Conservatives who rightly condemned the comparisons of George W. Bush to Hitler shrug off the Obama-Soviet iconography as the base just acting up—an act of spirited resistance. But if you take the murderous toll of communism seriously—as most conservatives rightly do—then comparing the president of the United States to a communist should be clearly unacceptable. It debases the dead and degrades our county by creating an appearance of moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Union.

This uptick in Obama-as-communist imagery is another sign of the bad craziness that is snaking around out there—the Obama Derangement Syndrome that is distorting our political discourse with its paranoid incivility. Republicans need to stop their fringe from blurring with their base before it’s too late. Opposing the president on policy can be principled and patriotic—comparing him to a communist dictatorship is offensive and idiotic.