Conspiracy theories are not all crazy. If a group of people conspire to do something, and a reasonable time line can be put together--but not proven 100%--that is a conspiracy theory. The official story of how 9/11 happened is itself a conspiracy theory. That may be a bad example, however, as a growing number of people think that believing the official story is crazy too.
Conspiracy theories get a bad rap for many reasons. One reason is that amidst a reasoned, coherent theory may reside a few nuggets of crazy. Using 9/11 as an example again, is instructive. There are many legitimate unanswered questions, and things that just don't add up under scrutiny. I've never been able to reconcile how those planes were allowed to fly around for so long, over presumably well guarded air space, and to (mostly) hit their targets, with no defense by our government. Throw in the inexperienced pilots, and their success is nothing short of stunning.
But, whenever these theories get a forum, inevitably there are several whack-a-doodle conclusions drawn. Crazy theories are presented along with, or within the sensible ones, and the baby gets thrown out with the bath water. This has relegated the entire topic to verboten status, even on generally open forums like Kos or Air America. Randi Rhodes (on Air America) comes the closest that I've heard to presenting the rational portions, and discarding the crazy, but she's a rare exception. Others like Charlie Sheen and Rosie O'Donnell give it a try, but due to their larger-than-life personalities, and the knee-jerk reaction to the subject matter, the public and the media have branded them nuts.
Another problem with conspiracy theories is that they sometimes require an almost Orwellian doublethink to believe them. Liberals believe that the current administration is utterly incompetent, and yet has managed to pull off massively complicated conspiracies, and keep them under wraps. Conservatives believed all sorts of theories about the Clintons, and yet Clinton was incompetent at covering up sexual liaisons.
But, I believe I've found a way to reconcile the incompetence/competence factor as it applies to my own conspiracy theories of the Bush administration. I do believe they are incompetent at governance. But I think they are remarkably competent at covering their asses, by any means necessary. I think they've done all kinds of dirty, underhanded things, and have (usually) only after the fact put a conspiracy in motion to cover it all up.
What is my theory? It is very complicated, of course, and not fully gelled. I think a great many of the administration scandals, from Plame, Gannon, election tampering/fraud, the attorney firings, Abramoff, and oh so much more, are united by a common thread. It's tangly, maybe even webbed, and with many loose ends, but I think they're all connected (probably to Karl Rove). A good investigative reporter worth his salt could, in my opinion, tug that string and unravel everything.
I am not that man. But I will do my best to cobble together my theory, and present it here in the near future. It will likely do no good, other than to make me feel better, but I'll give it a go anyhow.
One theory I have, that I haven't seen anywhere: The whole Clinton impeachment was orchestrated in order to insulate the next President from getting impeached FOR ANYTHING. Considering the reluctance of Congress and the public to impeach (though I believe they have a list of reasons to do it), I'd say they are leery of impeaching two Presidents in a row. So, the Clinton impeachment ultimately gave the next guy carte blanche. Call me crazy. . .