HOUSE GOP POISED TO BRING ON THE CRAZY…. Voters heard all kinds of bizarre rhetoric from Republicans about Barack Obama during the campaign, but one hoped that it was just the result of poor character and campaign desperation. It’s not as if party leaders and elected officials actually believe such stupidity; they were just willing to repeat nonsense to win votes.

It’s more troubling when these folks start accepting their own talking points as true.

A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

“It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force,” Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. “I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism.” […]

“That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did,” Broun said. “When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.” […]

“We can’t be lulled into complacency,” Broun said. “You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential of going down that road.”

Now, if I’d read this perspective on some right-wing blog, I’d assume it was just some random nut. But Paul Broun is a member of Congress, speaking on the record, to a national news outlet.

It’s tempting to ignore the point of Broun’s madness, but in case there’s any confusion here, his paranoia about a “national security force” that answers to Obama is apparently a reference to speech Obama delivered over the summer about, as the AP noted, “a civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure — an idea endorsed by the Bush administration.”

Broun said his lunacy “may sound a bit crazy.” Don’t sell yourself short, congressman, it is crazy.

The New York Times reported the other day that there’s “a great tradition of paint-peeling political hyperbole during presidential campaign years. And there is an equally great tradition of backing off from it all afterward, though with varying degrees of deftness.”

Poor Paul Broun. He missed the memo.

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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.