Look, we knew even before he won election in 2008 that Republicans were going to spend the next four years delegitimizing Barack Obama. After all, that was what the whole Birther thing was about, right?
Since then, of course, we've had a steady drumbeat of extremists parading various anti-Obama theories as a way to inject memes that further delegitimize Obama into the public bloodstream.
One of the points of this behavior is to assure "patriotic" right-wingers that they really aren't disrespecting the office of the presidency, and by extension the American people, in the process, because, you see, Obama isn't a "real" president. He's another fake president. You don't have to respect him. You can hate him all you like.
Of course, you would not be wrong to suspect that, for these folks, the only "legitimate" president is a Republican president. That's part of the game.
These sentiments are particularly pronounced in the South, and what you'll notice is that the memes delegitimizing Obama have a distinctly Southern flavor to them, especially when they come out of the mouths of Southerners like Newt Gingrich.
That is, they are rich with dog whistles, and they're all tailored to support a caricature of Obama as the reincarnation of the caricatures of black Southern politicians that was fabricated during the Reconstruction period and afterwards by apologists for the Klan and white supremacy: namely that of a cartoonishly lazy, grinning, chicken-eating, quarrelsome pack of crass opportunists.
Recall that Gingrich has a long record of this kind of garbage, including his suggestion that Obama is an "uppity" guy.
He built further on that suggestion the other night on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show:
GINGRICH: [Obama] really is like the substitute [National Football League] referees in the sense that he’s not a real president. He doesn’t do anything that presidents do, he doesn’t worry about any of the things the presidents do, but he has the White House, he has enormous power, and he’ll go down in history as the president, and I suspect that he’s pretty contemptuous of the rest of us.
... You have to wonder what he’s doing. I’m assuming that there’s some rhythm to Barack Obama that the rest of us don’t understand. Whether he needs large amounts of rest, whether he needs to go play basketball for a while or watch ESPN, I mean, I don’t quite know what his rhythm is, but this is a guy that is a brilliant performer as an orator, who may very well get reelected at the present date, and who, frankly, he happens to be a partial, part-time president.
,... This is a man who in an age of false celebrity-hood is sort of the perfect president, because he’s a false president. He’s a guy that doesn’t do the president’s job.
Gingrich makes all the haters feel better. It's what good Southern propagandists do: Provide a nice soothing false patina for their seething racism.