it does neatly demonstrate a particularly useless impulse indulged by some leftists to whitewash the mistakes/misdeeds of past socialist projects. there was a very good recent twitter thread by black socialists of america about exactly this and how leftists should avoid attaching themselves too uncompromisingly to revolutionary figures of the past.
I guess it's indicative of a left that has always been forced to defend itself against stupid red-scare propaganda and other capitalist realism drivel. there's often a totalising element to these attacks from the right which perhaps leave some on the left believing they too must defend in totality. in reality it's quite counter-productive and we ought to have the confidence by now to rise above it.
and obviously there's a conversation to be had about responses to crime in a socialist society - that ain't it, though.