It appears conspiracy theories are not just for the "black helicopter" crowd anymore. By no stretch of the imagination could Ann Marie Slaughter be consigned to that category and she's willing to conjecture that Bush and Cheney are, as they say, batshit crazy. Kevin picks out the key quote of her latest piece.
[T]he Bush administration is now so widely viewed as unhinged and malignant that even traditionally serious™ people like Anne-Marie Slaughter think nothing of suggesting that they might well start a war with Iran for purely partisan gain. I really can't think of any past administration that would have provoked this kind of reaction from someone of AMS's stature. Journalists should take note.
Brian Beutler expands on that theme.
I was actually voicing the same concern when a more-senior Beutler chimed in to say that his concern is that Bush might just trump up some reason to declare martial law late next year in order to suspend the elections. Six years ago, these sorts of musings would have been the province of strait-jacketed moonbat paranoiacs. Today it's become fairly common even in moderate circles.
As I said during my go around with Jason Steck on this point, the divide seems to fall along generational lines. Those of us who have lived through ten or so presidencies have never seen anything approaching the wilful malfeasance of this administration and are reluctantly willing to believe they're capable of normally implausible acts. That's not paranoia. It's historical perspective.