SOCIAL SECURITY IS A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM…. For a while, so many conservative activists were convinced that Medicare isn’t a government program that Tim Noah was able to start tracking it as a genuine meme. It was indicative of a discourse gone insane — confused opponents of health care reform were sincerely, literally arguing, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”

Is Social Security next? Consider this anecdote from Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R) town-hall meeting in Lake Elmo, Minn., last night. (via Matt Corley)

At times tempers flared at the forum, with constituents shouting at one another.

LeRoy Schaffer, a St. Francis city council member, dressed in a tuxedo and top hat for the occasion. Shaffer got visibly emotional asking Bachmann about the future of health care and the role of special interests in Washington.

“I’ll be danged if I am going to give up my Social Security because of socialism,” Schaffer said, before being booed by the crowd.

Well, at least he was booed.

Update: Looks like the Roll Call report didn’t include the relevant context. LeRoy Schaffer is actually a supporter of government safety-net programs. He said before the event, “I’m on Social Security and I’ve got Medicare. I have socialized medicine. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.”

I suppose he was booed, then, because he’s in favor of Social Security?

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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.