I agree with Steve M. at No More Mr. Nice Blog: This ought to be really entertaining:
Please do this. Please do this. John Boehner, please add this to your list of things you allow the teabagger crazies to do so they won’t be mean to you. Heritage Action? Please bankroll a large number of House and Senate candidates who vow to make this their #1 priority (after repealing Obamacare, of course).
There’s a simple reason that people who watch TV channels other than Fox News haven’t become outraged at what happened in Fast and Furious. No, they don’t think it was a good idea. No, they’re not callous about the deaths of law enforcement personnel.
The reason non-Fox-obsessed Americans have shrugged this off is that we do all sorts of things in this country to fight crime, some of them reckless and foolhardy and ill-conceived. We do stop-and-frisks and high-speed chases and SWAT raids on homes that aren’t always the intended targets. We form drug squads that sometimes get bad guys off the streets and sometimes turn cops into dealers’ accomplices. Some people get hurt who shouldn’t, and some even die; some guilty people emerge unscathed.
But we tend to define the misdeeds as crimes only when we think there was actual malice. Impeaching Holder over Fast and Furious would be, for most people, an attempt to criminalize misjudgments. People who aren’t knee-jerk wingnuts don’t want to do that.
I know: Much of the right believes that Fast and Furious was a massive conspiracy to drum up support for gun control. Yes, House Republicans, please try to sell that line to the American public. The murders of twenty schoolchildren in Connecticut didn’t lead to new gun legislation at the federal level; how the hell was this supposed to accomplish that goal?
The right’s Fast and Furious obsession exposes two aspects of wingnut insanity: conspiracy-mindedness (Obama and Holder got law enforcement personnel killed as part of a devious scheme to take away citizens’ guns!) as well as delusions of grandeur (only outrage at Fast and Furious on the part of true conservative patriots prevented this massive gun grab!).
Please try to sell that narrative to the American public next year, right-wingers. While most Americans continue to struggle in a sluggish economy, please spend weeks if not months with Eric Holder in the dock. Oh, sure, you’ll motivate your own voter base — but that will just mean that gunnier-than-thou candidates will win GOP primaries and, in some cases, lose general elections. Meanwhile, the rest of the country will see what the Republican Party’s true priorities are.
Don’t get me wrong: I think Holder has been a generally awful attorney general. But he has mainly been awful because he has been a do-nothing (those huge numbers of convicted banksters not withstanding — wait, what?), and he has been a do-nothing because that’s what his boss has wanted him to be. Blaming Holder like that is to make the same mistake as blaming James Watt, back in the day, for what were really Ronald W. Reagan’s extract-it-all-the-environment-be-damned policies. Fast & Furious was a bonehead play, but it was 1) a bonehead play that originated during the Bush administration, and 2) although a mistake, was in no way intended to lead to confiscating the guns of law-abiding Americans, for crying out loud.
If the right wing really wants to make this their 2014 centerpiece, I predict that it will make ignoring Katrina and shutting down the government look like electrifying works of staggering genius.