Praying For Rain

Here’s a news item you don’t see every day:

The Council for Secular Humanism is attacking the Obama administration for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack saying he prays for rain to end the nationwide drought.

“I get on my knees every day,” Vilsack said at the White House press briefing on Wednesday. “And I’m saying an extra prayer now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

In a statement, Tom Flynn, the executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, said Vilsack’s mention of prayer “sends the wrong message to distraught farmers.”

Look, I realize there’s a serious issue here, though Vilsack is hardly the kind of guy who is relying entirely on divine intervention when it comes to helping farmers. Federal farm programs aside, I recall from his brief 2008 presidential campaign that the former Iowa governor was pretty loud and explicit about the need to deal with global climate change.

Still, it reminds me a bit of a joke column (lost forever, I fear) I wrote years ago about an imaginary consulting firm called “The Devil You Know” that would enable candidates to “go negative on themselves” by arranging for attacks by unpopular groups and individuals. I’m sure there is more than one red-state Democrat who’d give almost anything to get scorched by the Council for Secular Humanism for excessive public piety.

But I really brought this up as an excuse to post this video of a song the Georgia State University college alt-rock station used to play before and after summer weather reports:

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.