October 1, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Left and Right: Do Both Sides Engage in Equal Efforts to Delegitimize?
Both sides do it. That’s the common refrain. You typically hear it from pundits on CNN attempting to appear non-partisan. But when it comes to efforts to delegitimize a sitting president, do both sides play the same game?
We know a large part of the Right in this country not only disagrees with President Barack Obama, they don’t accept him as their president. Since they have rejected him has president from day one, they are actively engaged in an effort to delegitimize his presidency. — Throw something, see what sticks. — It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it comports with the narrative of an illegitimate president.
Back in the days of President George W. Bush, did the Left engage in similar behavior? I’m actually seriously asking this question. I don’t think a large segment of the Left believed President Bush was illegitimate. Yes, I know many Democrats and liberals liked to say things like Bush wasn’t really the president because he lost the popular vote in the 2000 election, but did these same Democrats and liberals truly believe Bush was an unsanctioned president, or was it more likely that the Left liked to use this fact as a way to rile up Republicans and conservatives? And did the Left actively engage in tactics to delegitimize President Bush?
It seems to me that “both sides do it,” but it’s a matter of degree. Efforts to delegitimize President Bush were relegated to fringe status on the Left, but on the Right when it comes to President Obama, there is an entire news network that seems dedicated to this task along with an army of conservatives who do not accept Obama as their president. Did such an army exist on the Left during Bush’s eight years?
What are your thoughts?