With George W. Bush, one of the metanarratives was the number and kind of things he and his administration did, and were criticized for, for which there was no precedent — torture, Fourthbranch, the number and breadth of his signing statements, and on and on.
With Barack Obama, the corresponding metanarrative is the number and kind of things he and his administration have done, and been criticized for, that in fact are far from unique, Steven Benen observes:
for a year and a half, the political world seems to have created whole new rules for Obama, which aren’t applied to others — and haven’t even been applied to other presidents. This week’s flaps over Sestak and Memorial Day plans only reinforce how truly ridiculous the phenomenon has become.
And I would argue that the meta-metanarrative is: He’s illegitimate. He should not be president. Indeed, Michael Tomasky argues that antidemocratic action based on that belief will be the inevitable result if Republicans retake the House this fall:
If the Reps capture the House of Representatives this fall, they will have basically limitless power to keep these things churning forever, turning political horse-trading into potential crimes. They’ll hold hearings, issue subpoenas, you name it. Remember the Clinton days. It will never end.
And they’re even crazier now then they were then, now that they’ve convinced themselves we got us a Mooslum preznit.
This is what’s at stake this fall. Forget policy. It’s this: endless hearings and investigations until they find something that gets the public worked up, or until the public just cries uncle and says oh okay we’re sick of hearing you crazy people, if it’ll shut you up, just impeach the bastard already.
Remember, the effort to impeach Bill Clinton started well before anyone had ever heard of Monica Lewinsky. It was an effort to do nothing less than to overthrow a democratically elected president on the grounds that — well, no one has ever satisfactorily explained on what grounds, perhaps because when you impeach an adulterer but praise a war criminal, your explaining skills by definition are inadequate.
Now, when you call them on this and ask them why they hate democracy, Republicans protest that this isn’t what they’re after at all. They would be substantially more credible if the Tea Partiers, of which Republicans cannot seem to get enough, weren’t out there trying to repeal the 17th Amendment.