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Glenn Beck suggested Tuesday that the ethics investigation into the erstwhile presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is retribution for the congresswoman's outspoken crusade against what she has called the threat of radical Islam.
"We have been sold to radical Islam," Beck said matter-of-factly on his Internet show. "It has infiltrated and we have documented it."
If this were just Beck being stereotypically insane it'd be one thing, but anti-Muslim and other conspiracy theorizing is responsible for a good chunk of Actual Conservative Base Thought, at present—this stuff is commonplace. It's the tea partiers that seem to be most obsessed by it, possibly because they are by far the stupidest set of people in politics, and yes, you may quote me on that. Supposed United Nations conspiracies were granted official panel status at CPAC just a few weeks ago, and another informal panel was cobbled together by the Breitbart crowd to allow anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists like Pam Geller a voice after the hosts of CPAC had decided that claiming Grover Norquist and other prominent conservatives as part of the vast Muslim conspiracy was going a bit to far even for them. We won't even get into all the conspiracies led by scientists, atheists, fast-food critics and thermometers; those all go without saying, right?
So if the question is "are these people really dumb enough to believe this stuff?", the answer is an emphatic yes. They really do think that pro-sharia forces, by which they in this case mean the House Ethics Committee, apparently, are arraying themselves against people like Michele Bachmann because something-something conspiracy. They're that nuts, and a large part of the blame can be put on a Republican Party (and conservative media outlets like Beck's former employer, Fox News) that will happily stoke any such theories if it means keeping their base motivated—meaning, usually, terrified. There's no reality left in the movement, and insisting upon such a thing is as likely to get you booted from the party as not.