That’s the question Jonah Goldberg is asking, now that dissent is no longer patriotic in the eyes of most leftwing elites:
I once went and looked back through Nexis at all the times Frank Rich invoked Ari Fleischer’s terrible, speech-chilling admonition to “watch what they say.” In one column he compared it to 9/11itself in cultural importance. Of course, Frank Rich was not alone. Fleischer’s off-the-cuff suggestion immediately after 9/11 that people — including Republicans like Rep. John Cooksey — take a moment to think before saying something stupid, set off a prairie fire of idiotic paranoia about the looming Bush police state, or what Christopher Hitchens mockingly dubbed “Ari Fleischer’s Reign of Terror.”
Now we have what increasingly appears to be an orchestrated media campaign, led by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s think tank, to demonize tens of millions of American taxpayers because they keep invoking the Constitution. And the fact that this is a hackneyed repeat of the same play the Democrats have played for decades, if not generations, doesn’t seem to bother any of the usual “sophisticated” political observers, like Frank Rich. They’re perfectly happy to play their party recycling the same old “Brown scare” talking points that pass for intelligent commentary.
Hey, Frank loves to cover all the bases when smearing Republicans, and so do his editors and publishers at the New York Times. And the rest of the state-run media is happy to go along, of course, despite the damage such efforts are doing to former President Clinton’s reputation.