The more Donald Trump faces questions about the legitimacy of his election, the more his allies and supporters are pushing a very specific talking point: If President Obama didn't face these questions, Trump shouldn't either.Here
, for example, was Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, on ABC yesterday:
Two days earlier, Fox News' Dana Perino, the Bush/Cheney White House press secretary, said "no one
" argued that Barack Obama "was not a legitimate president." Over the weekend, CNN's Ben Ferguson, a conservative pundit, added
he "can't imagine the fallout ... if a Republican ever implied" that Obama was an illegitimate president. Ferguson added that such talk is "unprecedented."
Do you ever get the feeling some of Donald Trump's allies occasionally forget about Donald Trump's existence? Or at a minimum, they've forgotten that his most notable contribution to the political discourse in recent years was his role championing a racist conspiracy theory
about the current president?
"No one" argued that Obama "was not a legitimate president"? Well, one guy certainly did. Not only did Trump question Obama's legitimacy in the president's first term, Trump referred to Obama's re-election as "a total sham
." Around the same time, Trump declared
, "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!"
In context, Trump made this argument because he thought Obama had lost the popular vote. Obama actually won the popular vote with ease -- which is itself a detail that creates a wrinkle for Republicans since Trump did not.
The result is a disconnect Republicans haven't even tried to resolve: Democrats are being asked to respect the process in order to honor an incoming president who's never respected the process. I'm honestly not sure what the GOP response would be if Democrats responded, "We promise to respect the system and the office every bit as much as Donald J. Trump did." read more