It may be that neither President-elect Barack Obama nor anyone else on his staff has anything to hide regarding the pay-to-play scandal involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Then, by all means, Obama and his team should stop acting as if they do have something to hide.
The loudest voices in politics and the media are coming from the critics and the cheerleaders.
One camp is sure that Obama and his inner circle are guilty by association, and the other is sure they're totally innocent.
I'll put myself in a third camp -- of those who think Obama and his advisers may well be in the clear, but that they sure do a convincing job of suggesting otherwise.
The sloppy way the Obama transition team has handled things isn't building credibility with anyone but a docile press corps.
Columnists, news anchors and liberal pundits assure us that just because Blagojevich has been charged with intent to sell Obama's Senate seat doesn't mean that Obama or his advisers were in the market to buy.
Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald also assures us that taped conversations involving Blagojevich sure make it seem as if the governor was "bleeped off" that Obama wasn't offering anything more than appreciation if Blagojevich allowed the president-elect to essentially choose his replacement.
But wouldn't it be nice if we could have fewer assurances and more facts?
Is it too much to ask for the public, which pays the salaries of every actor in this drama, to be able to have a more-detailed accounting of wiretapped conversations between John Harris, Blagojevich's chief of staff, and Rahm Emanuel, who will soon be Obama's chief of staff?
All we're being told is that Emanuel approached Harris with a list from Obama of "acceptable" replacements.
Personally, I find this a tad unseemly.
The Senate seat doesn't belong to Obama, who was barely in it long enough to warm it, but to the people of Illinois. Be that as it may, the list was presented.
How did Harris respond?
If the governor's office asked for a quid pro quo, how did Emanuel answer to that?
And if the Obama team felt Blagojevich was doing something improper, why didn't they turn him in? Or did they?
Obama insists that his people have gotten to the bottom of all this with an internal review detailing the contacts between the transition staff and Blagojevich or any members of his office. But we won't know until at least Dec. 22.
Obama claims the U.S. attorney's office had requested that the campaign hold off on releasing the information until then so as not to interfere with its investigation, and that the transition team has agreed.
Are the feds afraid that Blagojevich might catch wind that he is under scrutiny? That cat is just slightly out of the bag, isn't it?
And for those who want to change the subject, it doesn't hurt that Dec. 22 is the start of Christmas week, when most Americans will have their attention diverted elsewhere.
Or that Obama is leaving Illinois -- the eye of the storm -- and heading to Hawaii with his family for a holiday getaway.
This smells fishy, but so did the apparent contradiction between David Axelrod, one of Obama's top aides, who insisted that the president-elect had "talked to the governor" about Senate replacements, and Obama himself, who insisted -- as he did again at a news conference this week -- that he had no contact with Blagojevich or anyone else in the governor's office.
You know who wins that argument. Axelrod promptly insisted that he had been mistaken.
Even the statement issued this week by the transition team sounded Clintonesque, which is no surprise since Obama has so many ex-Clinton staffers on the payroll.
Any discussions between members of the president-elect's staff and Blagojevich or any member of the governor's staff were in no way "inappropriate," according to the statement.
Obama used the same wording in his comments to the media this week, insisting that "nothing that my office did ... was in any way inappropriate or related to the charges that have been brought."
Who decides what is inappropriate?
I'll take a stab: What's inappropriate is that so many people seem intent on making either far too much of this matter, or far too little of it, when we don't know enough to decide either way.
Reach Ruben Navarrette at firstname.lastname@example.org.