Back when Bush was busy running the country into the ground, he had events around the country, kind of like what President Obama is doing today. There are some important differences, not that the corporate media is going to get into them. Among them:
Democrats couldn’t attend Bush events if they wore the “wrong” t-shirt. On more than one occasion, they were removed from the area. Sometimes, they were removed by people who didn’t have the legal authority to remove them. More than one spent time in jail. That’s what “free speech” amounted to in the Bush years: agree with Bush or go to jail.
Right-wing cranks are protesting near Obama events with guns on their hips. Yes, you read the right: a civilian (not a law enforcement person), with a gun on the hip in a holster. Are you freaking kidding me?! Right-wing shock jocks will insist that this person had the undeniable right to exercise his 2nd amendment rights – possibly his 1st amendment rights if they strain really hard. Um, that’s great. What about those Democrats who didn’t show up to Bush’s events with anything but a t-shirt? The Cons didn’t stand up for their rights, did they? I know what would have happened if a Democratic civilian had showed up to a Bush event with a gun in a holster on their hip, and you should too: they’d have been carted off to Gitmo and withheld indefinitely. Such is the hypocrisy of the Cons.
[Update]: Cenk Uygur sums it up quicker than I did. Think a Muslim-American could have been anywhere near a Bush rally with a gun on his hip and a weapons permit?
Bush events were carefully screened so that the Cowardly Boy King didn’t have to face opposition to his bat-shit insane policies. Every single event for years was screened very carefully.