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?