As Republicans continue to push the bizarre conspiracy theory that the Obama administration allowed the ATF to conduct the Fast and Furious Operation as a way of building public support for gun control measures, now the National Rifle Association has weighed in and is reportedly pressuring southern and rural Democrats in the House to go along with Republicans in voting Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
The contempt measure, which already passed Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by a party line vote, is centered on the alleged belief by House Republicans that the Obama administration is trying to cover-up its involvement in Fast and Furious by refusing to turn over every document that the House requests—even though Holder has already given the House thousands of pages. But Issa has already acknowledged in a Sunday interview on Fox that he has never found any evidence that the White House knew anything about Fast and Furious before it crashed. The operation was actually started in the Bush administration by low-level ATF agents, who got the idea to allow members of Mexican drug cartels to illegally buy firearms in Arizona so that the agents could eventually trace the guns to the cartel bigwigs. They continued and expanded the operation after Obama’s election, but after ATF agent Brian Terry was killed possibly by one of the illegal guns, the case broke open and it was revealed that the illegal guns may have been involved in more than 200 murders in Mexico.
Although the plan began under Bush and there’s no evidence that Obama and Holder knew anything about it, the NRA and conservatives across the nation have been pushing this preposterous idea that the operation was a back door method for Obama to build up public support for gun control. The conspiracy is all the rage on conservative talk radio and the blogosphere. Now the NRA is wielding its power to get even some Southern and rural Democrats—who rarely have the courage to buck the NRA, even when their own party is pressuring them otherwise—to go along with a vote to hold Holder in contempt. It is an obvious attempt by Republicans and the NRA to try to embarrass Obama and Holder in an election year—and yet another reason why the American public has such contempt and disrespect for members of Congress.