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Hysteria Over Obama Speech As Indicator

LA Times' Tim Rutten

Republican officials such as the Florida state chairman are playing a dangerous game with an unhinged segment of public opinion that regards Obama not as an elected official with whom they disagree, but as an illegitimate usurper of the presidency.

That paranoid fantasy is what's really behind the 'birther' movement and the allegations that the president is -- take your pick -- a secret Marxist or a secret Muslim.

It's the kind of fanciful anxiety that produces comments like this, posted on a conservative website this week: 'Barack Obama and his left-wing Chicago machine regime are putting into place laws and institutions which will insure that there will never again be free elections in America.'

These are the people who are stockpiling ammunition and keeping their children at home next Tuesday.

This is the same kind of speech that gave Tim McVeigh ideas. Only its much worse now.