Patterico's Pontifications

11/22/2021

Lincoln Project: Hey, Let’s Taunt Trump into Running in 2024

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Buh-rilliant.

Some Trump foes have picked up on the former President’s jealousy and are using it to advance their own objectives. Next week, Palm Beach televisions, perhaps including those in Mar-a-Lago, will once again air a commercial by the Lincoln Project intended to remind Trump that DeSantis is the new GOP “it” guy.

Rick Wilson, one of the ex-Republicans behind the Lincoln Project, is hoping to provoke a very specific reaction from Trump.

“We want Trump to kill his own babies,” Wilson said. “We believe if we narrow the field and it’s only Trump in 2024, it’s an easy choice for Americans to say ‘no.'”

I just finished Jonathan Karl’s new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show. I recommend it highly — especially the audio version, which Karl reads himself. Karl reminds us that the Lincoln Project ran targeted ads on Fox News in D.C. and Palm Beach before January 6 taunting Trump over the fact that Pence was going to preside over his defeat.

It’s impossible to say if that helped contribute to Trump’s dangerous fixation on Pence on January 6. My guess: probably not enough to be a but-for cause. Sycophants still would have brought their schemes to him, and he was desperate for any way to hang onto the office that he had already lost fair and square. The ads may have steeled his resolve to coerce Pence into delaying or stopping the count, but I doubt they caused him to form the plan.

That said, the actions of the Lincoln Project are not motivated by a sense of what would be good for the country. They are driven instead primarily by a desire to giggle at how they tormented Trump. That, apparently, is more important than avoiding potential constitutional crises.

And so it is here: since Trump running again could easily prompt a very real constitutional crisis. First, he could win — which would prompt several constitutional crises, since he would not feel restrained in his desire to misuse the military (for example) by the politics of worrying about re-election. And if he lost, he would again deny that he lost and bend our system to try to stay in power. And next time, it could work.

Indeed, it is difficult to see how the Lincoln Project’s actions here square with their claim (with which I agree) that Trump poses a unique threat to the country. This just sounds like a plan to elect Democrats.

But hasn’t it been obvious for a while that was really their goal?

27 Responses to “Lincoln Project: Hey, Let’s Taunt Trump into Running in 2024”

  1. The Lincoln Project is not what it was before he election. Their turn towards the Democrat Party seems a natural evolution for a group that has otherwise lost its focus (and 6 of the 8 founders). It’s where the campaign money is going and consuming campaign money is their prime occupation.

    The committee was announced on December 17, 2019, in a New York Times op-ed by George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson. Other co-founders include Jennifer Horn, Ron Steslow, Reed Galen, and Mike Madrid.

    Weaver resigned from the organization in the summer of 2020, after he was accused of online harassment by 21 men, as well as offering personal and professional favors in exchange for sex to at least 10 of the men.

    In February 2021, Jennifer Horn, a founder, announced her resignation from the organization, citing Weaver’s misconduct. Later that month, the Lincoln Project announced plans for an external investigation to review Weaver’s conduct during his tenure with the group. That same day, Steve Schmidt, a founder, and several other advisors also resigned. In the following months, Ron Steslow, Mike Madrid, and George Conway, all founders and board members, left the organization.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lincoln_Project
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Weaver_(political_consultant)

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  2. The Lincoln project is like the daily show except they found a way to accrue more money & status by never admitting to being a comedy act. They also gave up the ability to dismiss their own mistakes as mere comedy.

    Maybe they’re the flip side. Comedy acts with a political bent might make a valid point from time to time but first and foremost they’re entertainment. If they do a bit that’s wrong or harmful it’s a secondary concern because their main purpose is to be funny. It’s when they do a bit that’s boring and dull, regardless of how accurate or fair, that they’ve failed at what they do. This always left the option of not taking them seriously and dismissing whatever point they had as readily as you would something from carrot top or Sienfeld’s “what the deal with that” rhetorical questions. Vanity Fair needles Trump and has for year. But they’re Vanity Fair and there’s a limit to how seriously you should take them.

