WHAT’S WITH THE GOP AND MICROCHIPS?…. This report, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Jim Galloway, is disconcerting on its face, but it also raises questions about the larger connection between conservatives and their microchip-related concerns.

Last week, the Georgia House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider a Republican proposal to “prohibit the involuntary implantation of microchips in human beings.” I’m not entirely sure what the point is — it’s not as if there’s been an outbreak of involuntary microchip implantation — but GOP officials nationwide have a tendency to worry about imaginary threats, so I suppose this shouldn’t be too surprising.

The legislative hearing led to remarks from a local woman, who claimed to have personal experience on the matter.

“I’m also one of the people in Georgia who has a microchip,” the woman said. Slowly, she began to lead the assembled lawmakers down a path they didn’t want to take. […]

She spoke of the “right to work without being tortured by co-workers who are activating these microchips by using their cell phones and other electronic devices.”

She continued. “Microchips are like little beepers. Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area, the most sensitive area of your body. And your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city. All done without your permission,” she said.

It was not funny, and no one laughed.

When a lawmaker asked her to clarify as to whether she’s been implanted with a microchip, the woman said that she did, and that it was involuntarily put in her body by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The state lawmakers politely thanked the woman for her time, and proceeded to vote in support of the proposal.

And that’s really the point I’m curious about. We talked in February about an identical effort among Republicans in Virginia’s House of Delegates, where a GOP lawmaker sought to prohibit involuntary microchip implantation in order to help save humanity from the antichrist. His proposal passed.

Indeed, there are now three states — and counting — that have instituted bans on involuntary microchip implantation. Georgia will likely become the fourth. At the same time, some conservatives are apparently concerned about non-existent microchip-related provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

Was there some kind of memo about the dangers of microchips at some point? Where did all of these concerns come from? I like to think I keep up fairly well on far-right rhetoric, but all of this seems to be popping up around the same time, out of the blue.

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.