Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson grows uncomfortable with the tone on the right:
Questioning the legitimacy of our government is the poisoning of patriotism. It is offensive for the same reasons it was offensive when elements of the left, in the 1960s and 1970s, talked of the American “regime.” Because it distorts the United States into something unrecognizable in order to advance a partisan ideology. Because this is still the “last best hope of earth,” not a police state. Because Americans have fought and died for this country, and to turn on it in this way is noxious. It is dishonest. And it is dishonorable.
He’s responding to people like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Rand and Ron Paul. It’s true that rather extreme things are being said about the tyranny of the federal government in light of recent revelations about the IRS and the NSA, but demonizing the federal government has been at the core of the conservative movement ever since the New Deal. I’ve always thought that conservatives “turned on this country” in a noxious, dishonest, and dishonorable way. Gerson never particularly cared until the base of the party started attacking the Intelligence Community.