Speaking of gaslighting, here's Newt Gingrich complaining on Fox News today:
"You've had a series of things which send signals that tell people that it's okay to hate the president."
This is rich, given that Gingrich was the principal driver of a more focused demonization strategy in GOP politics. In his infamous 1996 GOPAC Memo, he advised fellow Republicans to overcome their hesitation to use harsh words to describe their opponents. He went as far as creating a list of words they should use. A sample follows:
Eight years earlier, in an interview with the Heritage Foundation, Gingrich spoke of a civil war with liberals:
“This war has to be fought with a scale and a duration and a savagery that is only true of civil wars.”
For the next decade, he waged that war using the language of demonization and relentless ethics attacks on Democrats.
Politics on all sides has always been rough, but in the post-Reagan years, no one in politics was more openly devoted to sowing hatred of opponents.