As far as I can tell, what is now being referred to by Donald Trump and some of his more enthusiastic supporters as “Obamagate” does not involve a discrete scandal. Instead, umbrage is being taken at the fact that, in addition to refusing to throw his attorney general, Eric Holder, under the bus in 2011, Barack Obama did not shed many tears on behalf of right-wing 501(c)(3) groups on the receiving end of extra attention from the IRS or seriously object to the investigation of a presidential candidate he thought unlikely to win office.

Whatever one thinks of these things, there is no “gate” here. The conspiratorial framing is an implicit rejection of Obama’s entire presidency, as if every aspect of it, from his famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention until the day Donald Trump took the oath of office had been part of a single overarching plot against the American people.