    The Lincoln project seemed sort of the opposite, a serious group with a legitimate point that attempted to make that point with humor. Like if the NEJM put out an April issue that was supposed to also make you laugh. Funny or not it’s still the NEJM and needs to meet those standards in a way Vanity Fair doesn’t. This means the Lincoln Project don’t have to be funny, but they’re accountable for the policy outcomes of their actions. I think this case those outcomes are bad. The best thing for our country would be kick the ethno-nationalist Trumper firmly out of power. The second best thing wold be replace them a someone better at the head of the party.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  3. The Lincoln Project is a Democrat fundraising operation, populated mostly by Democrats and ex-Republicans.
    I remember when Hillary got what she wished for, going to head to head against Trump. Turned out great for her.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  4. And so it is here: since Trump running again could easily prompt a very real constitutional crisis. First, he could win — which would prompt several constitutional crises, since he would not feel restrained in his desire to misuse the military (for example) by the politics of worrying about re-election. And if he lost, he would again deny that he lost and bend our system to try to stay in power. And next time, it could work.

    This is an extremely valid concern and worth considering. As comedy act i found them decent, but this harmful. A better use of their resources would be to find and support other, better, candidates for the GOP to run in 2024.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  5. Taunting Trump into running sure turned out well for Barack Obama, didn’t it?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  6. how many child predators are still on staff?

    JF (e1156d)

  7. First, he could win — which would prompt several constitutional crises

    The worst of which would occur if someone decided to deny him the office after winning.

    If, once in power, he decided to use the military in a way the courts objected to (e.g. forcible repatriation of Central Americans), he would not be the first president to do so.

    “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”
    — Andrew Jackson, 1832

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. BTW, why wouldn’t a re-elected Trump worry about re-election? Since his second term was stolen and his first term blocked by the traitors in the court system, he’s owed another term. Which he has already won. So, I guess he probably wouldn’t worry.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Without Trump, the Lincoln Project is a like a washing machine at a nudist colony. Get rid of Trump, and it’ll make the Lincoln Project just one more Democrat organ of which there are already very many and one more won’t make a difference. If it doesn’t go out of business altogether.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. Didn’t Terry McAuliffe recently demonstrate that running against Trump has lost some of its potency?

    John B Boddie (9f8361)

  11. Karl reminds us that the Lincoln Project ran targeted ads on Fox News in D.C. and Palm Beach before January 6 taunting Trump over the fact that Pence was going to preside over his defeat.

    It’s impossible to say if that helped contribute to Trump’s dangerous fixation on Pence on January 6

    The scheme with Mike Pence rejecting the ballots was probably already in the works when they ran the ads. We need a timeline.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  12. https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-p-t-barnum

    Memo to The Lincoln Project:

    Just keep spelling his name right.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. JVW (ee64e4) — 11/22/2021 @ 10:35 am

    Taunting Trump into running sure turned out well for Barack Obama, didn’t it?

    Barack Obama thinks that’s what he did, but it is probably not true. He made jokes Trump’s expense in front of Trump because Trump had joined revived the birther bandwagon. I thought at the time that Trump really believed it, but now I think he was intentionally misleading people.

    BTW: Promoting Obama as a presidential candidate sure turned out well for Bill and Hillary Clinton, didn’t it?

    I think his hand was behind the leaks that successfully elected Barack Obama U.ZS Senator and giving him the keynote speech at the 20004 Democratic convention. He was supposed to lose, but before that become the main alternative contender for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination/

    Many of Bill Clinton’s political schemes didn’t work. More didn’t than did.

    1974 – Senator Fulbright lost the Dem nomination cutting off Clinton’s hope to succeed him in 1980

    1974 – making the freshman class a power worked – but he didn’t win his own election.

    1980 -lost bid for re-election

    1988 – creating Super Tuesday – but he couldn’t get Al Gore to drop out and stay out — and so couldn’t be the only southern candidate – and he dropped out himself in July 1987 – Because of pollsnot to be with his daughter. and not because of bimbo eruptions.

    He did (I think) get Gary Hart and Joe Biden out of the race (probably) and got behind Dukakis. I read Bill Clinton had a rolodex like you wouldn’t believe. (paraphrase)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  14. As deep throat said in watergate: “follow the money!” By the way the driver in wisconsin his claiming the rittenhouse defuse of self defense because the police were shooting at him and chasing him into the parade.

    asset (fca068)

  15. Get rid of Trump

    Given the stranglehold he has on the Republican Party today, it’s very going to prove difficult to get rid of someone when he has more support than any other possible 2024 candidate. And given the treatment of legislators who have risen up against him in their efforts to hold him accountable, there really isn’t the necessary momentum let alone actual Congressmembers. To get rid of Trump, you’d have to convince a majority of the GOP, Chamber of Commerce, and the hoi polloi that the country would be better off without him. That seems nearly impossible at this point. But perhaps Youngkin’s win will help in loosening the Party from Trump’s clutches. But so far, he is exactly who the Party wants.

