The Monkey Cage reports that “57% of the French public and 70% of French Socialists believe that Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) was the victim of a set-up”:The post goes on to make the excellent point that “it seems a bit rich for Socialists to overwhelmingly take the side of the wealthy powerful politician with a history of sexual abuse allegations against what appear to be quite credible allegations of a poor Guinean refugee.”

But I’m bringing this up because I think it lends some useful perspective to recent conspiracy theories in the United States. As crazy as the myth about Obama not being born in the US was, contrary to what a lot of pundits claimed, I don’t think it indicated a level of paranoia or craziness in the conservative movement that was much greater than the level of paranoia or craziness among people in general. We have various biases that cloud our understanding of the here and now and make it easy to forget that, unfortunately, this sort of insanity is actually pretty normal.

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