Brookhiser et al have half a point. Americans enjoy a remarkable degree of freedom, and we won't let you forget it. This can take on almost Orwellian overtones at times, as when antismoking activists insist that their enterprise is all about expanding the "freedom from smoke" and liberating bartenders and waitresses from the tyranny of tobacco.
But the "America = freedom" mantra is not just wrong, it's also dangerous to our actual freedoms. According to various surveys, Americans still view government suspiciously but rarely do anything about it. There is no organized political constituency to toss the bums out for legislating and regulating the sort of outrages that I describe above. We're much more likely to gripe amongst ourselves, then shrug and make with the consolation: At least this is the freest country on earth.
Twenty or thirty years ago, nanny state laws and intrusive government were the result of politicians trying to appear useful. Today, people actively seek public office for the specific purpose of micro-managing other people's lives. The old saying, "there oughta be a law" has taken on some very ominous meaning. With the GOP's abrogation of its position as opposition to bloated government and bureaucracy, more of these busybodies will be emboldened to step into the gap and flex their authoritarian muscles.