It’s almost a given these days that every major natural disaster will bring someone out of the religious fringe to pronounce it God’s way of sending a message about a specific city, country, or occasionally the entire planet for their sins. But it’s the rare comedic bonus when this preposterously pompous prophet also happens to be a top tier presidential candidate.
But Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who admittedly appears to be struggling to remain in the GOP’s top tier after Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s strong bid for the nutter vote, seemed to give us that double-double this day (though of course her campaign is explaining her comments away as just being part of her comedic stylings). Here’s Bachmann as quoted in today’s St. Petersburg Times:
I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.
Because, you know, any clear-minded politician would immediately assume that Hurricane Irene was (a) a message from God and (b) one specifically connected to government spending. Seriously. What kind of overweening hubris does it take to presume to be God’s spokeswoman on Earth, to the point of assuming that He has a specifically partisan (not to mention pedestrian) political agenda? [ See photos of Bachmann.]
Of course, as Think Progress points out, it would be an awfully strange way for God to send a message about government spending considering disaster relief only figures to cost the government more money.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Bachmann’s camp is walking the comment back, telling Talking Points Memo, “Obviously she was saying it in jest.” OK, fine, so she’s not hubristically weird, just amazingly insensitive, given that Hurricane Irene is responsible for more than two dozen deaths in eight states. Stay classy, congresswoman, stay classy.