I remember a time when dissent was called the highest form of patriotism, and calling the president stupid was routine.
Then the world changed -- Barack Obama became president and suddenly dissent became racism and calling the president stupid became grounds for attacking the speaker.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who has long been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama, used scathing language in a tweet Saturday to condemn the president's remarks about the Supreme Court last week.
"Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law," Grassley wrote, using typical shorthand for the social networking website.
Responding to the message, Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod, himself a prolific tweeter who often engages critics of the president, blasted the Iowa senator.
"Heads up, Sen. Grassley. I think a 6-year-old hijacked your account and is sending out foolish Tweets just to embarrass you!" Axelrod wrote.
Personally, I have only one problem with Grassley's tweet -- I would have said that I don't think the American people are as Obama thinks they are.
But given the rhetoric that was deemed acceptable to use towards this president's immediate predecessor, calling this president "stupid" is not at all out of line. Anyone who argues differently is setting a race-based standard for presidential treatment that is itself racist -- because it implies that the black man in the White House cannot handle the same sort of rhetorical attacks that his 43 Caucasian predecessors were expected to weather as a matter of course.