Bill Clinton joined a number other leftish writers of late trying to marginalize those who criticize the government (and in particular, I think, the Tea Party folks). I am really not going to comment much on this attempt, except to say that we endured something identical during the Iraq war, with the BS about not criticizing the President during wartime.
Here is the key bait and switch in Clinton's argument:
But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws.
The government that guarantees our freedoms? I suppose this sounds sort of good if one just lets it roll by, but in the context of our country's formation, this is absurd. The only threat to freedom that the founders of this nation were concerned about was the government itself.
The government is the only entity with the power to use force and the power to grab money without permission. As such, the founders recognized it as the single most potent threat to freedom that could possibly exist. All their efforts were aimed at constructing limitations and protections from the power of government itself.
It would be far more correct to say "the Constitution that guarantees our freedoms" by limiting the power of government, but in fact that is exactly what the left is trying to overturn, with a hundred years of efforts to slowly whittle the Constitutional limitations on the power of government down to zero.
Update: Wow, this is an amazing excerpt from a 1995 memo from Dick Morris to Clinton just after the Oklahoma City bombing. Seems like he is still following the same playbook:
Later, under the heading "How to use extremism as issue against Republicans," Morris told Clinton that "direct accusations" of extremism wouldn't work because the Republicans were not, in fact, extremists. Rather, Morris recommended what he called the "ricochet theory." Clinton would "stimulate national concern over extremism and terror," and then, "when issue is at top of national agenda, suspicion naturally gravitates to Republicans." As that happened, Morris recommended, Clinton would use his executive authority to impose "intrusive" measures against so-called extremist groups. Clinton would explain that such intrusive measures were necessary to prevent future violence, knowing that his actions would, Morris wrote, "provoke outrage by extremist groups who will write their local Republican congressmen." Then, if members of Congress complained, that would "link right-wing of the party to extremist groups." The net effect, Morris concluded, would be "self-inflicted linkage between [GOP] and extremists."