Michele Bachmann: Hurricane Irene A Message From God, Or Something

Apparently, Michele Bachmann thinks that Hurricane Irene was some kind of message from her God:

She hailed the tea party as being common-sense Americans who understand government shouldn’t spend more than it takes in, know they’re taxed enough already and want government to abide by the Constitution.

“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.”

Of course, I’m not sure how this computes given the fact that the storm largely spared Washington, D.C. and New York, while hammering a red states like North Carolina and a heavily Republican area like Virginia’s Tidewater region.

It means nothing, of course. It’s where the storm happened to hit. Trying to extract divine will, or a political message, from such an event is both dumb and offensive.

Update: Bachmann’s campaign now says that her comment was a joke:

Michele Bachmann’s press secretary characterized comments by the Republican presidential candidate, when she said Hurricane Irene was a message to Washington, as a joke.

“Obviously she was saying it in jest,” Alice Stewart told TalkingPointsMemo Monday.

Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t true of everything she says.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Natural Disasters, Religion, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jay Tea says:

    Well, Vermont and Massachusetts are pretty “blue,” and they got pounded…

    But I think I see the problem here. Irene was obviously caused by global warmening, and Bachmann is citing the wrong religion in apportioning the blame.


  2. john personna says:

    @Jay Tea:

    But I think I see the problem here. Irene was obviously caused by global warmening, and Bachmann is citing the wrong religion in apportioning the blame.

    The GW/storm question keeps being asked because the answer is too hard for lazy(*) people.

    * – or preoccupied, or distracted, or simply stupid

  3. I think Bachmann is a populist nincompoop, but I think your post overrreaches. This is just rhetorical boilerplate comparing how the earthquake and hurricane got attention but now the political class is facing the rumbles and storms of popular will. Ineptly phrased perhaps, but ISTM she’s just trying to compare the power of those natural events to the power of popular sovereignty reinvigorated. She could have done it very well without the God references, but I don’t think there;s more to it than that.

  4. Michael says:

    God hates deficit spending, I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible somewhere. Old Testament perhaps?

  5. Mr. Grouchypants says:

    Based on her delivery, I’d say she was just making a joke.

  6. Restless says:

    Apparently the Bachmann camp? Cult? Sect? is claiming her statement was a joke. That excuse explains 90% of what comes out of her mouth.
    (You’d think God could do better than a Category 1 hurricane or a middling earthquake — a depraved socialist like myself expects a plague of frogs at minimum. I suppose the old bastard’s heart isn’t in it anymore.)

  7. God has issued His official response to Ms. Bachmann,


  8. legion says:

    Let me get this straight – first of all, she presumes that God would give the slightest possible shit about the US budget. Secondly, she apparently thinks natural disasters only occur when God wants to send a particular message. From there, she reasons (if that’s the word) that God would express his displeasure over our budget deficit by sending disasters that inevitably cause $billions in damages.

    I see.

    It would be easy to dismiss this woman and her gibberish as the rantings of a flaming moron, but I think it’s more insidious than that. When she and her spokespeople come out now and call this a “joke”, they are lying. She was not joking, she was testing the waters. She wanted to see if she could get away with blatantly assigning political meanings to God’s will (or whatever), allowing her to wrest the mantle of “God said I should win” from Rick Perry.

    It was ridiculous, yes. But it definitely was _not_ a joke.

  9. george says:

    She’s a bit of a flake and says some pretty stupid things, but in this case I tend to believe that she said it as a joke. The statement actually sounds like the punchline of a joke (the one where the person is waiting for God to get him off the roof of his house during a flood).

  10. Drew says:

    I just saw the clip, complete with crowd laughter. It was a joke.


  11. @Michael:

    Yes, it is: Proverbs 22.7: “… the borrower is slave to the lender.”

    Hebrews 13:5a: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have… ”

    Psalm 37.21: The wicked borrows but does not pay back… .

  12. anjin-san says:

    I’d say she was just making a joke

    And I would say that none of the people who are planning funerals right now are laughing.

  13. anjin-san says:

    @ Donald Sensing

    Dick Cheney: “Deficits don’t matter”

  14. @anjin-san:

    Dick Cheney is the expert now? Wow!

  15. anjin-san says:

    @Dick Cheney is the expert now?

    No, just the guy all the knunckleheads who call themselves “fiscally responsible” today were cheering at the top of their lungs back when he said this.

  16. J. ALLEN says:

    There are reasons we have become the laughing stock of the planet. We make people like Bachmann relevant; we make Irene seem like the most cataclysmic event since the dawn of history; newborns could balance a budget better; we can’t seem to grasp the importance of separation of church and state; and we really, really, not only can’t stop sweating the small stuff, we legislate it. Double negative intended.