THEY STILL REFUSE TO PACE THEMSELVES…. It’s just not healthy for this many federal lawmakers to be this nutty.

Conservative House Republicans are calling on their leaders to ask President Obama for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s resignation.

The Republicans think Napolitano should resign because of the release of a report that singled out conservatives as “right-wing terrorists,” according to several GOP lawmakers. […]

“I think leaders are going to bring it up with the president, maybe call for (her) resignation,” one conservative member told The Hill Wednesday.

Several conservative Republicans broached the topic Wednesday morning during the open-mic portion of the GOP’s closed-door conference meeting. They continued to beat the drum at the Republican Study Committee meeting later in the day.

Rep. John Carter (R) of Texas — who, despite his apparent madness, is a member of the House Republican leadership — told reporters, “Singling out political opponents for working against the ruling party is precisely the tactic of every tyrannical government from Red China to Venezuela. The first step in the process is creating unfounded public suspicion of political opponents, followed by arresting and jailing any who continue speaking against the regime.”

It’s hard to overstate how truly crazy this is. The Republican Study Committee has simply gone stark raving mad.

Neither DHS nor Napolitano “singled out” anyone — the agency warned law-enforcement officials against potential violent radicals, both “left-wing” and “right-wing.” If this was about generating “public suspicion of political opponents,” why was the report in question initiated by an appointee of George W. Bush? What, exactly, did the DHS secretary do that warrants resignation?

I’d assumed last week that this was just a silly partisan game, launched by bored conservatives who have nothing better to do. No one, I thought, could be dumb enough to believe this nonsense. Now, I’m not so sure. It might still be about scoring some cheap partisan points, but these nuts seemed pretty serious yesterday.

The broader point, however, is that Republicans still haven’t come to realize the benefit of pacing themselves. President Obama has only been in office for three months. At some point, there might be a cabinet secretary who does something that’s actually controversial in reality, instead of just the overactive imaginations of rabid, unhinged House members.

If these clowns keep screaming bloody murder over meaningless flaps that fall apart under scrutiny, it will be that much more difficult for them to be taken seriously when a genuine controversy arises.

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.