So we’re beginning to see some of the nastiness surrounding Republican differences of opinion over the “Defund Obamacare” crusade leak out in vitriol. I don’t and won’t watch Glenn Beck, but his website The Blaze lets us know he’s launched a campaign to reveal that Grover Norquist, who strongly dissented from the “Defund Obamacare” gambit, is a Muslim-lover. And he brought on that famously objective bloviater on the subject of Muslims, Frank Gaffney, to make the case.

“[Norquist] is the guy responsible for a lot of the Muslim Brotherhood stuff that goes on in the White House, isn’t he?” Beck asked….

“Glenn, I think most people who know Grover only as a prominent anti-tax guy in the conservative movement would find that statement unbelievable, and to be honest with you I would’ve, but for the fact that I saw it first-hand as a result of sharing office space for what I think of seven biblically long years with Grover Norquist,” Gaffney remarked. “I saw terrorists in his office space. I had colleagues come to me and say, ‘You know there’s a Muslim Brotherhood front operating out of his office suite?’”

What many viewers may not have known is that Gaffney has been making this same attack on Norquist for a decade now. It’s even older than Obama Birtherism.

It’s hard to have sympathy for Norquist, who is a virtuoso of the art of political intimidation and character assassination. And conservatives can obviously disagree with his efforts to make American Muslims more open to voting Republican, and Republicans more open to treating American Muslims as something other than Shariah-lusting prototerrorists. But this nonsense is beyond the pale, and it says something about the passions associated with the Defund Obamacare campaign that it’s re-emerging right now.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.