Happy Friday, everyone. I’ve been wanting to do do this one for a while, but there is never a good time to “criticize” your “friends.” I’m using quotation marks because I’m not really criticizing and these folks are not my friends, despite our being joined for a common purpose. I am talking about the The Lincoln Project.
If you are reading this blog, there is a pretty good chance you already know about these high-level Republican operatives who have gleefully declared themselves “never Trumpers,” and are now flooding the airwaves and our timelines with some of the most original and effective anti-Trump ads we have yet seen. LP seems mostly comprised of white men, which is fine, but notable. They are intelligent, creative, and have raised large sums of money to keep their messages front and center.
In the project’s nascent stages, the ads were delightfully acerbic, acting more as psy-ops deployments targeted at a single individual. The goal seemed to torture Trump as much as possible by making him defend and distracting attention. Part of Trump’s success is his ability to go on offense all the time, and the Lincoln Project has done a lot to undermine that advantage.
More recently, however, these guys are starting to creep me out a bit. I’m seeing tweets that urge retweets within a certain amount of time to prove LP support. There was also a tweet that said something like “We go low so Democrats don’t have to.” What the fuck is that? They seem to be angling for appreciation. They seem to want Democrats to thank them for their efforts.
So, someone in my timeline sent this:
Pretty much perfect. And this was in response to LP big wig Tom Nichols tweeting “you’re welcome, Democrats!” What was the purpose of that tweet? What was Tom trying to tell me and my fellow Democratic voters?
It seems that a lot of Republicans, like former Homeland Security staffer Miles Taylor, are now anxious to get on the right side of history before it is too late. OK. I like that. I’m in favor. But I can’t help asking:
What took you so long?
And it’s not me trying to dunk on people who I have known were objectively wrong about governance and civil rights and Donald Trump for a long time. No, I really, actually, literally want to know? Can any of these folks explain to me how they personally got so off track and let their party get hijacked by QAnon?
I think that’s a level of insight that will not soon be forthcoming. Efforts like the Lincoln Project and Miles Taylor’s serious revelations are more a matter of self-preservation than self-reflection. Taylor himself has indulged in excuse-making and blame shifting to account for his inability to defend the country by coming clean earlier. Color me unimpressed.
And here is what I fear is coming from the Lincoln Project. They will start to make demands. They will look at the soft, good-natured centrist nominee and see him as a vehicle for promoting their own agenda – small government, winding down of entitlement programs, erosion and/or elimination of a woman’s right to choose.
I like Rick Wilson and Steve Schmidt. They are great on my TV, and their Lincoln Project generates a ton of good and important content. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that these folks were at the highest level in a party that got destroyed by conspiracy theories, greed and hatred. I humbly ask that we not allow them to do the same with our party.