By MARC McDONALD
Browse any right-wing blog or listen to wingnut radio these days and you're confronted by a steady stream of angry voices denouncing "tin-foil hat" liberals and their "conspiracy theories."
The wingnuts are convinced that we liberal "conspiracy buffs" believe in some far-out things.
According to the wingnuts, we believe that Bush lied America into war. And we believe that the 2000 and 2004 elections weren't honest. And we suspect that maybe the White House puts the interests of Halliburton over the American people.
Pretty wacky stuff, huh?
The only problem is that a majority of the American people have similar questions these days. Which I guess means that America has become a land of tin-foil hat wearers.
However, there's a rich irony with the wingnuts denouncing conspiracy theories. After all, these people wrote the book on conspiracies. You won't find a more paranoid group of people in the nation.
The fact is, wingnuts believe that just about everything is part of a conspiracy these days.
Global warming is a liberal conspiracy. The media is a part of a liberal conspiracy. Iraq War opponents are part of a liberal conspiracy. Anyone who questions Bush is conspiring to harm America. And polling companies that show that Bush has a low approval rating are part of a liberal conspiracy.
According to the wingnuts, even the U.S. Navy was part of a liberal conspiracy, when it awarded John Kerry military honors that he didn't really deserve.
And the latest liberal conspiracy, according to the wingnuts, is that we're secretly working to shut down their beloved Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of wingnut radio.
This paranoid behavior on the part of the wingnuts is nothing new. In fact, it reached a fever pitch during the Clinton administration. Back then, talk radio and the wingnuts were constantly embracing every wacky anti-Clinton conspiracy that came down the pike.
According to them, Clinton conspired to "murder" Vince Foster. Clinton also murdered Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who died in a "mysterious" plane crash. As Arkansas governor, he conspired to murder dozens of people who "knew too much." And when he wasn't busy murdering people, he was raping women left and right.
I rarely can bring myself to admit that the wingnuts do something better than the Dems. But in this case, I'll make an exception. Liberals' "conspiracy" theories are definitely no match for the wacky conspiracy theories on the Right.
And when the wingnuts aren't accusing us of far-out conspiracy theories, they're accusing of something called "Bush Derangement Syndrome."
Apparently, it seems, we hate Bush for no particular reason. And our hatred is therefore irrational. To dare suggest that maybe Bush had something to do with the fiasco in Iraq, we're guilty of a serious case of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Here, again, though, the Left simply can't compare to the wingnuts, when it comes to unhinged hatred.
After all, even the fiercest progressive critics of Bush are no match for the foaming-at-the-mouth, mad-dog crazy Clinton haters of the 1990s. We're seeing a revival of these nutcases today, as they prepare to go after Hillary Clinton.
There's a big difference between the Left's hatred of Bush and the Right's hatred of Clinton, though.
We progressives hate Bush for lying America into an illegal, reckless, immoral war that has seriously damaged America's standing in the world.
By contrast, the wingnuts hated Clinton for: what, exactly? Lying about a blow job?
I mean, even the fiercest of Clinton's critics have now quietly tip-toed away from the wild charges they made against Clinton in the '90s.
Are there still wingnuts out there who really believe Clinton murdered Vince Foster? If so, they're strangely quiet about it, these days. After all, immediately after the Clinton era ended, I didn't hear another word about that crazy conspiracy from the wingnuts.
But I get the feeling that, even after the Bush era ends, there will still be many progressives who'll continue to seek answers and justice for the White House's very real crimes in the nightmarish years since 2000.