As tempting as it is to simply ignore Michele Bachmann’s nonsense, there was one gem from last night’s debate that I really enjoyed.

“I was in the White House with President Obama this summer. We asked him not once but three times: President Obama, what is your plan to save Medicare? And the president mumbled and he didn’t give an answer the first time, the second time. And the third time the president said something very interesting, Karen. He said, ‘Obamacare.’

“I think that senior citizens across the country have no idea that President Obama plans for Medicare to collapse, and instead everyone will be pushed into ‘Obamacare.’”

What’s amusing about this is how truly ridiculous Bachmann’s silly conspiracy theory — and imaginary exchange with the president — really is.

Here, the unhinged Minnesotan wants the public to believe President Obama is secretly trying to eliminate Medicare, forcing seniors into the Affordable Care Act. Is there any evidence at all to support this? Of course not, but that’s not important right now.

What’s far more interesting is that in practical terms, Bachmann apparently thinks the president is secretly right-wing — she believes Obama wants to end the existing system of socialized medicine for the elderly, and force these millions of seniors into the private insurance market.

Of course, in reality, there is a group of people who actually support such an approach. They’re called “House Republicans.” Indeed, the House GOP budget plan — written by Paul Ryan and endorsed by none other than Michele Bachmann — seeks to end Medicare and convert the program into an ACA-style system. Bachmann’s conspiracy theory is that Obama secretly agrees with her far-right colleagues.

This isn’t just wrong; it’s mad-as-a-hatter crazy.

Bachmann’s ability to come up with remarkable conspiracy theories is impressive, but this one is among my favorites. Anytime a right-wing lawmaker talks to a right-wing audience and thinks it’s wise to attack President Obama as secretly on their side, it deserves some kind of award.

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.