Ever since Hillary Clinton made a reference to Saul Alinsky -- on whom she had written a thesis during university -- many conservatives have taken to examining the conduct of the far-left through an Alinskyite lens.
Famously, one of Alinsky's missives for the left was to always accuse their opponents of what the left themselves are doing.
What else could be at the core of the far-left's great varmint hunt centering around the Ethical Oil institute?
It began when CBC's Evan Solomon countered questions being asked by Ethical Oil spokesperson Kathryn Marshall about where the anti-oilsands movement is getting its money from. More and more, it's getting its money from outside the country. Solomon's question was whether or not EEI has received any money from Enbridge.
Solomon seemed to overlook the detail that Enbridge is a Canadian company. And sensing that they have nothing on their hands that will resonate outside the far-left echo chamber, they've instead taken to hunting for evidence a vast right-wing conspiracy.
And in order to do that, they've dug further into Marshall's personal life. What they've come up with is a shocking revelation that Kathryn Marshall is married to Hamish Marshall, who is a member of the Conservative Party Federal Council.
The far-left is feigning the vapours over this, but it's not really all that shocking at all. Nor is it really what they portray it is.
The Conservative Party stands nearly alone as the sole supporter and defender of the Canadian jobs the oilsands provide. It's not at all shocking that someone married to a Conservative Party official would also support the oil sands, and work with an organization that shares that common goal.
But perhaps the reason why the far-left has become so focused on this is because they honestly believe that conservatives do the same things they do: create elaborate front groups for their partisan political machinations, and expect people to see them as politically independent.
Take, for example, their favourite "news outlet", Rabble.ca. The site is almost dementedly far-left, a place where nearly any marginal far-left agenda can vent its spleen for the whole world to read -- although in all likelihood, comparatively few do.
One of their contributors is none other than David Climenhaga, a man who once described the Sun News Network as "Conservative Pravda", which is amusing considering that he's a contributor to a "news outlet" that is pretty much... well, Pravda. Just Pravda. Yeah.
The punchline is that Rabble.ca was co-founded by a woman by the name of Kim Elliott. Who is Kim Elliott? Well, among other things, she's NDP MP Libby Davies' life partner.
Is this enough evidence to proclaim Rabble.ca a front group for the NDP? In the minds of the far-left, it is.
In other words, their correspondent reports stories that reflect Rabble.ca's interpretation of justice, which so often turns out to be justice for them, no justice for anyone else.
By the way, Rabble.ca's Parliament Hill correspondent is Karl Nerenberg.
All of this begs a question of how precisely one identifies a political front group. Perhaps the mere relation of one member of a particular organization through marriage isn't enough to define a front group.
The better way to judge a front group is by how devoted they are to the partisan interests of the political party in question. And there is no doubt Rabble.ca is relentlessly devoted to the partisan interests of the NDP.
Which is why the federal press gallery should waste no time in expelling Karl Nerenberg from the press gallery as quickly as they can. After all, it's not like he's there to do any actual news reporting.