Richard Nixon went to Red China with political impunity. Had a Democrat tried that, he would have been branded a Commie appeaser.
To this day, liberals cannot conceive that during the two world wars, progressives like Woodrow Wilson, Earl Warren, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt trampled on civil liberties in a way unimagined by Dick Cheney.
Ronald Reagan signed the most liberal illegal-immigration-amnesty bill in history, and ran larger yearly deficits than Jimmy Carter had. “Read my lips” George H. W. Bush agreed to huge tax increases. And George W. Bush ran up the largest debt of any eight-year president, outspending Bill Clinton more than fivefold. The latter, remember, bombed Belgrade without either congressional or United Nations approval — and without anti-war protests. Without an opposition, almost anything goes.
In other words, right-wing presidents can sometimes act left-wing, and left-wing presidents can act right-wing — to the embarrassed silence of their respective bases, but to the private delight of their greenlighting opponents.