When I heard that Michael More had said it, I was startled but not overly surprised. More habitually gives the word "ideologue" a bad name.
When I discovered that the former National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Don Fowler was filmed making the same comment in a joking manner while flying from Denver, the site of the DNC to Charlotte, I was appalled.
You see, apparently, the fact that Hurricane Gustav is going to hit the Gulf Coast on Labor Day shows that God is on the Democrat's side and is funny.
God arranged for a million panicked people to flee the Gulf Coast yesterday so that the Democratic Party could get a break. Who knew? And with any luck, things will go really badly and the death and grief and loss and homelessness of many thousands of people will open up the barely healed wounds inflicted by Katrina. And make the Republicans look bad.
And to top it off, this looming natural disaster is going to interfere with President Bush's speech to the Republican Convention. In fact, it is obviously going to significantly change the schedule and demeanor of the whole RNC.
Instead of giving a speech, the President will be doing the sort of things presidents do in times of natural disaster. And that interferes with prime time convention coverage which, apparently, in Don Fowler's estimate, is more important.
I'd apologize now. Over and over. Loudly. Every chance you get.
Before Gustav makes landfall. And the rest of the nation is once more riveted to their televisions by endless scenes of destruction and tales from hundreds of thousands of refugees. You know, the scenes you found so giggle-inducing.
Because I can't imagine that your party's candidate for President will want to be associated with you or your sense of humor once this video gets around.
On Sunday, Fowler told The Associated Press that he was making fun of comments made by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the attacks were God's punishment for abortion, homosexuality and other sins.
"This is a point of national concern. I think everybody of good will has great empathy and sympathy for people in New Orleans," Fowler said. "Most religious people are praying for people in New Orleans. There is no political connotation to this whatsoever. This was just poking fun at Jerry Falwell and the nonsensical thing he had said several years ago."
Fowler said if anyone was offended, he apologized.
"I don't believe in a God that's vengeful. I believe in a God that's compassionate," he said.
Hmmm. That's what I call a lame apology. With overtones of "if you were dim enough to take what I said on this video literally and be offended, I apologize."
Was the video edited to hide the fact that the comment was in the context of poking fun at Falwell? It's possible, I suppose, but there certainly isn't a hint of such a reference in the video available to us. A stronger apology - some note of disbelief and horror at being so intentionally misquoted would have rung truer to me if the video had been so edited.
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