NATIONAL HEALTHCARE = TERRORISM….Conservatives want Americans to fear a national health care system. Conservatives also want Americans to fear Muslims. What better way to demagogue two birds with one stone than to connect the two in a transparently ridiculous discussion on Fox News?

[Yesterday] on Fox News’s Your World With Neil Cavuto, National Review Online columnist Jerry Bowyer attacked Michael Moore’s movie SiCKO and its positive portrayal of the health care in countries such as Britain and France. He argued that national health care systems are breeding grounds for terrorists because they are “bureaucratic.” “I think the terrorists have shown over and over again … they’re very good at gaming the system with bureaucracies,” said Bowyer.

The chyron, by the way, told viewers during the segment, “National Healthcare: Breeding Ground For Terror?” It was in all caps, and it wasn’t trying to be funny.

Indeed, Bowyer added, “[I]f one of your guys is a jihadist, if one of your doctors is spending all the time online reading Osama bin Laden fatwas, someone’s going to notice that. But the National Health Service is more like the post office, you know there’s a lot of anonymity, it’s easy to hide in the bureaucracy.”

To which FNC personality Cavuto responded, “The fact that we may be looking to go this way in the United States, you’re saying one of the potential consequences — without judging national health care one way or the other — is that this could happen. We have to be at least aware of the distinct possibility that in such a system, we would have to recruit outside doctors, and where we’re getting the most of them these days seems to be from the Muslim world.”

Of course, this was not to “judge” the merits of a national health-care plan; it was just Cavuto’s way of alerting FNC viewers that advocates of such a plan are undermining national security by inviting terrorists into the country. That is not, Cavuto told us, a value judgment on his part.

What’s more, this seems to be a new talking point, particularly this week, among conservatives who no longer worry about appearing credible. National Review’s Iain Murray argued a couple of days ago, “The socialization of medicine in the UK is responsible for a lot of problems. The importation of terrorists is just one of them.”

So let this be a lesson to all of us. National health care may offer better care to more people for less money, but that won’t matter because your doctor will be an al Qaeda mole.

We’ve been warned.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.