Stepping up the rhetoric from mockery to pure hatred, and absent any evidence, Mr. Olbermann has called the president’s public protesters “worse than racists.” Political activist and comedianJaneane Garofalo colored them “racist rednecks who hate blacks.” And at the somewhat higher end of the food chain, liberal economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times wrote last week that they were motivated by “cultural and racial fear.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is having a hard time these days explaining the president’s Israel policy to her Jewish constituents, blatantly lied and said that the protesters were wielding “swastikas and symbols like that.”

Supporters of the president understand what is going on. So do his detractors.

The mainstream media and the Democratic Party are working in concert to make sure that what happened to President Bush — sustained organized grass-roots protests (“mobs,” if you will), relentless media criticism and permanent opposition-party obstructionism — does not happen to their guy. Complicating matters, the media’s fate is directly tied to the president’s. Without them, Barack Obama would still be a backbencher from Illinois.