I think that what irks the “defenders” of any sitting president are the unqualified, personal bashing attacks on these pols. It’s not that genuine criticism is wrong, but rather that all the venomous allegations are.
Clintonites hated the whole Monica-gate situation, because it came down…no pun intended…to a personal affair. Period. Bushies hate the present situation because most of the attacks are personal in nature, not substantive (i.e., Bush is a moron, How can a man who chokes on a pretzel lead a country, etc…).
Democracy thrives on criticsm, but is diminished by petty attacks on character “flaws” that only seem to divide people along partisan lines. If the venom was removed from the anti-War criticism, we’d be having a real good debate, rather than tit-for-tat attacks that do nothing to clarify the issues.
Not that the personal attacks will ever stop…people just have too much fun with them. If Kerry wins, then the “right” will be launching salvos against him daily, questioning his every move…just like the “left” is doing to Bush now.