Monday, May 14, 2012

Michele Bachmann's Dual Citizenship

Talk about convoluted reasoning. Mark Krikorian over at National Review is incensed that Michele Bachmann accepted dual Swiss citizenship automatically given to her because of her husband's heritage. Krikorian (who continues the anti-dual citizenship argument here and the marriage analogy here) likens dual citizenship to bigamy.
"Dual citizenship isn’t simply a matter of convenience, a way to make travel easier or a sentimental tie to the Auld Sod. It’s a formal declaration of divided allegiance, civic bigamy, if you will."
Huh? If you're going to make the marriage comparison, why not polygamy (except for the current presumed Republican nominee's religious background)? Bigamy is when you're not legally allowed to have two marriages. Polygamy is when the two marriages are legal (like dual citizenship). Does Krikorian knows the difference between bigamy and polygamy? Apparently not.

Aside from Krikorian's definitional problem, the idea of dual citizenship as cheating in marriage leads one to the somewhat ludicrous definition of vacationing abroad as being a one-night stand or actually living abroad as being adultery.

However, at least Krikorian merely calls for Bachmann to refuse dual citizenship. Newsmax also brings in as a major gun on this controversy Lori Stacey (a "conservative blogger" according to Newsmax) who thinks Bachmann should resign her seat in the House of Representatives. Stacey, of course, is well known for her major contributions to conservatism. Oh, wait, I've never heard of her either.

Why does a peripheral figure like Stacey get big press from a conservative outlet like Newsmax just because she is willing to say outrageous things against a real conservative leader with real conservative accomplishments? It is understandable why such as Kathleen Parker*, Jennifer Rubin, Andrew Sullivan and David Frum get cited by the liberal media for attacking conservative politicians. But why does a conservative news outlet tout such people?

I think it's a silly issue. Michele Bachmann having Swiss citizenship says nothing about her commitment to the United States. Just as a person having only U.S. citizenship says nothing about his commitment to the United States. Actions are the key to commitment and dual citizenship is not the harbinger either of cooling passion or treason.

Not a bright day for National Review. Even worse for the Newsmax staff for quoting someone truly silly
*Parker even won a Pulitzer prize. One wonders whether liberal commentators are miffed that a fairly mediocre writer like Parker can waltz away with a Pulitzer just because she used to be a conservative and now bashes conservatives. If it weren’t such a roadblock to getting a job in journalism, there might be a lot of journalist versions of Elizabeth Warren claiming they had a 1/32nd conservative background in order to be in the running for Pulitzers or the Washington Post conservative blogger position.


MAX Redline said...

NRO does some really stupid stuff, sometimes, and this was one of those times. OTOH, the Mark Steyn piece is brilliant (and likely too long for mainstream media):

T. D. said...

Yes, that is a great piece. I read it yesterday via James Nicholas' post. Europe is playing out a satire no one would believe if it were presented as fiction of amoralists being slowly overrun by strict moral legalists and punishing those who seek to point out the danger.

NR has lots of good people along with Mark Steyn like the great Thomas Sowell, Andrew C. McCarthy, Steven F. Hayward, John Fund, Victor Davis Hanson, Jonah Goldberg, Michael J. New and Nina Shea who are must reads. Thanks for upholding their honor. :-)

MAX Redline said...

Ya, Sowell posted a great one a day or so ago.

I never quite get where NRO is going; they have great stuff, and then a brain-fart or something happens, and they get stupid.

T. D. said...

I think without Bill Buckley's and William Rusher's clear compass, NR doesn't really know how to deal with fringe "conservatives" or how to target central issues. They seem all over the map.

When is the last time the editorial board has issued a statement that helps direct the conservative movement? I don't even read their editorials anymore.