I always hear, "how does this happen"? or "how is this even possible"? It's usually in reference to some crazy notion. Something like, "death panels", or the movement known as "birthers", (who completely believe that Obama was born in a Kenya), or even, "Sarah Palin". Yes, quotations were necessary.
I am not presumptuous enough to assert that I know exactly why, but I do think that I can offer up a small inkling of insight, and it's quite simple actually.
One of the biggest complaints about Dem's is their propensity for "elitism". Now, just because someone reads, that doesn't mean they possess a superiority complex, but I digress. In a way, the "elitism" assertion is not entirely false. Being that Democrats tend to exist in a land of utopian idealism mixed with learned logic, it seems completely foreign to them that a phenomena like "Sarah Palin" could even happen. But that's not the problem. The problem is that they're so reluctant to nip it in the bud, as they say. The best, most informative article on Sarah Palin didn't come out until the week before she resigned as Governor... MONTHS after the general election of '08. That's just sad!
When you see the first sign of some loon wagging their finger at THE PRESIDENT for not producing (which he has) his original birth certificate, it needs to be shut down. Not entertained, not ignored (even though yes, it DOES sound crazy) but shut DOWN... PROPER! I know that we've all grown up with the parental wisdom of, "if you just ignore him/her, he'll/she'll go away". When referring to your brother or sister or your elementary school crush/bully, that might be true. In this instance, it's not. Just like with unregulated capitalism, if you just ignore it, it'll bankrupt the world (literally). And remember, these are the same people. Once these insipid claims take root, which really isn't difficult, it takes weeks (at least) to untangle and clean them up.
Maybe it's my super-tough, edgy background which leads me to believe Dem's need to grow a collective pair, but the reason WHY I believe this is neither here nor there. The fact is, Republican's are coming out locked and loaded (literally, even) and somehow they consistently manage to catch Democrats off-balance, off-guard, and totally incapable of snapping back adequately. Dem's then spend the next couple of weeks, cleaning up a mess that has nothing to do with whatever their current goals might be. I know Dem's tend to be more on the pacifistic side, and heaven forbid that you might be lending credence to something less-than-worthy, but as far as I'm concerned it's better to be safe than sorry.