You're Only Supposed To Believe In The "Good" Conspiracy Theories.

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It's been amusing to watch Republicans turn on Texas Republican gubernatorial "tea party" candidate Debra Medina for turning out to be a 9/11 truther. After calling for -- and getting -- White House policy adviser Van Jones' head over his having signed a 9/11 truth petition years ago, Glenn Beck has criticized Medina for her, ah, "agnosticism" about whether the U.S. government played a role in helping the 9/11 attackers.

But look, I can see how this can get confusing for the tea-party folks. After all, you're supposed to believe that ACORN stole the 2008 election despite the fact that ACORN has never been caught stealing any election, ever. You're supposed to think Obama might not be an American citizen, despite the fact that his birth certificate has been copied and published on the Web. You're supposed to think that the Obama administration has given Interpol the right to arrest U.S. citizens, even though he hasn't. You're supposed to believe that the Obama administration's appointment of policy advisers colloquially known as "czars" is unprecedented (even though it isn't) and portends a potential communist takeover. You're supposed to believe that the scientific consensus on global warming has been manufactured in order to facilitate the creation of a one-world socialist government.

That's a lot of crazy theories without any evidence to believe. So you can hardly blame tea-party folks if they get confused about which evidence-free conspiracy theories are OK, which ones you have to believe to be taken seriously as a member of the movement, and which evidence-free conspiracy theories might get you disavowed. It's confusing!

-- A. Serwer

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