If I were a political advisor, there are several things I would warn a presidential candidate against doing in public. For one, eating anything remotely phallic. Dancing. Bantering about touchy subjects.
Rep. Michele Bachmann has really overdone it with the distasteful the-hurricane-and-the-earthquake-are-messages-from-God "joke":
"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." (St. Petersburg Times)
It wouldn't have surprised me if Bachmann were serious, and I honestly thought that it was less reprehensible before she started claiming her remarks were made in jest. Neither Hurricane Irene, with an estimated death toll of 35 and a swath of incredible damage over nearly 2,000 miles, nor the nerve-shaking East Coast earthquake are laughing matters.
So to joke about them is offensive. Offensive to the religious, offensive to those who were pummeled by two bizarre weather occurrences in one week, and offensive to the public in general. It doesn't help that she made the remarks in Florida, a state that gets more than its fair share of storms each hurricane season, either.
But beyond that, let's look at the joke as a joke. What's the correlation here? Where's the punch line? The American people are calling on God to conjure a hurricane — which will kill their neighbors and damage their infrastructure — so that the United States Government will spend less money.
I just don't get it, Ms. Bachmann. It's just not funny.