Most Americans don't care about whether Attorney General Eric Holder is hiding Fast and Furious documents because they don't understand the story.
Until someone can tell us otherwise, there is only one explanation for why President Obama's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gave thousands of guns to Mexican drug dealers: It put guns in their hands to strengthen liberals' argument for gun control.
Precisely because this is such a jaw-dropping accusation -- criminality at the highest level of government to score a political point -- Republicans refuse to make it.
But the problem with Republican rectitude in discussing this scandal is that as soon as they start talking about subpoenas and dates and documents, TV channels change across America. They're never going to get answers unless they first explain to the American people why it matters.
Liberals have been dying to reinstate the so-called "assault weapons" ban, but they haven't been able to for political reasons. (For more information on this, see the 1994 congressional elections.)
A typically idiotic Democratic scheme, the "assault weapons" ban prohibited the sale of semiautomatics that are operationally indistinguishable from deer rifles, but which looked scary to liberal women.
First, the Democrats tried lying about how American guns were being found in the hands of Mexican drug dealers -- while demanding a renewal of the assault weapons ban.
Obama had barely unpacked at the White House, when he and high-level administration officials and Senate Democrats -- Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Chuck Schumer -- started railing about how our lax gun control laws were putting guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
In 2010, even Mexico's President Felipe Calderon demanded that the U.S. reinstate the assault weapons ban -- on the grounds that Mexican drug violence was directly linked to the law's repeal.
The claim was preposterous for many reasons, including the fact that the type and quantity of armaments being used by Mexican drug cartels can be obtained only from places such as North Korea, China, Russia, Venezuela and Guatemala.
The notion that most guns used by Mexican drug gangs came from the U.S. was a lie -- exposed on about 1 million gun blogs and on Fox News.
So, then the Obama administration did exactly what Democrats had been falsely accusing American gun sellers of doing: They put American guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
The only explanation for Fast and Furious is that it was a program to prop up a losing gun control argument. The Waco and Ruby Ridge raids were monstrous, but they at least made sense as simple screw-ups: (1) ATF's budget was about to be cut and it needed some showy raids; and (2) law enforcement officials detest private gun ownership on principle.
There is no conceivable law enforcement objective to giving Mexican drug dealers thousands of untrackable guns. It's not even fun for the agents, like an armed raid on a private home. If there's some other explanation, Holder isn't telling.
Republicans refuse to state this clearly because they can't prove it. Instead, they just keep chattering about the documents that haven't been turned over and subpoenas that haven't been answered.
Did Democrats wait for a smoking gun to accuse Karl Rove of treason for revealing Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent? It turned out Rove didn't reveal it, and it wouldn't have been a crime if he had.
Did they wait for proof to accuse Sen. John McCain of committing adultery? They had none, and yet that story ran on the front page of The New York Times.
Did they have any evidence before accusing the entire Republican House leadership of complicity in Mark Foley's creepy emails to young male interns? See if you can guess. Take all the time you need. Feel free to call one of your "lifelines" if necessary.
Liberals just make wild-eyed accusations and demand Republicans prove themselves innocent. (Say, whatever happened to Karl Rove's trial for treason for outing Valerie Plame? Can somebody call Lawrence O'Donnell and check on that?)
If conservatives were our only source of information about 9/11, no one would care about that, either. Somehow they'd make it about Osama bin Laden not answering a subpoena.
This isn't just another government program gone bad -- a $300 ashtray, stimulus money fraud, Solyndra or Van Jones.
It isn't just a story about some government official refusing to testify.
It isn't even a story about an American dying as a result of a government program, as outrageous as that is. Yes, Brian Terry died at the hands of a Mexican using a Holder-provided American gun. Pat Tillman died. Ron Brown died. People sometimes die as a result of government screw-ups. Fast and Furious is worse.
Innocent people dying was the objective of Fast and Furious, not collateral damage.
It would be as if the Bush administration had implemented a covert operation to dump a dangerous abortifacient in Planned Parenthood clinics, resulting in hundreds of women dying -- just to give pro-lifers an argument about how dangerous abortion clinics are.
That's what Fast and Furious is about.