It’s an old New York Times labeling trick: Stamp the “conservative” label on the bad actors in any situation -- even if they are Soviet Communists, the enemy of U.S. conservatives during the Cold War. Sunday’s front page included an obituary written by Raymond H. Anderson, former Moscow correspondent for the paper, for the dissident Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The ideological loop-de-loop goes off the rails, as the Times used the term “hard-line conservative” to describe a cadre of loyal, hard-core Communists who tried and failed to overthrow newly elected President Boris Yeltsin -- the same label it uses on present-day U.S. Republicans, among the world’s hardest foes of Communism!

On Tuesday, Julia Ioffe, senior editor for the liberal New Republic publication, all but suggested that President Obama needed to use military force against Tea Party conservatives in Congress. Ioffe likened the current federal government shutdown to the 1993 constitutional crisis in Russia, where then-President Boris Yeltsin ultimately ended the impasse by dissolving the parliament, and had tanks shell the legislative body's "White House".

The writer asserted that both the "old Soviet conservatives" in Russia 20 years ago and the Tea Party representatives in the House were "intransigent, bull-headed faction[s]".