Steele tries on paranoia

STEELE TRIES ON PARANOIA…. Just yesterday, I had a random tweet about RNC Chairman Michael Steele having gone several days without saying something nutty in public.

So much for that idea.

Steele spoke with Sean Hannity last night, and in the context of the Department of Homeland Security’s report on potentially dangerous right-wing radicals, both suggested that President Obama is some kind of possible threat to national security.

Steele went on to argue, without evidence, that he’s “sure” a recent anti-abortion event in Indiana featured federal surveillance.

“They’ve got their eye on the 3,000 Americans who assembled in Indiana last night, in Evansville, Indiana, to profess their continued effort to save the life of the unborn,” Steele said, adding, “I’m sure there was somebody in the room with a notepad and a camera taking snapshots and writing down names.”

As easy as it is to mock Steele’s foolishness, there’s a substantive angle to all of this, too. If Steele is worried about surveillance abuses and an executive branch with excessive power over monitoring law-abiding citizens, there have been some genuine abuses for him to address.

Oddly enough, when it comes to real-world, non-paranoid intrusions, Steele hasn’t had much to say. Why do you suppose that is?

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Steve Benen

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.