The year is 1994. Republicans, led by the likes of Newt Gingrich, take control of the US House of Representatives (and name Gingrich its Speaker). The "Contract with America" is proclaimed, which gives American politics a swift rightward kick in the junk. Bill Clinton had nailed Gennifer Flowers, but not Monica Lewinsky (yet). Pie is still tasty, and remains so, to the present day.
It's easy to whip-up anti-Left sentiment when you control both Houses of Congress; it's even easier when you control the Executive Branch, which the Republicans have since 2001. (Remember George W. Bush? That guy is actually still president. Who knew?) The brand of Republican conservatism seen in the past few decades has been especially ugly; outwardly anti-intellectual — yet Bush, Cheney and Rove have more than enough degrees between them — nasty, brutish and, well, just plain mean.
In their wake, they managed to dredge up the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and the ever-skeletal Ann Coulter. These knuckle-dragging pundits have thrown the word "liberal" around like an insult since '94, and usually have had a nice amount of success with it. Hell, the last thing any American politician wanted to be called, for a good long while, was a liberal.
But that's when, quite frankly, pundits such as the above didn't have a whole lot of meaningful things to talk about. I mean, yes, 9/11 and Iraqistan and the like were important to the average American, but let's be honest here: unless you were in the shadows of the World Trade Center that day, or you (or someone you know closely) has been sent to one of them infidel countries to fight a war, all of that international political stuff is probably a pretty abstract topic, and doesn't affect your day-to-day wheelings-and-dealings too much.
Nowadays, though, when people are losing their jobs and houses and cars... well, now we have something to talk about: the economy, and how it's melting down before our very eyes, and how it's probably affecting you or someone close to you (as it is for me, or someone close to me). Suddenly the talking-heads on CNN are yammering-on about something which actually affects a lot of people directly.
Enter the US presidential race, and a certain half-Kenyan-half-Kansan that is talking about re-jigging the tax rates so that the rich pay more and the poor pay less.
Nope! Can't do that!
"Why should people have to give up their hard-earned money?"
"That sounds like income redistribution."
"This is no time for America to be experimentin' with...
(If you can't tell by the "g" cut off of "experimenting," that last one is a direct quote from Sarah Palin.)
Baaahhhh!!! Barack HUSSEIN Obama isn't only an elite latté-sipping America-denigrating secret-Muslim terrorist-associator who has a laughable track-record of being a "community organizer" (whatever the hell that is — try being a small-town mayor!) and a US Senator for only two years... the guy is a SOCIALIST! He wants to FUCK WITH SHIT SO RICH PEOPLE (who can pay more) PAY MORE! That is so anti-American! Don't Tread On Me (and my Scrooge McDuck-like vault full of swimmable cash)!
So now "socialist" is being bandied-about as an insult, the same way Coulter & Co. have tossed-around "liberal" for the past decade.
Here's the difference, though. Since Obama is talking about things that a lot of Americans (a.) have personal experience with, and they (b.) kinda like what he's saying, and (c.) look like they're going to elect him president in a couple of weeks, throwing the "socialist" label at him — when a lot of people actually are in favour of getting a few more bucks out of rich bastards so they can pay their bills — gets you absolutely nowhere. Hell, they could even call him a sheepfucker on national television, and because his shit doesn't have the stink of George W. Bush all over it like McCain's does, Obama still takes the election.
In conclusion: Ann Coulter's days are numbered. Oh, and eat a fucking burrito already, Skeletor!