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Chan Lowe: Michele Bachmann's joke


So, was Michele Bachmann serious when she claimed that the earthquake and Hurricane Irene were acts of God designed to get Congress’ attention about overspending, or was she making a joke?

The fact that there is even controversy about this says something about where many of us think Michele Bachmann’s reality compass is pointing. If it was intended “in jest,” as her campaign publicist now claims, I don’t recommend that Ms. Bachmann take her act to the Catskills just yet. In these situations, it’s best to keep quiet, but if you find that you must tell a joke making light of a catastrophe that has claimed dozens of lives, it had better be a real knee-slapper, which this one wasn’t. It showed remarkable insensitivity to those who lost loved ones.

For the sake of argument, however, let’s say that Rep. Bachmann really meant to say what she said. I think this is a valid exercise, because she also meant it when she said that the battles of Lexington and Concord took place in New Hampshire, and that members of Congress should be investigated for harboring anti-American sentiments. Claiming that God wreaked his vengeance upon the East Coast to convince Congress to hew to her fiscal philosophy is a breathtaking assumption that puts her in the same category with crazies like Rev. Pat Robertson.

Not only that, but claiming to know what motivates God’s actions borders on blasphemy, even in Ms. Bachmann’s book. Either way, as joke or sincere statement, the comment was indefensible.

To those who feel I am making too much of this, I would quote Ms. Bachmann’s own brush-away response when confronted with awkward questions like, “Do you think gays are an abomination?” That being, “I’m running for President of the United States of America.”

Exactly. This is not the kind of statement that should ever issue from a would-be American president’s mouth, even “in jest,” no matter how strongly her followers may agree with it. She’s way out of her league.

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But I'll bet she knows we only have 50 states. And dead soldiers aren't likely to come to a presidential speech. And how to pronounce corpsman. And....

For some reason the GOP likes to "LOL" at all recent tragedies. Economy down? LOL. Job outlook sucks? LOL. Drug testing welfare recipients? LOL.
Massive destruction and loss of life somehwere in the world? LOL.
Call it the LOL Agenda

I have no love for Bachman. Your bias is spectacular.
"The police acted stupidly"; The Republicans need to get to "the back of the bus"; and other equally un-presidential comments like bringing a gun to the fight-or some other statement of violence-all from the current President. With a little time I'm sure you could fill an entire page with similar examples. And don't get me started on the Vice Pres-you could fill an entire encyclopedia.
On which crazies are you not reporting?

gdiddy, you are a joke of the same sort as the one Bachmann told! You obviously sooo luv you some Michelle (Bachmann, not Obama...!), probably for the same libidinous reasons that so many Republican men drool over Sarah Palin. Instead of addressing the issue of her staggeringly ignorant and inappropriate "humor," you try to steer the criticism away from her and revive dead ones concerning Obama and Biden. Or was your "stupid police" reference about Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich's video rant against his own state's police?

Hey Gdiddy--this isn't reporting--its commentary. It's supposed to be biased, like political cartoons. An ubiased opinion column is an oxymoron unless you simply are too ignorant to form any self-created opinion. Why don't you seek out some commentary that equates with your beliefs and support it rather than spend time bashing commentary you don't like OR use the space we have here to enlighten all of us with the more in-depth commentary you feel is lacking in Mr. Lowe's written thoughts. Otherwise, your complaints are just sour grapes.

It's funny (no pun intended) how individuals laugh at whatever their favorite politicians say, brush off embarrassing statements by them, and excuse virtually any behavior at all. But let a politician they don't like say anything at all, and they twist it into a hate pretzel. Bachman's comments were perfectly understandable, given the absolute disregard for the will and inclinations of the majority of Americans so abundantly displayed by the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress. One really has to wonder what is necessary to get their attention. We'll find out in November 2012. And when Obama and the Democrats are kicked to the curb, they'll probably still rant that we, the American people, just aren't intelligent enough to understand that destroying the nation was actually good for us.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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