Our prompts? Our tools?
I think these right-wing flare-ups are ways of communicating to a president that "they" (i.e., the people) want more leadership--of the epic kind. These "agents" test the president's mettle, he meets the test, they fade away. I think we might forget just how fast certain at one point very pressing and visible enraged populist figures all of a sudden so quickly vanish, once their role in the public narrative, their forwarding of the plot, is done with. McCarthy, Gingrich--larger than life, "king of the hills!," then essentially, poof!--gone!--mostly nowhere to be found. The President "gets it right"; qualms disappear and certainty stands and stays: we no longer need these guys. And so to help excuse our quick dumping of them, make it a bit less guilt-arousing, we start hearing/encouraging stories that make these figures seem a bit too embarrassing to justify having in our presence--sordid personal stories, of the dumped his wife while on the deathbed, kind; and they're more-or-less not to be found, forever or for quite the time (until we have the notion their kind of service might again prove useful). They're our tools, prompts--even true for many of us lefties.
Note: Ignore the picture of the guy on the right. Pretend he's (Joseph) McCarthy.