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.

You don’t say.