Paranoid About Paranoia
Makes some good points about the ratcheting up of political rhetoric -- that, apart from some rare but real crazies, the talk is overblown on both sides for effect. Bu$h is Hitler, Obama is an Islamist terrorist, etc. -- these aren't things that anyone really believes but are just ways of verbally puffing oneself up, signalling that "You really need to pay attention to me and what I'm saying, not because it's particularly reasonable but because I'm like, you know, really mad about it!"
In one sense, this is old hat, at least in America -- see the book Infamous Scribblers: the Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism by Eric Burns for some good, dirty fun involving attack politics in the early years of the Republic. What seems a bit different now, to me at least, is that the sides are more ideological, or more consciously so, than previously. That too may just be an illusion, due to the shifting nature of the ideological divisions, but, on the other hand, it may be that political venom comes to a head at times of greater political and ideological change. In which case, expect a lot more rhetorical overkill before things calm down.