I really don’t have a good understanding of how presidential campaigns work now. Maybe it’s one of those things that marks me as an older person, but I remember when I was growing up that presidential campaigns were all about proving to the the people of the United States that you were the most qualified person to be the next one to sit in the Oval Office and assume the role of the President of the United States. It was not a job to be taken lightly, nor is it a job to be taken lightly now — and yet some of the people running for the office now think that the life of the people they hope to elect them is worthless.
How else could we explain the horrendous remarks that Michele Bachman made shortly after the disaster of Hurricane Irene? Millions were left without power. Homes were decimated. At the last count, at least forty five people were killed by the might of the hurricane. What was Michele Bachman thinking when she made the following remark?
“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 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.”
In case you were a bit offended, worry not because she soon began the backpedaling — as soon as it was clear how damaging her remarks were.
“Of course I was being humorous when I said that. It would be absurd to think it was anything else,” Bachmann said on Monday on a campaign stop in Miami. “I am a person who loves humour, I have a great sense of humour.”
Of course you are, Ms. Bachman. I will accept that you are a person who loves humor. I do not accept, however, that you have a great sense of humor. It is not within her right as a politician to dictate to the United States what G-d’s intentions are based on weather. If she was being serious, she made a highly inappropriate remark. If she were in fact making a joke as she suggested (highly improbable) then it was a joke based on the death and destruction of the people she hopes to elect her. If the hurricane were meant to be a message to politicians, it would have focused itself on political structures and not the homes of millions of bipartisan Americans.
Get serious, please. If you make a gaffe like this one, own up and say that you spoke irresponsibly and don’t try to cover up by pretending to have a sense of humor.