THE BLURRED LINES…. Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a prominent conservative writer, has a new National Review piece that’s … how do I put this gently … a little out there.

A quadrupling of the national debt in just one year and accepting a nuclear-armed sponsor of international terrorism such as Iran are not things from which any country is guaranteed to recover.

Just two nuclear bombs were enough to get Japan to surrender in World War II. It is hard to believe that it would take much more than that for the United States of America to surrender — especially with people in control of both the White House and the Congress who were for turning tail and running in Iraq just a couple of years ago.

Perhaps people who are busy gushing over the Obama cult today might do well to stop and think about what it would mean for their granddaughters to live under sharia law.

Sowell goes on to insist that Republicans resist calls that the party reach out to a larger audience, and steer clear of “moderates.”

Now, anyone who raises the specter of the United States surrendering to Iran, which would in turn impose sharia law on Americans, has a terrific imagination, but a rather tenuous connection to reality.

Reading Sowell’s piece, though, my first thought wasn’t, “Wow, this is nuts”; it was, “Wow, National Review published this on purpose.”

Over the last couple of decades, the line between the GOP establishment/leadership and the unhinged GOP base has become blurred. At the same time, the line between the analysis offered by “serious” and “respectable” conservative voices and the unbalanced tirades put forward by the nutty conservative fringe has all but disappeared.

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.