Was she or wasn’t she? News organizations reported yesterday that Michele Bachmann called Hurricane Irene and the Virginia earthquake God’s way of getting the attention of policymakers to cut spending. ABC News has the remarks on tape:
As Hurricane Irene ravaged the East Coast this weekend, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said the storm and last week’s earthquake were God’s way of trying to get politicians in Washington to deal with soaring federal deficits.
“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,” Bachmann said in Sarasota on Sunday, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
A day later, Bachmann’s campaign insisted that the remarks were a light-hearted introduction to Bachmann’s arguments for fiscal conservatism (also included in the ABC report):
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s campaign said on Monday she was only joking when she described Hurricane Irene and last week’s earthquake in the eastern United States as a warning from God.
The Minnesota congresswoman, who has gained media prominence for her fiery attacks on Democratic President Barack Obama, said in Florida that Irene was an act of God to get politicians’ attention to the debt and deficit problem.
“Of course she was saying it in jest,” Alice Stewart, spokeswoman for Bachmann’s campaign, told Reuters.
Her audience seemed to consider it a joke. Laughter can be heard when Bachmann makes the comment. It’s similar to the jokes that went around on Twitter over the past week that referenced the quake and Irene and joked that we only had seven more plagues to go before Obama would set our people economically free. It’s the kind of gallows humor that is near universal in natural crises.
Bachmann certainly didn’t follow it up with warnings about God’s wrath, as one might if arguing this point seriously. Instead, her comments pointed to wrath of a kind more consequential in elections:
“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?'” Bachmann said at a campaign event in Sarasota, Florida on Sunday.
“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,” she said.
So yes, it’s a joke, which would be apparent to everyone who isn’t obsessing about the Dominionists and their secret plans to join the Illuminati, the Bildebergers, and the Freemasons to impose a Christian theocracy on the United States, in conjunction with space aliens. But at least the media is rational enough to tell us that space aliens know how to stimulate an economy.
Update: I’ll let the inimitable Herman Cain have the last word: