Perhaps the Pennsylvania Republican Party has been watching too much Glenn Beck.

An ad that links to the state party's Web site is implying that President Barack Obama is not just a socialist, but an old-style communist, with a graphic that features the Soviet hammer and sickle inside the 'O' in Obama's name.

"Tired of Barack Obama, [Pennsylvania Governor] Ed Rendell and [Pennsylvania Senator] Arlen Specter ruining our nation?" the ad asks. "Hit them where it hurts. The voting booth!"

This is the ad as it appeared on the Pennsylvania conservative Web Site GrassrootsPA:


According to John L. Micek, a reporter at the Allentown, Pennsylvania, Morning Call, the ad appeared on the GrassrootsPA site late last week to promote Joan Orie-Melvin, a Republican candidate for the state Supreme Court in the November election.

If clicked, the ad took the viewer to the judicial candidates' page on the Pennsylvania Republican party Web site, Micek reported.

"We looked pretty hard at Orie-Melvin's life story, and we couldn't find a single thing in there about her promising to fight the Red Menace if elected," Micek quipped. "We knew Republicans were longing for the glory day[s of] Ronald Reagan. We just didn't know they were longing for a return to the Cold War as well."

Micek ends his column with the words Do svidanya, tovarisches! -- Goodbye, comrades, in Russian.

According to her campaign bio, Orie-Melvin was "named the first female and first Republican Chief Magistrate in 1987 for the City of Pittsburgh Municipal Courts." Her campaign platform appears to consist principally of turning down a recent pay raise for judges.

Orie-Melvin has come under criticism from some Pennsylvania voices. Bernie O'Hare at Lehigh Valley Ramblings says she landed the GOP judicial nomination because her sister is a state senator.

Chris Freind at PA WaterCooler writes that the current judicial election for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is crucial because the court is currently dead-locked between three conservative judges and three liberals ones. Freind notes that Orie-Melvin's Demcoratic opponent, Jack Panella, has outraised her "by a wide margin."