Some of 55 years after the vicious, Red-baiting tactics of Joseph McCarthy were repudiated by America's better angels, the state GOP is picking up the tattered banner of McCarthyism and running with it -- literally, in fact, with this banner ad (top) on a popular political Web site. In this case, it's hard to say what is more appalling -- equating the sitting president of the United States with the Soviet dictators who slaughtered their political enemies and sent others to brutal gulags, or the cause this ad is promoting: The election of a judge to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
The ad was was first noticed on the Pennsylvania blog Gort42 (also h/t downwithtyranny) -- it appears on the top of the website GrassrootsPA, which is the leading state-oriented conservative Web site in Pennsylvania. Last night, the image -- as captured and posted by Gort42 and now here -- and this ad was at top of the site when I first visited there around 10:30; later in the night, the same banner displayed a different message -- about bailouts, healthcare and the stimulus. It's not clear whether the image with the hammer-and-sickle "Obama" was replaced or whether it alternates with the other message.
It's not the first time that the Pennsylvania Republican Party has used extreme rhetoric about Barack Obama. Last fall, when he was the Democratic nominee -- as reported here at Attytood -- the state GOP chairman Robert Gleason issued a press release that called Obama "a terrorist's best friend." This new ad also picks up a theme that gained attention earlier this fall in Kansas City, when an anti-Obama billboard placed on I-70 had the Soviet hammer-and-sickle emblem with the message: ""How do you like your change now? Obama Nation. They are coming for you! The Taxpayer. First and Second Amendments are in jeopardy. Live free or Die."
My god, these are the same party who destroyed CDs and sent death threats when the Dixie Chicks said they were embarrassed to be from the same state as GWB and demanded Congress react to MoveOn's ad "Gen. Betray-Us?". But yet they throw around loaded symbols and allusions to some of the most brutal regimes of the last century, and think nothing of it.