Why does Michele Bachmann think we should cut spending? To grow business, to cut the deficit, the usual. But also because God told her we should, via last week's East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene. The St. Petersburg Times' Adam C. Smith reports that the presidential candidate told a Sarasota, Fla. crowd this weekend, "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 things are interesting about Bachmann's comment. The first is, obviously, that not only does she think God communicates to his followers via storm clouds--Politico's Alexander Burns notes that the comment is "not exactly a mainstream meteorological view"--but also that he has a very specific message. As Gawker's Jim Newell noticed last week, televangelist Pat Robertson also saw the not-so-disastrous natural disasters as a sign from God. But Robertson didn't tie the crack in the Washington monument to the budget deficit. That's the funny thing about God sending leaders messages through natural disasters--they're open to such wide interpretation! Maybe God is telling Washington to cut spending. Or maybe God is telling Washington to take up the radically redistributive policies urged by his only begotten son, Jesus, such as, "Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." But of course, if a Republican candidate for president took that interpretation of a meteorological incident, Grover Norquist might just literally explode right in the middle of a C-SPAN call-in show.
The second thing of note in Bachmann's comment: the use of the phrase "morbid obesity diet" like it's a bad thing. Careful, congresswoman--you don't want to start sounding like Michelle Obama, trying to tell people what to eat!
Update: Bachmann's spokesman says "Of course she was saying it in jest."