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Aug 31 2011

Bachmann Listens to God. And the People.

Michele Bachmann got into the act of blaming recent natural disasters on God sending us a message. This time it’s about spending. Or it might be. She doesn’t make that clear. In fact, she quite obviously changes her argument around right in the middle of it. Speaking at a campaign rally in Florida, Bachmann said:

“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.”


Two entirely different statements, both of them false. The notion that God sends natural disasters to send policy messages on spending is simply moronic. It’s particularly moronic since natural disasters actually increase government spending. Apparently she thinks God is as dumb as she is.

But the second statement is just the typical demagoguery from a politician, invoking the voice of “the American people” as though there was agreement — and as though even a bare majority supported her. In fact, poll after poll has shown that voters prefer a combination of cuts and tax increases by about a 2-1 margin, which is the opposite of Bachmann’s position.

To make things even more bizarre, her campaign spokesman is claiming she was joking.

Bachmann’s presidential campaign is already walking back her comments, telling TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, “Obviously she was saying it in jest.”

Huh? There isn’t a hint of a joke in that statement. What could the joke possibly be? This is nonsense. The belief that God is sending messages through natural disasters is entirely in line with her religious views and the views of those she is speaking to. Why would she try to back away from her own dog whistle?

And then there’s this:

Plenty of people in the crowd said they were interested to learn more about Perry, but Bradenton retiree Philip Staples said he’s already sold on Bachmann. “She’s got the fire in the belly, and she’s a straight shooter. She’s one of the common people,” he said.

It’s things like this that make me roll my eyes. This is a person who appears to be quite incapable of thinking. He’s capable of regurgitating meaningless slogans and platitudes — three of them in the space of two sentences — but none of them mean anything at all. It reminds me of an argument I once had with an older brother who told me he supported Ronald Reagan because “he’s got balls.” It’s nothing but gibberish, totally devoid of thought. And yet this is the mentality of the average voter.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    Ellie

    This would be the same Michele Bachmann who doesn’t think earthquakes happen every year in this country.

  2. 2
    Chiroptera

    I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians.

    Speak with a booming voice from the sky? Appear in physical form as a very obvious and public miracle worker that even James Randi can’t debunk?

    -

    ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now.

    Right. ‘Cause if there is one thing that the Christian Bible is clear on, is that the government must always listen to the voice of the people. If the people want lower spending, God says to lower spending. If the people want to allow poles to Astarte, then God says…oh…um…anyway, lower spending, you politicians!

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    She’s got the fire in the belly, and she’s a straight shooter. She’s one of the common people. And that’s not all – she’s someone you’d want to have a beer with, and she’s got balls, and she’s got a good heart, and she tells it like it is, and she’s not a latte-sipping liberal, and she doesn’t get it all out of books, and she’s got common sense.

  4. 4
    Taz

    If you listen to the clip is clearly was a joke.

    You can argue it was in bad taste, but you can’t claim she wasn’t trying to make a joke.

    (Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m second to none in my opinion that Bachmann is a worthless, clueless dolt.)

  5. 5
    EricJohansson

    I don’t have a web URL for this as it was in the local paper, but yesterday’s (TBT) Tampa Bay Times records the following event at a recent Bachmann campaign event. I would love to find video of it.

    At a campaign stop in Iowa last month, she finished her speech by offering up a prayer for Iowa, Washington’s debt talks and the president: ‘Oh Father God, I thank you that we are privileged to be here this morning in Iowa, one of the most beautiful states I’ve ever been privileged to be in.’ Then, the sky outside thundered, and raindrops pounded on the roof.

    ‘Lord, we hear you, Father, in the thunder,’ she continued, eyes closed tightly. ‘We lift up our president to you today. We lift up the Supreme Court. We lift up the senators. We lift up the House members, Lord, as they grapple with this issue of how they deal with the finances for our nation.’ The pouring rain continued.

  6. 6
    Rambling T. Wreck

    If it wasn’t a joke, it was a stupid thing to say. If it was a joke, it was a stupid joke. Either way, stupid.

  7. 7
    LightningRose

    “And yet this is the mentality of the average voter.”

    That’s not so hard to understand when you consider that fully half of the population are of below average intelligence.

  8. 8
    richardelguru

    Ed you are my muse!

    To the tune of Colonel Bogey:

    Reagan had only got one Ball.
    Bush Sr has two, but very small.
    Dubblya was rather similya.
    But poor old Bachmann has no balls at all.

