Never afraid to exploit misfortune and tragedy, some of the more odious members of American conservatism are keen to point out to us all that earthquake/tropical storm shenanigans constitute "acts of God", and that the eponymous Being might well be trying to send us mud-caked mortals a message of some kind.
(In the name of fairness, I should point out that Bachmann has since claimed she was "joking". The transcript makes that immensely difficult to believe, and Pat "Every gay kiss gives Jesus acid reflux" Robertson certainly isn't backing down, but I wanted to Bachmann's attempted climb-down anyway).
From what I can gather two such events in such a short space of time is at least somewhat unusual, if not anomalous. Indeed, natural disasters have been on the rise lately. Scientists wonder aloud about the chances of this being an effect of climate change, whereas the standard wingnut hypothesis is that its probably something to do with gays (seriously, type "Hurricane Katrina gays" into Google and marvel at all the malicious crazy). This might be the first time such events have been publicly blamed on fiscal policy rather than a moral standpoint, but these ideas have been floating around for a while now.
Ungar's response - basically, "If this is mankind's phone-ringing, how are we supposed to know what the caller wants?" - is, of course, entirely reasonable, but take on this is a little different. Let's assume for the sake of argument that these natural disasters are the will of God, because for some reason or other He's annoyed at the United States.
It that's true, then, if God really is sufficient pissed off at the United States that he's prepared to throw hurricanes at it in the hope it'll buck its ideas up, why has he waited until now?
If failing to consider a balanced budget amendment is a big enough deal for God to start throwing his weight around, then what was stopping him torching the place during the civil war? During decade after decade of slavery? Whilst nation after nation of Native Americans were systematically displaced or slaughtered.
This is supposed to be the stuff that makes God lose his shit? Please.
Of course, maybe this all makes sense in the heads of Bachmann, Robertson et al. Maybe they really do think that God preferred the US as a nation built and maintained through slave labour to one where politicians are prepared to consider the upside to large deficits.
Sounds like a question that needs to be asked, no?