It's been the mantra of liberals and the Left and was the battle hymn of the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" in Washington, DC last autumn - can't we all just tone it down a bit?
Following the tragic January shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, some people - mostly on the Left - expressed concern there was a link between the shooter's actions and conservative calls for the end of Democratic political rule in Washington. Even President Obama weighed in recently on the heightened hysteria asking everyone on Capitol Hill to engage in an "adult conversation" regarding the budget deficit.
But check out some of the placards making their way into the protests against Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget bill in Wisconsin this week -- "Scott Walker = Adolph Hitler", "Death To Tyrants" and "Midwest Mussolini". Protestors have also compared Walker to ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and adorned some signs with swastikas.
Walker wants to pass legislation to increase the amount state employees - excluding state troopers, firefighters and police - pay towards their health and pension benefits. He also wants to limit public sector unions' collective bargaining power. The Governor says it'll help reduce the state's $3.6 billion deficit.
These measures have brought large and vocal protests from unions and their supporters alike. President Obama criticized the budget bill as "an assault on unions" while the Democratic National Committee has asked members to oppose the legislation.
But what about the calls to tone it down? Don't expect any, says the conservative Media Research Center's Brent Bozell, even though the messages are the same ones liberals decried during the Tea Party protests last year against Democratic candidates in the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections. "It is the ongoing double standard which is getting rather boring right now," Bozell said.
In an interview with Fox News, Walker said police have had to shut down his street as a result of protests outside his home. But he added, "We're not gonna be intimidated by people with the kind of outrageous rhetoric that's out there."