Michele Bachmann, God’s Press Agent. Eric Cantor, God’s FEMA Director

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“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?’ “
 Michele Bachmann, August 28, 2011, Sarasota, Florida, 
relaying God’s growing displeasure with Congress
Quite a learning curve.

Ms. Bachmann is correct. Certainly, if I were God, I’d be displeased with the politico class. God’s notoriety for biblical-sized temper tantrums is well-earned. Floods. Fire. Brimstone. Brimstone and fire. She’s especially fond of plagues – frogs, locusts, boils, lice, my next door neighbor. Yes, the Creator is omnipotently-equipped to rain down a variety of “hints” when it suits Her purpose.

The recent eastern seaboard earthquake and hurricane match the Supreme One’s M.O. Agreeing with Bachmann in this case is easy; I too see that God’s sole purpose was to get the attention of politicos of every stripe. Everyone else – whether floating on a rooftop in Vermont’s Winooski River, or trapped in Prattsville, New York with no way out – you may relax. The unpleasantness was not directed at you.

But what, exactly, have our political folks done to get God’s robe in a bunch? Lapses in ethics? Sleeping with anything that moves? Making criminal for others activities they engage in on a daily basis? Permitting David Vitter to remain in the Senate? No. No. No. And, No.

According to Ms. Bachmann, Yahweh’s press secretary, this wrathful acting out was fiscal in origin, not humanitarian. Last Sunday, the sage of Minnesota explained to her Sarasota Florida audience exactly what God was trying to convey to tone deaf national legislators, and a certain President:

“Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. Because they know what has to be done. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink. Congressdwellers, primarily Democrats of course, reverted to their political default setting of touchy-feely whininess urging government funded disaster relief for citizens floating down various rivers. One prominent politician, however, the GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-7), clearly understood a divinely inspired hint.

Mr. Cantor, first among all his tightfisted GOP colleagues, apprehends God’s fiscal concerns. Cantor knows that at such an advanced age, God is getting increasingly testy, i.e. Old Testament testy, Old Testament remedy testy. Like many in God’s age group the day’s concerns revolve around making the rent, funding an affordable medi-gap Medicare supplement, stretching that monthly social security check, and finding the car keys at least three times per day. And taxes! Oy! A klog tzu meineh sonim!  [Ed., Yes, Ms Bachmann avers, God speaks a perfect and melodious Yiddish.]

So, one can see, what God does not need is more federal spending that does not directly benefit. . . G.O.D. And God does not reside in an earthquake or hurricane disaster area. Think. Would an omniscient God smite Herself with Her own earthquake and hurricane?

Mr. Cantor gets it. He gets hints. His own congressional district, after all, was the epicenter of the quake. Tanya Somanader at ThinkProgress reports:

“While touring the earthquake damage in his district, Cantor surmised, ‘Obviously, the problem is that people in Virginia don’t have earthquake insurance.’ As the Insurance Information Institute notes, ‘earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.’ So, for Cantor, the problem here is that Virginians didn’t have the foresight to predict an exceedingly rare natural disaster and pay out of their own pocket in advance.” [Complete article]

Exactly, Ms. Somanader! Fiscally responsible constituents would have purchased earthquake insurance. And flood insurance. And, to be safer yet from the pesky acts of a disgruntled Supreme Being, one ought to cowboy up on plague insurance and secure oneself from losses due to frogs, locusts, boils, reality television, Newt Gingrich, teenagers, and golf. I myself have these forms of insurance. In addition, I purchased glacier insurance and, because I suspect my next door neighbor, I possess a zombie damage policy. This is what Mr. Cantor would correctly label “responsible.” If a next door zombie devours my poodles, I will not require government assistance. Will you?

Pay As You Row. As he observed the damage to his Virginia district, Mr. Cantor continued to opine:

“The next step will be for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to decide whether to make an appeal for federal aid,” Cantor said. The House Majority Leader would support such an effort but would look to offset the cost elsewhere in the federal budget.

“All of us know that the federal government is busy spending money it doesn’t have,” Cantor said in Culpeper, where the quake damaged some buildings along a busy shopping thoroughfare.

Cantor did not offer specifics on potential offsets.

And why should he? Certainly there are many “potential offsets.” Why cannot Medicaid freeloaders contribute to disaster relief? And since Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional, let’s carve out a few bucks from these Ponzis. Moreover, FEMA is a boondoggle. Let’s close it down! Let Goldman Sachs privatize disaster relief with catastrophe backed securities.

With those money saving offsets perhaps we might loan Vermonters a few bucks to buy hurricane and flood insurance from Mr. Cantor’s insurance company contributors who, during his ten year congressional career, have contributed $1.1 million to his campaigns. They’d appreciate some ROI.

The lessons God graces us with during Her latest calamity rage out are simple. I’ve put my mind to it and here’s my take:

  • God is good, but cranky.
  • “Acts of God” are generally unremitting in unpleasantness.
  • Disasters are the free market stomping on your private parts.
  • Insurance makes disasters profitable enterprises for, nearly, everyone.
  • Government is Satanic.
  • Newt Gingrich is an insufferable ass.

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Michael Matheron

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I'm partisan here, an "aggressive progressive." I'm a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matheron, contact me at mjmmoose@gmail.com

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