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Swiss Miss with a side of Teahadist
May 10, 2012 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Michele may have crazy eyes, she may say crazy things, but did you ever think she'd apply for dual citizenship with a European country with mandated health insurance? Former Presidential nominee and perpetual font of amusement, Michele Bachmann is now officially a Swiss citizen.
posted by dejah420 (175 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
wtf?
posted by ph00dz at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


their problem now:

"Welcome to Switzerland, Michelle.

We were the first to give free heroin to addicts 18 yrs. ago (it worked: less druggies, almost no drug related crime). We speak four languages from four different cultures, and no big problems. We don't have problems with gays and lesbians. We haven't been in any wars (well, that's down to luck) for more than 150 years. Freedom of worship is in the constitution, and enforced. Separation of state and religion is complete: No non-science in our schools. We have mandatory healthcare for everyone, and at the highest standards.

But as they say, and that does not exclude us: the percentage of idiots is the same all the world over. In this sense: Welcome again.

Posted by Swiss_Dude | May 9, 2012 3:09 AM"
posted by djseafood at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [56 favorites]


what.

Swiss citizenship is pretty damn hard to get.
posted by phrontist at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does having citizenship in another country disqualify Ms. Bachmann from being President of the US?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:36 AM on May 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


Interestingly, three of her five children also became Swiss citizens; the girls. The boys, who would be subject to mandatory military service, did not "at this time" apply for dual citizenship.
posted by dejah420 at 8:37 AM on May 10, 2012 [105 favorites]


"She explained her decision to seek dual citizenship to reporters in Washington. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann saying: "Well, my husband is one hundred percent Swiss and were (sic) raised in Switzerland."

It's going to be a long campaign season.....
posted by HuronBob at 8:38 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Awesome. When does she leave?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 8:38 AM on May 10, 2012 [56 favorites]


We haven't been in any wars (well, that's down to luck) for more than 150 years.

Luck, a huge standing army and a willingness to do a deal with any regime no matter how disgusting.
posted by howfar at 8:38 AM on May 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


If Obama wins re-election maybe she will move there.
posted by borges at 8:39 AM on May 10, 2012


Also the Alps.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:39 AM on May 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Can we not turn this into a bash Switzerland thread?
posted by spicynuts at 8:40 AM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


She's finally earned her A++ in cognitive dissonance. Congratulations.

(Not to get too paranoid or conspiracy-minded: aren't Swiss bank accounts only truly anonymous for Swiss citizens?)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:40 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


djseafood: "But as they say, and that does not exclude us: the percentage of idiots is the same all the world over. In this sense: Welcome again."

Parts of Switzerland did not grant women the right to vote until 1990. Neutrality issues aside, Switzerland is still one heck of a political oddball.
posted by schmod at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well spicynuts, any country that would willingly let Michelle Bachmann become a citizen (not by birthright) is suspect at best =)
posted by NiteMayr at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to pretend the CIA is pulling another Chuck Barris and Michelle Bachmann is now a highly-trained intelligence officer and assassin.
posted by griphus at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


As I read earlier on another website, I feel absolutely positive that if any democrat, especially Obama, did this she would become apoplectic and demand their resignation immediately. I would really love to hear what her constituents feel about this.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 8:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [36 favorites]


Can we not turn this into a bash Switzerland thread?

Aw, come on -- I need to fill in "The Swiss" on my Metafilter Outrage Bingo Card to win!
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:42 AM on May 10, 2012 [33 favorites]


Also, what sane person would only obtain citizenship for part of their family?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:43 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The WTF is strong in her.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:45 AM on May 10, 2012 [40 favorites]


Benny: her boys would actually have to serve in the military. If she waits a bit, they'll be too old. "Fuck you, I got mine" apparently extends to her new home in the alps.

I would pay real money right now to see interviews with Bachman supporters asking them what they think about her new swiss citizenship.
posted by Freen at 8:45 AM on May 10, 2012 [19 favorites]




And this move to Europe doesn't contradict any principled position she has "taken a stand on." [Clears throat.]
posted by uraniumwilly at 8:48 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hm, perhaps her base will react positively when she acts to resolve common taxation issues for Swiss-American dual nationals.

I know the issues only crop up when you live and bank overseas. And of course Representative Bachmann would never be stashing unused campaign funds in a Swiss bank, no sir.
posted by mwhybark at 8:49 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Those goddamn Swiss coming over here and taking our hard earned homosexual urge repressing psychothreapy jobs!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:50 AM on May 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


highly-trained intelligence officer

I am not sure which definition of "intelligence" you are using but I assume it is very much nonstandard.
posted by elizardbits at 8:50 AM on May 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also, the good news - Michelle Bachman is no longer eligible to run for President!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:50 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can we not turn this into a bash Switzerland thread?

