For years, Democrats tried to brag that they were the reality-based community, the ones who didn’t let partisan or imperial fantasies interfere with their political judgment. But now it’s as if certain news networks and politicians are caught in a feedback loop and think they have been dropped into an episode of Showtime’s Homeland or a revival of 24.

There are other countries, such as Ukraine, in which Russian interests do get considered and in which domestic actors have entanglements with business and political interests that favor the Kremlin, or at least a faction within Russia. The parliaments of these countries are rife with accusations of dual loyalties or foreign subornation. These are sad countries in many ways, given an unlucky set of geographic and political conditions. The United States is unlike them in every way.

We know that some of these actors know better. Nancy Pelosi, from happy experience, knows that Democrats can win elections by focusing on bread-and-butter issues with their constituents. That’s how she won Democrats a majority in Congress. So the question remains: Why is there this subset of wine-mom Democrats, Morning Joe addicts, and their couriers who prefer to believe this conspiracy theory about Putin?