GOP Lawmaker Says U.S. Moving Towards Martial Law

BROUN KEEPS BRINGING THE CRAZY.... Once in a while, I get the sense that prominent far-right officials ridiculous and offensive comments precisely because they want to drive crazy followers into fits of rage. It is, in other words, a feature, not a bug.

Rep. Paul Broun (R) of Georgia, for example, told constituents yesterday that Democratic leaders may be moving towards declaring martial law. David Weigel reports:

[Broun] spoke of a "socialistic elite" -- Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- who might use a pandemic disease or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law.

"They're trying to develop an environment where they can take over," he said. "We've seen that historically."

Now, as a factual matter, this is blisteringly stupid. But as a political matter, the only reason a right-wing lawmaker would say something like this is if he's deliberately trying to drive already-angry conservatives over the edge. Broun sees a simmering fire, and he's reaching for the kerosene. He realizes far-right activists are feeling paranoid and enraged, so he tells them the nation's political leaders are "trying" to impose some kind of fascistic martial law on the populace.

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