The law firm that Congressional Republicans hired to defend DOMA dropped the representation, and Jonathan Adler at Volokh Conspiracy engages in a little propter hoc, saying that the public outcry among gay groups caused the firm "to discard its integrity when placed under fire." He calls this "the New McCarthyism" and says it's "shameful ... particularly given the nation’s sorry history of efforts to prevent effective legal representation of marginalized groups and unpopular causes." He then has to backpedal when it's pointed out that members of the majority party in the House of Representatives are not exactly an oppressed group, and further when it comes out that the lawyer involved didn't follow proper firm procedure in taking on a new, controversial client. Nevertheless, he still thinks it's McCarthyism.
Digby finds a story that the United States is enacting rules regarding how to get a passport that would be almost impossible to comply with, and posts, "Keeping Them Out ---Or Keeping Us In?" and compares it to the Berlin Wall:
This is Big Brother stuff --- they are setting up a series of roadblocks to use "just in case" they want to deny someone a passport. The question is, who and why? Basically, this will potentially deny US citizens the ability to travel outside the country. It may not be a wall, but it functions pretty effectively as one if they want it to.
In comments, a couple people point out that the proposed form is to be used in cases where someone is applying for a passport for the first time and either (a) claims to be a natural-born citizen born outside the countryor (b) claims to be born in the U.S. but wasn't born in a hospital or whose birth wasn't recorded for more than a year. That is, in a rare situation where someone's right to claim citizenship isn't obvious from the record, amounting to about 75,000 cases every year (out of 14 million passports issued annually). Unlike Adler, Digby doesn't even bother to engage the contrary information and the vast majority of commenters run with the paranoia ball.
Most days there is no point in engaging things posted online, which is why I've largely stopped trying.
Update: This from Conor Friedersdorf is fucking idiotic:
The fact that bureaucrats at the U.S. State Department now feel empowered to demand information this personal, cumbersome and detailed as a condition of permitting an American to leave the country is as alarming an example as I've seen of how these people conceive of the relationship between a government and its citizens. There is only one appropriate response to many of the questions they pose: "It is none of your damned business."
As a condition of receiving a document which will be unquestioningly accepted as proof of your identity, yes, you have to demonstrate that you're eligible.
Unfortunately, also, too, Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice picks up the scare thread from digby without adding anything. But to their great credit, many commenters at the site push back hard on the conspiracy theory.