It’s the old childish rejoinder, popularized by PeeWee Herman: when insulted, he says, “I know you are, but what am I?” Normally such childishness would have no place in civil discourse, but it has become embarrassingly obvious that Democrats are no longer capable of civil, adult discussion.
Democrats have perfected the tactic of assigning evil intentions to their opponents as the trump card to every criticism of their policies. But you do not let the bully run the playground; you have to stand up to him, and that’s what needs to happen here. Democrats have succeeded with it so long I do not know how many times it needs to be quashed for that tactic to end, but there needs to be a consistent, aggressive response whenever such ad hominem attacks occur. Fortunately there are several, all closely related, and all variations of the PeeWee Herman retort. For example, one might say, “Enough about me. Why are YOU so wrong on [this issue]?” Or this one, “You are wrong about me and wrong about [this issue]. Which would you like to correct first?” Or my favorite, “Even if I am what you say, does that make me wrong?” The only drawback to this otherwise-simple strategy is that Republicans will need to be more “manly” than PeeWee Herman to do it.