The Dems embrace their crazy aunts

Fred Barnes:

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION is curtailing democracy in America. President Bush himself, in case you hadn't noticed, is like Hitler. By the way, he knew about 9/11 beforehand. On top of that, he let Osama bin Laden's relatives sneak out of America shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The war in Iraq? It's a war for oil. And while we're on the subject of the war, Vice President Cheney intervened to assure contracts in postwar Iraq for Halliburton, the company he once headed.

These flights of paranoia, far-out analogies, conspiracy theories, and wild charges devoid of evidence are the stock in trade of the Loony Left. Normally such ideas are ridiculed or ignored by those in the political mainstream. But these days the fantasies of the Loony Left are increasingly embraced and nearly always tolerated by the Democratic party and its auxiliary groups. The result? The Loony Left now has a toehold on the Democratic party.

A toehold, but not a foothold. The work product of the Loonies is only beginning to become mainstream among Democrats. You won't find many of the wild ideas in the party platform, nor are they routinely voiced by party leaders. But they have been treated with tolerance, rather than active disapproval, by most Democrats. So far at least, this phenomenon has cost Democrats nothing politically. Certainly they haven't been tarred in the way Republicans were in the 1990s when a few of them flirted with lunatic notions about President Clinton. Ultimately, however,identifying with the far-fetched and the eccentric is bound to harm Democrats.

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