Peter Wehner’s post about President Barack Obama’s inner Spiro Agnew is apt in more ways than one. Take an anecdote recently published by former Illinois congressman Paul Findley, a man who has seldom met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like, especially one that involved Jews and their alleged dual loyalties to America. Unlike John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, he didn’t even require a $750,000 advance to pen his conspiracies.
Findley is now out with a new book (with a forward written by Helen Thomas, no less!) in which he relates how he received a letter from Spiro Agnew blaming the Israel lobby for the disgraced vice president’s downfall. That’s right: If Findley’s account is truthful, Agnew attributes the events that led to his resignation to a Jewish plot. Neither the U.S. Justice Department investigation of Agnew on extortion, tax fraud, bribery, and conspiracy, nor the eventual charges filed against Agnew of accepting more than a $100,000 in bribes had anything to do with it. Or perhaps Angew just thought that the Jews pulled invisible levers all over the U.S. government.
Should Obama lose the 2012 election with many Jewish Americans (among almost every other community of Americans) switching their allegiance from Democrat to Republican, I wonder how much Obama or key members of his inner-circle might channel their other inner-Agnew. It’s not unheard of for retired former officials to start spouting off increasingly wacky ideas and conspiracies.