Michele Bachmann answers a pretend phone.

Up to this point I’ve found Michele Bachmann sort of an entertaining sideshow to the still-15-months-from-being-over 2012 election coverage. With her crazy googly eyes, faith-based approach to the facts, and 137 foster children, she has played more like a cartoon character than a serious candidate. But today she jumped the shark.

Here’s what she had to say about the recent natural disasters that have struck the east coast:

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?’ 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.

On the face of it, this is nothing we haven’t heard before from wingnuts of the Pat Robertson persuasion; the arrogance it takes to think you know what God is thinking is staggering, but it’s not surprising.

No, what makes this special is that, when there was an outcry over the remarks, she tried to back away in the worst way possible:

Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart said Monday morning that the candidate was joking and that her comments weren’t serious. “Obviously she was saying it in jest,” Stewart told Talking Points Memo. Politico posted a short clip of Bachmann’s comments from a different portion of the speech, where her tone is on the lighter side.

Thing is, even if we bought that…it only makes things worse. Like, I’m sure the families of the 26 people who have died in Hurricane Irene (so far) found it hilarious. The whole thing makes me want to retch.

Michele Bachmann, you can go away now. We’re done with you.