Rush Limbaugh responded to the President's jokes about how the passage of health care reform has not led to the apocalypse, as some of reform's most hysterical opponents predicted. Maybe the volcanic eruption in Iceland, Rush points out, which has caused massive disruption of air travel around the world, is a sign of God's displeasure. If so, it is interesting that God would have chosen to spew ash across the skies of Europe, most of which has had socialized health care for decades, to punish America for deciding to extend coverage to more of its citizens. Of course it could be that it has taken God decades to show his wrath toward Europe. But, even if we were to assume that God is unhappy about more recent events in America, how do we know that the volcanic eruption was not a demonstration of God's anger that the health insurance reform bill did not go far enough? Would we not expect God to be concerned that the United States spends more on health care per capita than other countries, but generally has worse life expectancy, infant mortality and other measures of healthiness than comparable countries? Maybe God is angry that we did not enact a single payer system for all, or that many of the reforms in the current bill do not take effect until 2014.
In fairness to Rush, I doubt he intended his remarks to be taken seriously, and I don't know that he has made any claim to understand the mind of God. And if President Obama is entitled to suggest that health care reform is not likely to produce Armageddon, it is certainly fair for others to point out that maybe Armageddon is really on the way. Let's suppose instead that all this talk is just good fun.