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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The quantity theory of political psychosis

A certain quantity of insanity must be present within the body politic at all times. Though the exact quantity of nuttiness is unknown, its allotment shifts continuously across the left-right continuum. Often the madness takes the form of conspiracy theories, which, when disproved, are believed with even greater certainty by the mental patients, who remain at large. This is to say that the very act of debunking ludicrous political claims serves chiefly to deepen the faith of devotees in the truth of the claims. In the 1950s and 1960s, the John Birch Society ("Eisenhower is a communist agent") was the preeminent political loony bin of America. These days the greatest derangement exists on the political/cultural left, where a mind-numbing assemblage of jackballs personifies the toxic nuttiness for which Birchers once had no serious competitors. Item: Karl Rove was indicted last May, according to the crackbrain pseudo-news organization that calls itself Truthout. A few days ago, Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised Rove's attorney that no indictment would be forthcoming. Truthout responds: We have "additional, independent sources" that say Rove was indicted secretly. Truthout forgot to mention that the sources are speaking to them through dental implants. Time to get real, Mr. Fitzgerald. Start by tuning your teeth.