AND NO, I'M NOT WEARING A TINFOIL HAT. In the course of an extremely snarky review of the latest books from David Sirota and George Lakoff in this past Sunday's New York Times book section, there was this remarkable bit of analysis from one Tobin Harshaw, who is identified as "an editor with the Ope-Ed page of the Times." And, yes, it would be just as snarky of me to point out that accusing Sirota of "wafer-thin allusions to popular culture" is not a charge that should be idly thrown about by someone whose day-job may well entail the futile task of saving David Brooks from himself. Anyway, writing of Lakoff, who apparently mistrusts the good faith of modern conservatives, Harshaw writes:

But does anybody not wearing a tinfoil hat believe that Republicans really want to take the vote away from women, blacks, and non-landowners? Or that President Bush's poorly managed Medicare prescription-drug expansion was a clever ruse to destroy the program?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, taking the vote away from minorities was how William Rehnquist got started in conservative politics and he ended up pretty well, as I recall. It's why Ed Morris bought off all those ministers. You don't have to go to the fringes of anything to argue that there was some serious (and, I would argue, nakedly illegal) voter-suppression in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. As to the second part, well, Grover Norquist was not kidding about drowning government in the bathtub. And, from Brownie at FEMA, to John Bolton at the U.N., to the revelation in The Times that the IRS is laying off lawyers who deal specifically with luxury and estate taxes, to the startling revelations by the Boston Globe's Charlie Savage this past Sunday about the murder-by-resume of the Justice Department's civil-rights division, you don't have to be Fox Mulder to divine that one way this bunch demolishes programs and departments they don't like is by creating circumstances through which those programs and departments are encouraged to fail.

-- Charles P. Pierce