  9. 9
    Doug Little

    The age old excuse when someone says something stupid and then gets call on it. Oh… I was only joking. If this is the case then her whole campaign is one big joke.

  10. 10
    D. C. Sessions

    Apparently she thinks God is as dumb as she is.

    Of course. Plenty of psychological research shows that people really can’t imagine an intelligence greater than theirs, which is why all religions past a sort of sentimental deism are anthropomorphic.

    Bachmann worships a deity with no more mental power than hers, but with scaled-up wiretapping and firepower.

    Sound familiar?

  11. 11
    The Lorax

    God has sent Irene to smite
    And shook the land to show the light
    Listen up, for God is right;
    Oh nevermind… just kidding.

  12. 12
    Doug Little

    When god’s aim is really bad, like when he’s been boozing it up with Thor and has a wicked hangover, he doesn’t even get the planet correct. How else do you explain the dust devils that have been seen on Mars when gay people kiss one another.

  13. 13
    Taz

    How else do you explain the dust devils that have been seen on Mars when gay people kiss one another.

    It must have been one hell of a gay orgy that prompted Jupiter’s red spot.

  14. 14
    Doug Little

    It must have been one hell of a gay orgy that prompted Jupiter’s red spot.

    Yeah, you would think that with the awesome power the gay agenda has these days and God’s lack of accuracy he would just send a global extinction event our way.

  15. 15
    bksea

    I would say if god speaks through natural disasters he must be an idiot. There are 2 types of people: those who do not believe god speaks through natural disasters will therefore ignore the message. Those who do believe he speaks through natural disasters also assume that his message coincides with their own. Either way, the message does not come across.

  16. 16
    TCC

    I sort of love this quote for a reason Bachmann is unlikely to agree with:

    They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.

    Let’s stick to the body metaphor and say that the government is like an obese person. Said person’s dietician suggests to cut back on caloric intake, which isn’t a horrible idea until you realize that the new diet is so much drastically lower and lacking in basic nutrition that it starves the body and will likely more detrimental than beneficial to overall health. But if you dare suggest doing some exercise to burn off calories and help the body become more efficient by growing muscle, the dietician will freak out and tell you that by no means should you exercise because – well, just because. It’s the principle of the thing. (She then takes a bite of a glazed doughnut right in front of you.)

    Now, I wouldn’t suggest that the government is analogous to the human body, but clearly, if Bachmann thinks that this “common sense” analogy works, then she has forgotten that health is about balance, and our plan to reduce the deficit should be balanced as well.

  17. 17
    Dr X

    “She’s got the fire in the belly, and she’s a straight shooter. She’s one of the common people, them crazy eyes” he said.

    FTFY

  18. 18
    386sx

    “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?’”

    So don’t run then. Obviously God is mad because you are running. How the heck would you know what God is mad at? Lol. (Yeah I know she’s full of baloney, but still…)

  19. 19
    386sx

    That’s pretty sad when the top contenders for the presidency are outright televangelist style phonies. A sad, sad state of affairs. (Yeah I know that point’s been made a million times already, but still…)

  20. 20
    pa747sp

    Why the hell is God bothered about the American government’s fiscal problems? Why didn’t he just smite Dubya when he was busy cutting taxes and getting into wars that would bankrupt the country? Why is it that the countries without budget deficits (the oil-rich Arab states, China) are all non-Christian?
    Answer 1) God doesn’t exist or 2) He does, and he doesn’t give a shit about America.

  21. 21
    Michael Heath

    From my perspective she wants it both ways and wins four ways. She delivers this message as a joke providing plausible deniability [1]. Her getting taken seriously allows future martyr poses as a sacrifice she takes on for the Christianist tribe [2]. She conflates the tribal god with conservative politics [3]; but in a way that Glenn Beck Republicans will perceive as spoken for truth [4]. On the latter consider her target audience laughs at Stephen Colbert while actually believing he’s serious; that’s no different than here for her people while sticking it to the rest of us.

  22. 22
    Aquaria

    Why didn’t he just smite Dubya when he was busy cutting taxes and getting into wars that would bankrupt the country?

    In the “God has lousy aim” category, you could put the 2005 hurricane season as one of those signs that were probably misread.

    For those who believe that malarkey.

  23. 23
    arakasi

    The USGS is currently listing 929 earthquakes in the past 7 days in the US. All that I can really interpret from this is that God might not like California, but he really hates Alaska

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