Here is a really great article from Glenn Greenwald reminding us that the outbreak of conservative lunacy directed toward Obama is hardly without precedent.
Greenwald takes us on a little stroll down memory lane, reminding us of the deluge of baseless conservative attacks suffered by Bill Clinton. I would like to add that he might have gone farther back to discover the same sort of thing being directed at Carter, whose legitimacy they managed to totally destroy, and above all towards Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In fact, since the total takeover of the party by monied interests at the time of Taft, driving Teddy Roosevelt, the trust busting environmentalist whom they still insist on claiming as one of their own, out of their party forever, this has been their staple in politics.
And the phenomenon is hardly an American one. Anyone familiar with the Weimar Republic, and the hounding to death of its first leader, Friedrich Ebert, by literally hundreds of false charges, will see a similarity. In fact, this sort of behavior is a natural outgrowth of the right wing mindset, with its manichean need to cast the enemy as utterly evil, and to see itself as noble defenders of society, entitled to any means to accomplish their (allegedly God-given) task.