PALIN SEES ‘DEATH PANELS’…. In her first policy statement since quitting as Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin decided to go full-on, cover-your-eyes crazy. Here’s what the former governor wrote on her Facebook page yesterday:

As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course.

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

As a substantive matter, this might be the stupidest thing ever written about health care policy. Just two weeks after she implored journalists to “quit making things up,” Palin has manufactured the idea of a “death panel” out of thin air. As Time‘s Karen Tumulty noted, “Yes, such a system would indeed be downright evil. Which is why no one is proposing anything like it. Let’s repeat: No one is proposing anything like it.”

What’s more, if we’re going to take Palin’s truly insane babblings seriously as a policy pronouncement, it’s also worth noting that the former governor points to one relevant angle. As publius noted, “[T]here are people who weigh whether children like Trig are worthy of insurance. They’re called insurance companies, and they have decided that these children are not in fact worthy of coverage. That’s because Down Syndrome is a ‘pre-existing condition.’”

But in the larger political context, a statement like this positions Palin as something of a disgrace. After insisting that her family be left out of political debate, here’s Palin dragging her special-needs infant son into the discussion, in order to spread an obvious lie. What’s more, for Palin to write such a statement for public review makes clear that she’s either conspicuously unintelligent or she thinks her followers are idiots. Either she believes her own vile nonsense or she assumes her audience is foolish enough to believe patently ridiculous attacks.

Either way, Sarah Palin is a national embarrassment, and she’s getting worse.

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.