Good point. I guess my concern is that the framing of the post is kinda off. Switzerland has lots in common with other European democracies, but also a vast number of things that set it apart. There are plenty of aspects of Swiss politics and history that make this seems much less odd than if she had obtained citizenship of say France, which is also "a European country with mandated health insurance".
posted by howfar at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe she just wanted to be closer to her campaign slush funds?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seems the pattern of events is:

- Marcus Bachmann's parents were Swiss immigrants to the U.S.
- this grants him Swiss citizenship
- Bachmann married Michelle in 1978
- presumably this would have made her also dual citizen by marriage, except that for reasons that haven't been given he only just now registered their marriage in Switzerland (it may be because some of their children were interested in acquiring dual citizenship)
- Switzerland now recognizes Michelle Bachmann as a citizen
posted by aught at 8:52 AM on May 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


Parts of Switzerland did not grant women the right to vote until 1990.

This is a bit misleading, since the country granted national suffrage in 1971. Some cantons did not allow voting on local matters until 1991, but some did so in the 50s. I mean, I am not going to defend Switzerland's slow acceptance of women as full citizens, but, still....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:52 AM on May 10, 2012


"She also laughed off suggestions that she should run for office in Switzerland" Hmm..I wonder why? [Insert sarcasm here]

Also, what's up with Michelle saying "Switzaland" instead of "Switzerland" Am I the only one that picked up on that?

She truly is a quirky woman with crazy eyes in the photograph to boot.
posted by livinglearning at 8:53 AM on May 10, 2012


This is funny, I was just reading an article about how Switzerland's corporate tax law and tax treaties is encouraging corporations to move their head offices from the Caymans and other tax shelters to Switzerland because the US and other places have started to close those loopholes and the tax treaty makes a different loophole that they can still use.

I wonder if this is related at all.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 8:53 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


* Google Search: "Can someone with dual citizenship run for President?"*

Link One: Answers.com: Can a US president have dual citizenship?

Link Two: Yahoo Answers: Can a person with dual citizenship run for United state president

Link Three: Yahoo Answers: Can people of Irish, Italian or Jewish descent run for president

o.O
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we not turn this into a bash Switzerland thread?

Are we allowed to complain about how much more US citizens have to pay in taxes because of the Swiss tax-sheltering banking system?
posted by straight at 8:56 AM on May 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


presumably this would have made her also dual citizen by marriage, except that for reasons that haven't been given he only just now registered their marriage in Switzerland (it may be because some of their children were interested in acquiring dual citizenship)

Possibly to avoid the children automatic duality, avoid the paperwork - ie, leaving the door open for the option, but not mandating it (again with the mandatory military service a reason perhaps to not claim for the boys at this time).

** all guesses I have no knowledge of any citizenship puzzles they're working through here
posted by tilde at 8:56 AM on May 10, 2012


Her True Neutral alignment is suspect.
posted by Artw at 8:56 AM on May 10, 2012


Folks we really dodged a bullet here. We were this









close to electing a president whose true allegiance is to a foreign nation.

Again!
posted by straight at 8:57 AM on May 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


Hmm. I wonder how strong US extradition treaties are with Switzerland? Idle speculation. Maybe someone's planning on fleeing the country.
posted by Roentgen at 8:57 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does this song by little Jack Melody hints at the darker agenda here?
posted by emjaybee at 8:58 AM on May 10, 2012


Misspelling Michele is kind of a big gaffe for Reuters, there.
posted by gurple at 9:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Swiss citizenship is pretty damn hard to get.

Even if you were Bern there.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [33 favorites]


Sitting in Oslo amused at this move. It is an obvious a play for the next generation.

They will get the benefits of having a European passport in their pockets, especially as they transition into young adulthood and beyond. More international exposure, more opportunities etc.

It is a smart move. No doubt about that.

The scary part is that for most Americans the ability to claim citizenship in an unabashedly top ranking, highest quality of life countries would never even be on the table.

So Mr. I am not gay but can pray the gay away Bachman alongside his tea partying guns for all wife are really silent liberals. If only there was an english word for it.

Irony.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 9:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


aught: "presumably this would have made her also dual citizen by marriage"
What? Normally, marriage only bestows a right to residency, not outright citizenship. I find it hard to believe the Swiss are that liberal with their passports.
posted by brokkr at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2012


Does having citizenship in another country disqualify Ms. Bachmann from being President of the US?

Not legally, but it might be a hard sell politically.

Guess who else is legally able to run for president in the US? Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Imagine that scenario.
posted by atrazine at 9:04 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


If only there was an english word for it.

No, let's keep on using backpfeifengesicht.
posted by elizardbits at 9:05 AM on May 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


What makes a (wo)man go neutral?

Doesn't she have a security clearance? When I had a security clearance, we had to renounce any citizenship in foreign nations.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:05 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Switzerland is pretty fucked up. After the "Black Sheep" campaign and then the ban on mosque minarets, I'd think it would be Michele's first choice among European countries.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:06 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Link One: Answers.com... Link Two: Yahoo Answers

Wow, people are really comfortable just making stuff up.
posted by Zed at 9:06 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Does having citizenship in another country disqualify Ms. Bachmann from being President of the US?

No. You gots to be (1) a natural born citizen, which means either born in the US or whatever else Congress wants to count, (2) 35 or older, (3) have lived in the US for at least 14 years, and (4) be more or less elected.