    Dana (174549)

  16. @15 The majority of gop yes, chamber of commerce mostly small business owners. The majority of gop are former white trash democrats (nixon’s southern strategy) Reagan gave his first speech after 1980 nomination in philadelphia mississippi where the three civil rights workers were murdered. Telling the southern white trash democrats the republican party was no longer just for the rich and big business ;but now includes RACIST white trash as well! They are populists not free trade economic libertarian conservatives. They hate milton freidman’s economic philosophy. They are the ones breeding not rich old whites and neo-con artists. Populists get more numerous while the conservatives die off. You are asking populists 80% of gop who loathe you to listen to you and change. I keep telling you this ; but you want to drink the kool aide!

    asset (fca068)

  17. Dana, I agree it’s a long shot.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  18. The much nicer Dana wrote:

    But so far, he is exactly who the Party wants.

    Republican voters wanted a candidate who would actually try to do what all of the past Republican presidents promised, but not only failed to deliver, but didn’t even try to deliver. Donald Trump tried to deliver on his promises. It’s arguable that there could be a better candidate to make Mr Trump’s promises and run on them, perhaps Messrs DeSantis or Abbott, but the GOP needs to deliver on what conservatives want.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (ae0ea3)

  19. @15

    Youngkin’s win might help loosen the party from DJT’s grip in blue states like VA, where one cannot rely solely on the base to deliver statewide wins. The VA GOP hasn’t won statewide since 2009, with 17 straight statewide losses(give or take), and were itching to win after more than a decade of losing. So going non-Trumpy for their candidates was fine with them. Trump wasn’t popular there to begin with. But in ruby red Trumpy states like Alabama or West VA, it won’t happen. There are a few states that range from light red to blue leaning where DJT is popular with the base, but manifestly unpopular outside it. Maybe it’ll take some losses in these states in 2024, including the POTUS election, to shake the GOP out of DJT’s grasp.

    HCI (ed8ecd)

  20. Rest easy. Joe- who has defeated Trump in a national election- is intending to run for a second term in 2024. If he makes it to Inauguration Day, January 20, 2025, to start another four year term, Joe will be over 82 years old. That’s the same age as the corndog– and the film, ‘Casablanca.’

    “That’s so long ago, I don’t remember.”- Rick Blaine [Humphrey Bogart] ‘Casablanca’ 1942

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. The Biden tell-alls will be interesting.

    DN (181662)

  22. NBC News 2017 – Why Statues Of Washington And Jefferson Aren’t ‘Next’ As President Trump Suggested.

    Yesterday – NYC – Statue of Jefferson Removed From City Hall After 187 Years.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/23/trump-was-right-in-2017-when-he-said-statue-destroyers-wouldnt-stop-with-confederate-figures/

    Erase the man, erase his ideas.

    John Oliver even ridiculed Trump and equated removing a statue of Jefferson with having children inject black tar heroin.

    https://twitter.com/patrioticcougar/status/1462993692730564609?s=21

    Wonder if this is worth a thread or just a mention in the weekend open.

    Obudman (2184ae)

  23. “Biden appears to read ‘end of quote’ from teleprompter during gas price inflation speech” -source, Fox News

    A regular 1970s-style Ron Burgundy. You stay classy there Wilmington.

    Or is it Scranton this week.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. Trump is from New York, isn’t he?

    nk (1d9030)

  25. but, you know, they might put it back, the jefferson statue i mean, if we all go out and yell “let’s go, brandon” loud enough

    nk (1d9030)

  26. I’ve got a new epigram to replace MAGA:

    When the world’s not your mommy, Trump’s your daddy!

    Sometimes I amaze myself.

    nk (1d9030)

  27. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10235027/Trump-LEADING-Biden-five-swing-states-flipped-blue-2020.html

    This should make the Grifter Project and all those who make their living talking Trump happy.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

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