In what must be one of the most tasteless jokes of the century, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said on Sunday that Hurricane Irene and the recent East Coast earthquake were God’s way of sending a message to Washington about the government’s spending habits.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” Michele Bachmann told supporters at the Republican Party’s Straw Poll gathering on Sunday.

“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,” Bachmann said.

While a press statement issued by Michele Bachmann aide Alice Stewart said her boss was speaking “in jest,” we didn’t find her tone funny in the least. She sounded more like crazed evangelist Pat Robertson, who said Hurricane Irene was a symbol from God to call attention to the cracks in our “nation under God” and the East Coast earthquake was a “birth pang” foreshadowing the End of Days.

Even if it really was a ‘joke’ by Michelle Bachmann to blame Washington for angering God into creating a series of terrible natural disasters, it was horribly uncouth. Hurricane Irene has claimed at least 25 lives and caused billions of dollars in damage all along the East Coast. Joking that government spending is responsible for pissing off God enough to kill people is amusing in no one’s book.

As stated eloquently, Michelle Bachmann’s ‘joke’ raises “the question of whether it’s appropriate for a presidential candidate and member of Congress to be joking about a major weather event that has already resulted in fatalities and extensive property damage.”

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