ISTR that holding an additional foreign citizenship can affect an American's security clearances, but any clearances Bachmann has would derive from her office more or less irrespective of any personal characteristics.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:06 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Although he'd have to move back now and wait 14 years to meet the residency requirements.)
posted by atrazine at 9:07 AM on May 10, 2012


Doesn't she have a security clearance? When I had a security clearance, we had to renounce any citizenship in foreign nations.

According to Wikipedia: One circumstance where dual citizenship may run counter to expectations of government agencies is in matters of security clearance. Any person granted a Yankee White vetting must be absolutely free of foreign influence, and for other security clearances one of the grounds that may result in a rejected application is an actual or potential conflict of national allegiances.

Bachmann is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. So will she be putting in for a reassignment? Probably not — there's a dual standard that gives security clearances to members of Congress without background checks.
posted by beagle at 9:07 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


and (4) be more or less elected

Ha.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:08 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's Michele Bachmann, not Michelle.
posted by John Cohen at 9:09 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


brokkr: What? Normally, marriage only bestows a right to residency, not outright citizenship. I find it hard to believe the Swiss are that liberal with their passports."

Before 1991, a woman marrying a Swiss man was granted automatic citizenship. With the newer laws, they have to be married for 3 years and live in Switzerland for 5 years, I think.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:11 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a smart move, perhaps unethical, but clever for sure. With the cost of travel plummeting all of the time I'd expect more of America's wealthy to do this. Lobby to keep the taxes, benefits spending, labor costs etc, in America low- reap the economic benefits there, take advantage of the numerous international tax loopholes moving the money- then do your living and child rearing in a high taxes, high benefits country.
posted by Algebra at 9:11 AM on May 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


Parts of Switzerland did not grant women the right to vote until 1990. Neutrality issues aside, Switzerland is still one heck of a political oddball.

schmod, I'd say this is an argument in favor of what my HS history teacher taught us: Switzerland is almost the only true democracy in the world, in that they empower their voters at every level (local through national) to determine their government directly.

Every nation has clusters of oddballs, haters, and ignorant bigots; Switzerland didn't get an exemption, but there the national laws only affect the national elections, apparently.

(BTW, requests from spicynuts are not binding. Discuss what seems relevant.)

--

Michele's actions just reaffirm my deepest suspicions: the farther right, the farther removed from beliefs in social contract and community. She'd kill and eat her neighbor for a paltry sum, if she thought she could get away with it.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:11 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can we not turn this into a bash Switzerland thread?
posted by spicynuts at 8:40 AM on May 10 [3 favorites +] [!]


Bach Switzerland!
posted by chavenet at 9:13 AM on May 10, 2012


presumably this would have made her also dual citizen by marriage, except that for reasons that haven't been given he only just now registered their marriage in Switzerland (it may be because some of their children were interested in acquiring dual citizenship)

Nope. Switzerland is one country whose nationality is damn frigging difficult to get, even by marriage. According to Wikipedia:

A person married to a Swiss citizen may apply for Swiss citizenship by facilitated naturalisation after living in Switzerland for five years and having been married for at least three years. No language test is required, but one must show the following:

integration into the Swiss way of life;
compliance with the Swiss rule of law;
no danger to Switzerland's internal or external security.


OK, Michelle fails that test on all three accounts. But then there's also:

It is also possible for the spouse of a Swiss citizen to apply for facilitated naturalisation while resident overseas after the following:

six years of marriage to a Swiss citizen; and
close ties to Switzerland.

Spouses acquiring Swiss citizenship by facilitated naturalisation will acquire the citizenship of the community and canton of their Swiss spouse.


In any case, it's a pretty big deal, and I'm sure that Michelle has had to jump through plenty of hoops to get it.
posted by Skeptic at 9:14 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm not a witch Swiss.
I'm nothing you've heard.
I'm you.
None of us are perfect,
But none of us can be happy with what we see around us.
Politicians who think spending and trading favors and backroom deals are the ways to stay in office.
I'll go to Washington and do what you'd do.
I'm Christine O'Donnell Michele Bachmann and I approve this message.
I'm you.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:22 AM on May 10, 2012


Can we not turn this into a Swiss bashing thread?

I was mostly trying to warn off what I saw as a wormhole to Godwin-land opening real quick there with the 'do nasty deals with anyone' comment.

posted by spicynuts at 9:22 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skeptic, they tightened the requirements a lot during the 90s. If her marriage pre-dates those changes then she may not have to meet all those requirements.
posted by atrazine at 9:22 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, my dad is Swiss. How can I jump on this sweet dual-citizenship gravy train? (Or is this more of an AskMe question?)
posted by the_bone at 9:24 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I live in MN, but not in Bachmann's district. I find this completely bizarre. People here are xenophobic enough, I have no idea how they'd elect a citizen of a foreign country.

Also, won't this bar her from receiving classified information? I'm not sure if representatives have to get security clearance like normal civilians....
posted by miyabo at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2012


Skeptic: "It is also possible for the spouse of a Swiss citizen to apply for facilitated naturalisation while resident overseas after the following:

six years of marriage to a Swiss citizen; and
close ties to Switzerland."
...


