With socialism scaring the American people a bit less than it used to, Republicans are now labeling Obama—or at least his policies—as fascist. But it's a political strategy that requires care.

From the New York Times:

 

Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster, said: “If what you’re trying to do is reach out to the middle, the more extreme the language, the less likely they are to pay attention. We sound like white noise in the background. It’s like a yipping Chihuahua.”

...

The practical question for Republicans is how best to reach political independents, 60 percent of whom now approve of Mr. Obama’s job performance. As his policies sink in, said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard magazine, “I think ‘big-government-liberalism’ is good enough.”

[Saul Anuzis, former Michigan GOP chair,] remains unconvinced. He notes that he does not call Mr. Obama himself a “fascist.” Rather, he applies the “economic fascism” label to government tax and regulatory policies that seek, in the words of one magazine’s definition he cites, “to achieve the utopian socialist ideal.”

“It’s politically very incorrect only because we’re not used to it,” concluded Mr. Anuzis, who recently joined American Solutions for Winning the Future, a group led by Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker. But he acknowledged, “You’ve got to be careful using the term ‘economic fascism’ in the right way, so it doesn’t come off as extreme.”