J.R. Dunn at The American Thinker writes an excellent reprise of the awful treatment George Bush's opponents sought to inflict upon him:
It can be stated without fear of serious argument that no previous president has been treated as brutally, viciously, and unfairly as George W. Bush.
Bush 43 endured a deliberate and planned assault on everything he stood for, everything he was involved in, everything he tried to accomplish. Those who worked with him suffered nearly as much (and some even more -- at least one, Scooter Libby, was convicted on utterly specious charges in what amounts to a show trial).
His detractors were willing to risk the country's safety, its economic health, and the very balance of the democratic system of government in order to get at him. They were out to bring him down at all costs, or at the very least destroy his personal and presidential reputation. At this they have been half successful, at a high price for the country and its government.
Although everyone insists on doing so, it is impossible to judge Bush, his achievements, or his failings, without taking these attacks into account. Before any serious analysis of the Bush presidency can be made, some attempt to encompass the campaign against him must be carried out. I hope no one is holding his breath.
Dunn goes on to discuss the reasons for this treatment, and comes to some interesting conclusions. He argues that a large part of it is ideological. The three most vilified presidents in recent history have been Republicans and, although Dunn doesn't say this, throughout the last two centuries, starting with the communists, indeed with Marx himself, people who gravitated to the far left have often been people who are personally vicious. It seems that a predilection for left-wing politics goes hand in hand, like linked genes, with a predilection for personal invective.
I've known people on the right to be uncivil, to be sure, but it seems to be almost a prerequisite for membership in the secular left. Check your local letters to the editor columns in the paper. The most unkind, churlish writers are almost always people whose politics are both secular and off on the left end of the political spectrum. Conservative writers may be angry, but the ones who are just mean are usually lefties.
For some reason that perhaps a psychologist could explain these folks often delight in the personal misfortunes of their political enemies and not infrequently hope that harm will befall those they oppose. Read Dunn's column. If you're new to the political battleground it'll be an eye-opener.RLC