In this case does close ties really mean having a large Swiss bank account?
posted by wcfields at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Skeptic, they tightened the requirements a lot during the 90s. If her marriage pre-dates those changes then she may not have to meet all those requirements.

According to the wiki, those are the baseline requirements at the federal level, which weren't tightened recently. Additional requirements were introduced by individual cantons (Swiss citizens are citizens of their canton first).
posted by Skeptic at 9:28 AM on May 10, 2012


I have never been to Switzerland and do not know any Swiss, but this lowers my perception of them.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:28 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Minnesota Public Radio has a short bit on this, with a quote from Bachmann's congressional spokeswoman Becky Rogness:
"Congresswoman Bachmann's husband is of Swiss descent so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978," said Rogness. "However, recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family."
More information from the LA Times, and a family portrait, showing her five children, the "three youngest" being her daughters, as dejah420 pointed out: The boys, who would be subject to mandatory military service, did not "at this time" apply for dual citizenship.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Nixed the extra l in Michele.]
posted by cortex at 9:33 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey, my dad is Swiss. How can I jump on this sweet dual-citizenship gravy train? (Or is this more of an AskMe question?)

In principle, if your father is Swiss, you are Swiss (which makes Michelle's "for the kids" explanation even fishier). Switzerland follows the ius sanguinis.

However apparently Switzerland differentiates between children born in wedlock and out of wedlock, which is why registering the marriage in Switzerland is an issue.

This said, for a boy at least, it's hardly a "gravy train". Switzerland does have compulsory military service, after all.
posted by Skeptic at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


When will Obama claim his birthright and apply for British Citizenship? Don't delay, Barack! You could be the next Prime Minister!
posted by Jehan at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


If Obama wins re-election maybe she will move there.
Obama is turning the country socialist, so she's going to move to a socialist country. That's some Bachman quality thinking there.

Anyway, odd to discover the guy running the "Gay curing" centers is Swiss. I would have expected him to be from some evangelical heavy part of the country.
Also, what sane person would only obtain citizenship for part of their family?
Ones who don't want their sons to be forced into mandatory military service? Seems pretty sensible to me.
Guess who else is legally able to run for president in the US? Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Imagine that scenario.
I had to look up that name, but it turns out I did know who that is. That would definitely be an interesting election.
there's a dual standard that gives security clearances to members of Congress without background checks.
Well, it wouldn't be much of a democracy if they did, would it? Security services would have authority over who had authority over them, and keep guys like, say, Dennis Kucinich from important committees.
posted by delmoi at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


She's only in it for the cheese.
posted by jonmc at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Does having citizenship in another country disqualify Ms. Bachmann from being President of the US?

I'm pretty sure epic levels of stupidity did that.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:37 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family.

If that's the stated reason she's giving, then the real reason definitely has to do with money.
posted by Rykey at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"However, recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family."

As filthy light thief and others have pointed out, the fact that the Bachman boys, who would be required to serve in the military, did not go through the process pretty much makes the "as a family" argument a nonstarter.

It'll be interesting to see how if the so-called "liberal media" react when they realize they've been played.
posted by Gelatin at 9:42 AM on May 10, 2012


cortex: "[Nixed the extra l in Michele.]"
Many thanks, benevolent overlord!
posted by dejah420 at 9:42 AM on May 10, 2012


Jonmc: yeah, definitely. Her story's full of holes, after all...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:45 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Well, my husband is one hundred percent Swiss

Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

This is what happens, Michele, when you meet a stranger in the Alps.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:45 AM on May 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


I don't understand how Michele and the kids got citizenship so easily. My Swiss friend married a woman from Portugal (a long time ago), and it took decades, a lot of red tape and their neighbors having to consent to it before she was granted Swiss citizenship.
posted by tippiedog at 9:45 AM on May 10, 2012


Jonmc: yeah, definitely. Her story's full of holes, after all...

Well, her story is definitely full of a-holes.

I am ashamed of myself....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:49 AM on May 10, 2012


Guess who else is legally able to run for president in the US? Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Imagine that scenario.

Nope. He hasn't lived in the US for the past 14 years.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:50 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"As a Swiss citizen, Bachmann belongs to something called a canton, and hers is the canton of Thurgau. We can't wait to hear her version of its history, in which, we assume, the founding battle of Thurgau was fought by the Vonn Trapp family, aided by General Swiss Miss. Anyway, for those keeping track at home, Barack Obama = American citizen. Michele Bachmann, occasional birther = citizen of a country that doesn't even believe in war."

posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can you fund a super PAC with nazi gold?
posted by w0mbat at 9:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Knew it wouldn't take that long...
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:53 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can you fund a super PAC with nazi gold?
Godwin
posted by beagle at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't worry though. I understand the Swiss are fond of cuckoos.
posted by jonmc at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


Hey! At least I tried to be quiet when I saw it...
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2012


delmoi, Switzerland is actually kind of a Mecca for Calvinist types. My family took our only ever foreign country vacation in Geneva, to go to church and see the Reformation Wall.
posted by brina at 10:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a feeling all along that she was a Switzerian Candidate.

