There are many ways in which the political moment (hyper-polarizing) and the technological moment (Twitter, instant news cycles) creates a self-perpetuating arms race of hyperbole. On the other hand, some of these new publishing and communications systems do allow us to get a view into where the head of a big chunk of the country is at.
To that end, we’ve got the story of the Colorado state senator who represents the hyper-conservative Colorado Springs compared Obama to the al Qaeda terrorists who took over Flight 93 on 9/11 and real patriotic Republican Americans to the passengers who had to retake control of the plane.
On the one hand, this is textbook feverish, eliminationist incitement. On the other hand, I think back to how paranoid and in the thrall of their own victimization these folks were a few years ago when they ran the entire country. So I’m not sure we should be surprised that they go totally crazy when they’re largely shut out of power in the country at the national level.