To a conservative, "tone down the rhetoric" in politics would mean that one should restrict oneself to the actual facts, one should keep exchanges between candidates in public reasonably cordial or at least professional, and no swearing. Accusing your opponents of murder and terrorism, that would not be "toned down". That would be "freaking out", and very likely libelous.
This is what "toned down" means in San Francisco:
Regarding the poster from the NBC affiliate in SF:
We feel for Sarah Palin. We do. The Arizona shooting rampage was neither her fault nor the fault of Tea Party members. It just wasn't. (Championing a party that, at its core, centers around a collective dislike of President's Barack Obama's melanin levels? Sure, that's her fault. But certainly not what happened to Rep. Gabrielle Gifford, Gabriel Zimmerman and several others last week.) To attack Palin here is unfair. That would be like unjustly blaming Muslims for the actions of a few extremists, a thick slice of irony lost on the former GOP vice presidential candidate and her self-centered tirade against irresponsible journalists.
However, that didn't stop these posters from appearing in San Francisco overnight. This one here, found in Hayes Valley on Grove between Laguna and Octavia, says: "Enrage them with fear until they feel justified in their violence."
When MSM Democrats use the phrase "tone down the rhetoric" what they actually mean is "SHUT THE **** UP YOU ******* ******* ****** CONSERVATIVE **** ***** **** **** (****)!!!!!!!"
The posters -- found and publisehd by SFist.com -- espouse "Enrage them with fear until they feel justified in their violence."
Granted, Palin has brought even more spotlight on herself with a recent diatribe against "irresponsible journalists."
Maybe the president's message stressing the strength of our words and how we use them will stick ... like a poster to a wall.
I hope that clears things up.