But I amazed that she would allow her sons to bypass conscription. Something tells me she would be ecstatic to send a boy off to war, even if it was one of her own. No make that especially if he was one of her own.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 10:03 AM on May 10, 2012


As a Swiss citizen, Bachmann belongs to something called a canton, and hers is the canton of Thurgau.

Thurgau? That's a pretty conservative canton too, which has long been dominated by the notorious Swiss People's Party. Definitely not the most foreigner-friendly canton.

I now really wonder how she proved her "close ties to Switzerland".
posted by Skeptic at 10:05 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you have to be drafted into an army, the Swiss army is the one to choose.
posted by Mister_A at 10:06 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm curious though, do they still make you wear leather pants and hike your way in singing "Climb Every Mountain" like they did back in the 30s?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:09 AM on May 10, 2012


She just wants to be their Eurovision entrant.
posted by orrnyereg at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


As I read earlier on another website, I feel absolutely positive that if any democrat, especially Obama, did this she would become apoplectic and demand their resignation immediately.

This. Exactly!
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've checked out the Swiss news, since this has also made quite a bit of noise there. Apparently, because Michele married Bachmann back in 1978, she automatically became a Swiss citizen (link in German). She just didn't notify the Swiss authorities until now.
If she had married after '91, it would have been much more difficult for her. Or if she had been a he: pre-91 Swiss citizenship law automatically naturalised wives, not husbands.
posted by Skeptic at 10:17 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


She just wants to be their Eurovision entrant.


It probably wouldn't be worse than this year's lame anthem about believing in yourself and following your dreams.
posted by Copronymus at 10:21 AM on May 10, 2012


She just wants to be their Eurovision entrant.

Nah. Even a Canadian can do that.
posted by Skeptic at 10:23 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, my dad is Swiss. How can I jump on this sweet dual-citizenship gravyfondue train?
posted by howfar at 10:26 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


and perpetual font of amusement, Michele Bachmann
What is she, comic sans?!

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posted by hincandenza at 10:28 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


If she has technically been a Swiss citizen since 78 I'm surprised this didn't come up in the Republican Primary. She was a serious contender for about 10 minutes. I'm sort of sad she didn't win the nomination now. The entertainment value on the fallout when the Obama team released this news, probably in October, would have been phenomenal.
posted by COD at 10:30 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Me, reading the OP:
"Michele? Which Michele? hm, mandated health insurance, heh, reminds me how nice it is to live in France and never worry about that. Former presidential nominee? Oh wouldn't THAT be funny, a Republican getting dual citizenship with France, ahahaha. OH CRAP. Michele Bachmann??? OCRAP-is-OCRAP-now-OCRAP-officially... ah, Swiss!! *huge sigh of relief*"

Shame that she'll fit in with a segment of the politics there.
posted by fraula at 10:37 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


She just wants to be their Eurovision entrant.

Nah. Even a Canadian can do that.


I thought Canada was part of Europe now, or did Harper rescind that too?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:56 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I amazed that she would allow her sons to bypass conscription. Something tells me she would be ecstatic to send a boy off to war, even if it was one of her own. No make that especially if he was one of her own.

The Swiss military is *the* military to join if you don't want to go to war.
posted by atrazine at 11:09 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plus you get a cool knife.
posted by jonmc at 11:11 AM on May 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't know the Swedes get stuff like this, granted, I don't think it has an attached toothpick...
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:19 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've checked out the Swiss news, since this has also made quite a bit of noise there. Apparently, because Michele married Bachmann back in 1978, she automatically became a Swiss citizen (link in German). She just didn't notify the Swiss authorities until now.
If she had married after '91, it would have been much more difficult for her. Or if she had been a he: pre-91 Swiss citizenship law automatically naturalised wives, not husbands.


I like how all the comments, except the most recent one, are jokes about the SVP (the xenophobic right-wing Swiss People's Party). She probably would fit in pretty well with them, as a few others have commented.
posted by Gnatcho at 11:21 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Comments on the article at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, I mean.
posted by Gnatcho at 11:22 AM on May 10, 2012


Turns out she's not going to leave after all.

oh well.

:(
posted by freakazoid at 11:29 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Western Europe has long been a preferred landing spot for unsavory leaders to go after they are disgraced or deposed in their home countries.

Michelle Bachmann is simply following in the illustrious footsteps of Benazir Bhutto and Baby Doc Duvalier.
posted by reenum at 11:29 AM on May 10, 2012


Great, now I have apologize to the Swiss for Michele Bachmann too.

On behalf of the state of Minnesota, I'm so very sorry for Michele Bachmann. This woman does should not represent us.
posted by VTX at 11:35 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just gotta feeling that Marcus is going to be very happy wearing leather pants and cavorting along the mountain trails belting out Julie Andrews medleys.
posted by Ber at 11:40 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Switzerland and the American right ing have one big thing in common: GUNS!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


w
posted by Sys Rq at 11:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Note that, even if she moves to Switzerland, this is not a tax strategy unless she renounces US citizenship. Even then, there is a hefty exit tax and pillaging of 401Ks.

