As a one-man doomsayer, Beck liberally sprinkles his right-wing rhetoric with hot-button references. Last week, Politico’s Ben Smith counted the number of times Beck has used certain adrenaline-pumping words since the show began airing in January: Marxist/Marxism, 127 times; communist/communism, 330; socialist/socialism, 404.

As Beck’s hyperbole expands, so, apparently, does the White House’s attention — to no good end. The sooner Obama distances himself, the better.