Michelle, below, notes the absurd Republican claim that the White House's attempt to correct disinformation about its health care plan (such as the widely-cited claim, even repeated on the House floor, that the plan would euthanize the elderly) represents some sinister totalitarian plot. What I find particularly amusing about this form of paranoia is that it doesn't even try to connect the dots. Okay, suppose the White House really is trying to collect a list of its critics, rather than just collect a list of emailed misinformation. What are they going to do to these critics? Arrest them? Fluoridate their water supply? I don't see the point of rounding up random internet loons when the administration could just go ahead and round up vastly more powerful critics like Mitch McConnell or Rush Limbaugh. It's madness.

On the positive side, I note that in the course of repeating this lunatic theory, Charles Krauthammer takes a slightly more restrained line. "Citizens for the Republic" compares Obama's email conspiracy to Chicago style politics, Orwell's "1984," and the Soviet Union. Krauthammer also compares Obama's email collections to "Chicago thug politics" and Orwell, but for his third analogy, he selects Hugo Chavez -- not a flattering comparison, to be sure, but marginally less deranged than Stalin.


--Jonathan Chait