The uniquely draconian US international tax policy is a major pain in the arse for anyone with a US passport that decides to leave the US, even if it's to return to the country they were born in.
posted by w0mbat at 11:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just gotta feeling that Marcus is going to be very happy wearing leather pants and cavorting along the mountain trails belting out Julie Andrews medleys.

Erm... leather pants? Switzerland? I think you got that confused with Bavaria (also in Europe, in case you need help).
posted by oxidizer at 11:56 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


'Sound of Music' and the von Trapp family. That would be Austria.
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Michele came out to Montreaux,
On the Lake Geneva shoreline
To make speeches to her canton
She really blew their mind
Her daughters and her husband,
They were gathered all around
But sons Harry and Lucas
Were nowhere to be found

Flake on the water, a Bozo at the mic
Flake on the water, a Bozo at the mic...

(With apologies to Ritchie Blackmore et al)
posted by TedW at 12:05 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm sick of the Swiss.
posted by joechip at 12:06 PM on May 10, 2012


'Sound of Music' and the von Trapp family. That would be Austria.

Yeah, it gets kinda long and boring towards the end.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I insist this become the misinformed assumptions about Swiss culture thread because I've always wanted to see the Running of the Bulls.
posted by griphus at 12:15 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I insist this become the misinformed assumptions about Swiss culture thread because I've always wanted to see the Running of the Bulls.

What do you mean misinformed?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:21 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Switzerland? I've always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:35 PM on May 10, 2012


Also, won't this bar her from receiving classified information? I'm not sure if representatives have to get security clearance like normal civilians

She's on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, so yeah, I wonder about that myself.

Switzerland? I've always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa

You're thinking of Greece.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 12:44 PM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've always wanted to see the Running of the Bulls.

Pamplemoose is so overrated.
posted by Copronymus at 12:46 PM on May 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


According to the NZZ article, the three daughters (who are mistaken for sons) automatically received Swiss citizenship, as they were minors at the time of application. The sons, being of legal age, have to apply separately.

That might explain why her husband didn't register the marriage until his sons were of legal age and thus able to (legally) avoid serving in the Swiss armed forces. It would probably be a fairly plum deal*, but if you're going to be running for office in the US later it's probably not a good idea to have been a member of another nation's armed forces.

*) though they would risk being sent off on UN peacekeeping missions and the like - Switzerland were part of ISAF until 2008, for instance.
posted by brokkr at 12:47 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well...that was fast. Bachmann rejects Swiss citizenship.
posted by castlebravo at 12:48 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bachmann moves to withdraw Swiss citizenship
Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is no longer interested in having dual US-Swiss citizenship.

Two days after a Swiss TV news crew broke the story that Bachmann sought in February to have her Swiss citizenship registered by Swiss authorities, Bachmann issued the following statement:

"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."

"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. As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, stepdaughter of an Army veteran and sister of a Navy veteran, I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known."

Yesterday Bachmann's DFL challenger Jim Graves called news that Bachmann had sought to register her Swiss citizen a "distraction." Graves also noted in a news release that he and his family were "proud to be Americans."
Apparently someone realized that her base wouldn't think too kindly of being represented by someone not entirely 100% 'Merikun.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:48 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh great, NOW what am I going to do with all this popcorn I just made?
posted by hattifattener at 12:53 PM on May 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


Apparently someone realized that her base wouldn't think too kindly of being represented by someone not entirely 100% 'Merikun.

That, or she's under the impression that what her base really wants is a leader who'll back down immediately on even the most trivial of issues.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:03 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known.

I thought she said she was 100% American, now she goes pledging allegience to the Republic of Ragusa, what gives?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:10 PM on May 10, 2012


Bachman got her law degree because her husband told her to. She ran for congress because her husband told her to. She applied for Swiss citizenship because her husband told her to.

And now she's withdrawing her application because somebody who knows better told her husband to tell her to do so.

She's the perfect Republican woman.
posted by Aquaman at 1:24 PM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


"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."

So, the message here is that it took her 34 years to renounce her Swiss citizenship?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:35 PM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


So she's now Ex-Swiss?
posted by The Whelk at 2:08 PM on May 10, 2012


She activated her Swiss citizenship several weeks ago; she sought in February to have her Swiss citizenship registered by Swiss authorities; and "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."

I'd say that's crazy talk, but it's Michele Bachmann so that would be redundant.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:12 PM on May 10, 2012


Little bird comes out of the clock, little bird goes back into the clock, little bird comes out of the clock...
posted by reynir at 2:20 PM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


"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. As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, stepdaughter of an Army veteran and sister of a Navy veteran, I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known."


