Fast and Crazy

Last week when I was hosting PRI’s “Left, Right and Center” show, I asked a conservative guest what he thought of the right-wing conspiracy theory that the Obama administration had cooked up the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking operation as a devious way to build political support for gun control. He nicely but firmly informed me that this was one of those things attributed to conservatives by liberals that they didn’t actually believe.

I was willing to accept that disclaimer, but if it’s all just a myth propagated by the Left, how come Darrell Issa can’t stop talking about it?

This morning on “This Week,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., continued pressing a conspiracy theory that the botched “Fast and Furious” operation could have been part of a larger plan by the Obama administration to push through tougher gun laws in the United States. But Issa had no firm evidence to back the claim, and said he could not be certain that gun control efforts were ever an original aim of sending guns across the border.

Then there’s Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey (just named one of America’s ten “most influential editorial voice online” by the Daily Beast), who devotes a column to arguing with conservatives who don’t believe the gun control conspiracy theory.

If you’re interested, TPM’s Ryan J. Reilly has a good breakdown of the theory and the crazy things you have to believe in order to buy into it. If we’re going to have a constitutional crisis over “Fast and Furious,” we might as well understand why House Republicans are convinced this botched operation and the alleged cover-up are a vastly bigger deal that a lot of other deadly and dangerous things the federal government does every day as a matter of course.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.