E.D. Kain of "The League of Ordinary Gentlemen" -- a smart, moderate conservative blog you should be reading -- has a terrific, sobering post abouthysterical conservative rhetoric and its effect on deranged minds, using "The Fisher King" as an analogy:

This is what worries me about the Right’s various fearmongering talkshows, and Glenn Beck and his show on Fox News in particular.  When he warns that Obama is going to take away our guns, or that the government is building FEMA concentration camps for American citizens, I worry that people might just take him seriously - deadly seriously - and, like Edwin, take matters into their own hands.  Most people won’t, of course, though the Tea Parties are a testament to the widespread confusion in America today, and such mainstream acceptance can be even more dangerous as it helps the crazies further legitimize their delusions.  This seems to be the case with Richard Poplawski, who shot three police officers dead in Pittsburgh earlier this month.

Good point, E.D. Kain!

--Jonathan Chait