Pitch perfect. I was all set to do this, until I got called out, and now I'm not doing it anymore 'cause WHAT RED BLOODED AMERICAN WOULD DO SUCH A THING?
posted by Rykey at 2:24 PM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


SWISS CITIZENSHIP ACTIVATED: FORM OF ......CHOCOLATE WATERFALL
posted by The Whelk at 2:30 PM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


SHAPE OF.... Emmentaler!
posted by vespabelle at 2:39 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


oh wait, that's not exactly how it works, Shape of... a cow bell!
posted by vespabelle at 2:40 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would have expected him to be from some evangelical heavy part of the country.
Central Minnesota is pretty evangelical (when we are not Catholic) and the NYT says that their current church is, too.
posted by soelo at 2:42 PM on May 10, 2012


On behalf of the state of Minnesota, I'm so very sorry for Michele Bachmann. This woman does should not represent us.

Sadly, VTX, she represents way too many of us. I'd guess about 22%, give or take.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:51 PM on May 10, 2012


I note that her statement renouncing Swiss citizenship is written in Helvetica.

I leave you to your own conclusions.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:02 PM on May 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


Michelle, MOVE THERE. TODAY.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:22 PM on May 10, 2012


How many of people around you are infact, secret Swiss spies?
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: secret Swiss spies
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:36 PM on May 10, 2012


Michelle, MOVE THERE. TODAY.

cortex, I hope you're not scrambling around fixing every instance of "Michelle" in this thread.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:38 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


They pass through our defensives as easily as holes pass through cheese.
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on May 10, 2012


>Or if she had been a he

The sound of a rumour starting.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:41 PM on May 10, 2012


I insist this become the misinformed assumptions about Swiss culture thread

Did you know that Switzerland is just the only survivor of what were originally three countries carved out of the area the Romans called Helvetia?

The lost two were Switzland and Switzestland.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:43 PM on May 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wait, you can be a Congressperson and a citizen of another country? Even if its dual citizenship? WTF?
posted by Chekhovian at 3:54 PM on May 10, 2012


I wouldn't worry though. I understand the Swiss are fond of cuckoos.

Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:23 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


what did that produce?

Excellent Chocolate, two distinct ways of covering things with delicious cheese, beautiful mechanical watches, sweet knives? What's wrong with that?
posted by Chekhovian at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2012


Don't forget the banks!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:30 PM on May 10, 2012


Wait a minute, what does her birth certificate REALLY say??
posted by BlueHorse at 6:50 PM on May 10, 2012


Wait, you can be a Congressperson and a citizen of another country? Even if its dual citizenship? WTF?

One of the hallmarks of a free society is that anything that is not explicitly prohibited is permitted.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:22 PM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait, you can be a Congressperson and a citizen of another country? Even if its dual citizenship? WTF?

Jennifer Granholm and Arnold Schwarzenegger were governors while being dual nationals (of Canada and Austria respectively).
posted by atrazine at 8:08 PM on May 10, 2012


If you have to be drafted into an army, the Swiss army is the one to choose.

Except for having to fight with the tiny tiny knives. Like the fella says. "Corkscrew. Bottle opener. Let's go, buddy. You get past me? Guy in back of me's got a spoon. Don't make me break out the toe clippers".
posted by Miko at 8:32 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you have to be drafted into an army, the Swiss army is the one to choose.

It's not all fondue and live firing exercises. Sometimes they invade Lichtenstein, a dangerously boring operation.
posted by cmonkey at 10:44 PM on May 10, 2012


Except for having to fight with the tiny tiny knives. Like the fella says. "Corkscrew. Bottle opener. Let's go, buddy. You get past me? Guy in back of me's got a spoon. Don't make me break out the toe clippers".

And those toothpicks. The Swiss must have huge gaps in their teeth.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:55 PM on May 10, 2012


>Or if she had been a he

The sound of a rumour starting.


Starting? As BlueHorse rightfully asks, what does "her" birth certificate REALLY say?
posted by Skeptic at 4:23 AM on May 11, 2012


How many of people around you are infact, secret Swiss spies?

True story! When I was a kid I was subjected to summer French tutoring at the largeante-bellum mansion of a kookie old Swiss lady, Madame Feldman. In the beginning I was horrified, I was 8 or 9 and would rather have been doing something involving mud and my parents basically handed me off to this woman as her valet and footman several days a week in exchange for some supposed French lessons. As the summers went by I started really getting to enjoy our time.

As soon as I bid farewell to my parents we spoke nothing but French (though one summer she decided that she detested the "horrible" Parisienne they were teaching me in school and forced me to learn Provençal as a counter). I was always required to put in some token "chores" like taking out a single bag of garbage or skimming her pool, which I would then swim in (the pool, not the garbage). Then she would call me in and we'd dust off her old French texts and records, yes records, Victrola records in fact. This went on for perhaps an hour. Then we'd lunch on things like finger sandwiches always accompanied with wine, a small glass for me, a large tumbler for Madame.

Then we'd move upstairs (whoa now, yes I know you've all seen the movie versions of this story, but I assure you there was nothing untoward going on here) to the salon. There she would have some sort of cultural lesson, usually centering around her incredible collection of antique goods pilfered from war-torn Europe (and why not turnabout is fair play, non?). She'd have laid out on her horsehair divan a spectacular tapestry, ceramic, or other artwork and we'd discuss its provenance and the story behind the person depicted. Often times these were paintings of chubby, tastefully nude noble women that turned out to be the artists' secret lover (tasteful, but pretty hot stuff for a 12 year old Alabama dirt child).

