Partisan combat has always been a part of American politics, but Atlantic journalist McKay Coppins traces many of the extreme tactics used today to one man: former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

When Gingrich entered Congress in 1979, the Georgia Republican rejected bipartisanship and "turned national politics and congressional politics into team sport," Coppins says.

While in Congress, Coppins says Gingrich treated politics as a "zero-sum" endeavor — and he wasn't above resorting to name-calling, conspiracy theories and strategic obstruction in order come out on top: "He was not there to work in the committee structure and deal with constituent services. He was there to foment revolution and declare war."

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