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Thursday, Nov 8, 2012, 10:02 am

Was Hurricane Sandy God’s Judgment on Republicans?

By Theo Anderson

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in 2005. According to some evangelical Christians, this was due to a gay pride parade.
(Satellite photo via NASA)

Republicans have been busy sorting through the wreckage of Tuesday’s presidential election returns, and there’s great news. They’ve found a culprit. The problem wasn’t a bad candidate or his badly managed campaign; it wasn’t their rhetoric on immigration policy or their failure to broaden the party’s base beyond people who are elderly, white, religious and Southern; and it wasn’t the Paul Ryan plan to privatize Medicare.

It was an act of God.

As Dick Morris, the Grand Poobah of half-baked punditry, put it: “Sandy, in retrospect, stopped Romney’s post-debate momentum. She was, indeed, the October Surprise. She also stopped the swelling concern over the murders in Benghazi and let Obama get away with his cover-up in which he pretended that a terrorist attack was, in fact, just a spontaneous demonstration gone awry.”

Morris isn’t the only one. Mitt Romney has been citing the storm as a reason his Mitt-mentum stalled, and an anonymous Romney fundraiser is claiming that Sandy, along with the great big (metaphorical) bear hugs that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the president, cost Romney four or five points.

But one wonders why conservatives haven’t yet connected the dots. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the cause and effect was clear enough. “Katrina: God’s Judgment on America” was the unsubtle title of one representative essay. The hurricane was apparently “a serious call to repent, to turn away from our wicked ways, from the heart of a loving Father.” The specific object of divine wrath, according to some evangelical Christians, was a gay-pride parade in the city.

The question presents itself: What was God telling us by sending Hurricane Sandy to derail Mitt Romney’s presidential bid? He isn’t ready for a Mormon president yet? He is sore displeased with the GOP in general? That Meatloaf needs to knock it off already?

Sandy's timing couldn’t be just a coincidence, could it? We’ll await clarification from those in the know.

Theo Anderson, an In These Times staff writer, is writing a book about the historical and contemporary influence of pragmatism on American politics. He has a Ph.D. in American history from Yale University and teaches history and literature seminars at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

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