If I were "progressing" well she would occasionally reward me with an item especially certain to get a boy going, a knight's sword! dueling pistols! a Cro-Magnon axe! a working blunderbus!, A WHOLE FRIGGING SUIT OF ARMOR COMPLETE WITH HALBERD!!! These usually had little conversation about them as I'm sure she could tell I could care less which duke used the sword against whom as I slashed about with it in a room full of priceless antiquities.

As I got older and more mature and our relationship developed the objects moved from the ancient to the more modern. This was when she would pull out her other collections. These collections came from the days she and her husband spent with the OSS during WWII. Her husband apparently worked as a sort of intelligence mule, transferring carefully coded information to Swiss diplomats, who then delivered the intel to American or British intelligence operatives in London or Washington. He always had to code the messages to mean things different than what was true, in other words the papers were always full of disinformation which, if you knew the codes, you could filter out or decrypt at the other end because they were sure that every message was also going straight to the Nazis as well as the Allies.

Madame Feldman's job however was much more exciting and much more something out of a hollywood script. She would slip across the borders into Vichy France and Germany and meet with deep operatives. She did this under the guise of a Swiss antiquities smuggler. She carried hard currency and tradeable goods in her bag and traded it for artworks which she then smuggled back into Switzerland, along with intel reports. Apparently agents were using these hard goods to ply Nazis for information and to rescue artworks from Nazi plunder. What happened to most of the antiquities, who knows? But her husband and she were clearly able to skim off a few choice items (hopefully some things have returned to their rightful owners)!

Anyway, long-story-short, I can say that I know of at least one scret Swiss spy that lived in small town Alabama.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:32 AM on May 11, 2012 [213 favorites]


One thing that's not clear to me -- have her daughters also renounced Swiss citizenship?
posted by inigo2 at 7:39 AM on May 11, 2012


The 10th Regiment of Foot, stories like yours are a big part of what makes me love this place; who would have thought such a great story would pop up in a thread about such a detestable person!
posted by TedW at 7:56 AM on May 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I almost forgot one of her best objects! She had a fine Swiss fountain pen that wasn't a fountain pen. If you unscrewed the nib the capsule where the ink would normally go was a hidden blasting cap! She used to smuggle some of these in hidden with a bundle of actual pens to supply the resistance (apparently explosives weren't that hard to come by during a war, no shock, but reliable detonators were). Along the way she'd use the real ones as small, token bribes and she joked with a girlish laugh, "imagine if I'd mixed up the real ones from the fakes!"
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:25 AM on May 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


cmonkey: " Sometimes they invade Lichtenstein, a dangerously boring operation."

Ha! I posted that MeFi! :D
posted by zarq at 9:35 AM on May 11, 2012


10th Regiment, that's an amazing and really interesting story.

The Nazi hunger for art is one of the more fundamentally puzzling things about the regime. In one of museum studies classes we just watched The Rape of Europa, which is an absolutely gripping and highly recommended tale of Hitler's obsession with art. He required his officers to be art collectors, and had very well-developed plans for his future museum, which would by default be the best art museum in the world because it would contain all the world's artistic masterpieces, of course, after the Third Reich had conquered the rest of the globe. In the last days of the Allied seige he would apparently sneak down to his chambers and gaze at the architect's model of this museum.

So it makes sense that art and antiquities would be totally desirable trade goods for Hitler's officers.
posted by Miko at 10:46 AM on May 11, 2012




The Rape of Europa documentary is based on an even better book of the same name. I recommend the book (by Lynn Nicholas) highly.
posted by julen at 12:31 PM on May 11, 2012


A dual standard that gives security clearances to members of Congress without background batshitinsanity checks.
posted by arcticseal at 3:56 PM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The reason they probably wouldn't apply for dual citizenship for the boys isn't just because they want to avoid military service; it's because US citizens are not allowed to serve in foreign militaries. They could lose their US citizenship if they did.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:34 PM on May 11, 2012


"Advice about Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Foreign Military Service"

Since we're not at war with Switzerland it probably wouldn't be an issue. I have cousins that served in the IDF with no problems.
posted by the_artificer at 11:02 PM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Rape of Europa documentary is based on an even better book of the same name. I recommend the book (by Lynn Nicholas) highly.

And Nichols is featured prominently as the primary commentator in the documentary.
posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on May 12, 2012


I can't wait to read the book (and also read the related Monuments Men,) but that movie was an effective 2-hour entry point into the topic.
posted by Miko at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2012


cmonkey: "If you have to be drafted into an army, the Swiss army is the one to choose.

It's not all fondue and live firing exercises. Sometimes they invade Lichtenstein, a dangerously boring operation.
"

Hell, I do that solo every third Saturday.

Then I go home...
posted by Samizdata at 10:28 PM on May 13, 2012


Thanks for that link, the_artificer. I guess my information has been out of date since 1967. This means that my male cousins in Norway probably still have their dual citizenship; cool!
posted by mbrubeck at 10:30 PM on May 14, 2012


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