I like conspiracy theories a lot. I sometimes think that if the mental energy used to develop them were harnessed, we could develop a pill to turn water into gasoline or land a man on the moon, or do something equally spectacular. Usually, these interesting conjectures are able to last for years and years, since it is pretty difficult to disprove them, once they grab hold of people’s minds.

Rarely though, do we have a set of circumstances like we’ve had in the last few days. First, the birther conspiracy, one that was believed by a key demographic to the Republican Party, was turned into a joke by the release of one piece of paper. Let me say that nobody with an ounce of sense ever believed in this; it was merely a straw held onto by a portion of the party that nobody could discount, otherwise they wouldn’t turn out to vote. Gee whiz, Obama ran against the Clinton’s. If there were any possibility that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, Indonesia, or the moon, the Clinton’s would have found this out. They played the cocaine card against him. God, they played the affair card against Bob Dole in 1996. But, like any good conspiracy theory, nothing was a convincing argument. I’d bet that some people are still so wrapped up in the concept that they’re having a cognitive dissonance problem trying to deal with the ramifications of its elimination as a political issue.

But then late Sunday night, another conspiracy theory went by the boards, this one the provenance of the loony left. This was the truther conspiracy. This belief system was cherished by a segment of the left, and is sort of difficult to explain, but I’m gonna try here.

First, you have to believe that Bush 2’s election was illegitimate. You see, he lost the Presidential election of 2000 to Al Gore, and only through some weird legal machinations did he take office. Then, because of this, his popularity was very low, and was unable to enable a segment of the population to believe that he had the authority to act as Commander-in-Chief. So, some grand gesture had to be done to convince Americans that Bush was really the President. Well, what could be better than killing a few thousand Americans by imploding some buildings, photo-shopping pictures of a couple of planes running in to them, making sure that people who you didn’t want to die took off sick that day, and traveling to Florida to visit some school to provide some plausible deniability. Then, blame some guy holing up in some strange country, start a couple of wars, and never actually try to catch the evil genius who you’re blaming for this whole mess.

The truther conspiracy depended on one loose thread never being pulled, much as the birther one did. For this one, the key ‘fact’ was that OBL never be caught. We have the mightiest military by far in the world. We also spend the most money, have the most powerful computers, and the most intelligent spy network in the world. If we wanted to, we could catch him. Therefore, since we haven’t, we knew that he wasn’t really culpable. I know, this sounds pretty silly, but that is because we don’t believe in it, and presumably aren’t wearing ruby red shoes. Then, if you believe anything, you can make it so.

I’m sure that the truthers won’t completely concede, just as I’m sure that the birthers will come up with some new reformulation of their theory. No theory, after all, is static. Each idea has to dynamically change as new facts arise, even theories held by the demented.