I can't say I'm surprised.
President Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy back to what they were under Bill Clinton (during which the 'job-producing class' did in fact use the money they had left after paying their taxes to produce 20 million jobs). He wants to make sure that affordable private (read that again, private) health insurance is available to all Americans, and he wants to begin moving us towards green energy that will do less to poison the planet.
And what is the reaction on the part of conservatives?
Well, they've begun comparing Obama with some of history's most brutal communist despots. No, I'm not making this up. They are calling up their favorite bogeyman, namely a murderous communist dictator from more than a half century ago.
Last weekend at CPAC, the annual conservative conference, Rush Limbaugh (whether he is the leader of the GOP or not is irrelevant-- nobody else is) said,
“So here we have two systems. We have socialism, collectivism, Stalin, whatever you want to call it, versus capitalism.”
Not to be outdone, former Arkansas Governor and Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said of Obama's agenda,
"Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but a Union of American Socialist Republics is being born".
Let's stop and remember what the U.S.S.R. under Stalin was. It was a nightmarishly perverse dictatorship where tens of millions of people were murdered out of political expediency. Millions more were arbitrarily rounded up and sent to slave labor camps, where they remained often for the rest of their lives. There was no such thing as private property at all-- quibbling about marginal tax rates didn't happen in the U.S.S.R because there was only one tax rate-- 100%, and it applied to everybody. Only one man-- Josef Stalin-- had a vote, and what he said was the absolute law.
The most memorable innovation by Stalin and his syncophants was the "midnight trial." If someone was suspected of a crime-- or worse, of dissent-- they might be taken from their homes in the middle of the night, accused of some crime they had no knowlege of, stand trial in a kangaroo court and be found guilty and sentenced to death with the sentence carried out immediately, often within an hour from start to finish. By the time the sun rose the next morning they would be buried miles away in an unmarked grave and their apartment would be occupied by someone who to all outward appearances had been living there for a long time (though if anyone came by looking for the now non-existent previous occupant that someone might be added to a list for some future midnight trial.)
This is what the right is accusing Barack Obama of trying to turn America into. Because he wants to commit the 'unpardonable crime' of letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire on schedule in 2011.
For the countless millions who perished under the monstrosity of Soviet communism, to compare their experiences to those privileged people who are upset because their marginal tax rate is going back up to what it was a few years ago is an outrage. Such a comparison cheapens and diminishes the horror of what happened during one of the darkest periods in human history and is an insult and an injustice to their memory.