Conspiracy theories have generally attracted the less educated and less stable citizens. Why are liberal Democrats–who tend to hail from our better institutions of higher learning–now entering this twilight zone?

Mark Goldblatt probes the rather alarming phenomenon of “tin foil hat Democrats” in the current American Spectator. Noting the widespread belief among Democrats, first voiced publicly by Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, that Rathergate is part of a plot hatched by Bush adviser Karl Rove, Goldblatt observes:

“Such bank shot logic is beyond silly, albeit slightly disconcerting. When you start believing that your enemy will shoot himself in the foot in order to plant the gun on your friend, then you’ve descended to the cognitive level of, well, the Arab Street — where conventional wisdom still holds, for example, that the CIA and Israel’s Mossad collaborated on the September 11th attacks on the United States in order to provide the Bush Administration with a pretext to launch a crusade against the Islamic world.

“Conspiracy theorizing has become the knee-jerk of the new millennium among liberal partisans — call them Tin Foil Hat Democrats. In their world, Jeb Bush is busy rigging another Florida vote for his brother, Halliburton is busy calling the shots in the war on terror, John Ashcroft is busy repealing the Bill of Rights, and Neoconservatives are busy working their Trilateral Commission voodoo to make the world safe for corporate capitalist exploitation.”