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Old 05-10-2020, 03:51 PM
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The Lincoln Project


This is a four and a half minute youtube video of a speech. The speaker is introducing The Lincoln Project. I have seen two of their recent ads, and they hit Trump hard.
I'm not quite sure what I'm seeing here, though. Is this Republicans coming to their senses, like it seems to be? Or am I being misled, and ha-ha you knew better than to trust Republicans.
Here's the introduction:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eIoMY5ajOk
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Old 05-10-2020, 04:37 PM
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This is a four and a half minute youtube video of a speech. The speaker is introducing The Lincoln Project. I have seen two of their recent ads, and they hit Trump hard.
I'm not quite sure what I'm seeing here, though. Is this Republicans coming to their senses, like it seems to be? Or am I being misled, and ha-ha you knew better than to trust Republicans.
It's a group of Never Trumpers, guys who worked on campaigns for more moderate Republicans (McCain, Kaisch, etc). They get extra press time because one of them is George Conway, husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway.

If you're a liberal and they were running the show, I'm sure you'd still be mad about their positions on a lot of things but they're against Trump's wholesale demolition of our system of government and America's standing in the world.

Last edited by Jophiel; 05-10-2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 04:43 PM
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I'm far more curious about the dynamic in the Conway household. Seems to me, it's gotta be a Knives Out situation.
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:00 PM
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Well I've gotta say that they have a way with using political ads to shine a spotlight on Trump's ineptitude.
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:17 PM
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I'm far more curious about the dynamic in the Conway household. Seems to me, it's gotta be a Knives Out situation.
Probably no more than Mary Matalin and George Carville's household. Or perhaps even Arnold Schwarzenegger's and Maria Shriver's ( although they divorced recently, I can't imagine their political differences were the issues after 30 years of.marriage.) There's a well-worn joke about men heading the polls to "cancel out" their wives votes, but there's no reason to suppose that differing politics means differing core values or an inability to get along.
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:28 PM
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Matalin & Carviille worked on the Bush Sr and Clinton campaigns but, when those were over, Carville didn't work in the Clinton administration. They're probably the closest comparison the the Conways but I think the Conways are much deeper in since this isn't "My guy would be the better president" and rather "My wife is actively aiding and abetting the destruction of American democracy".
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:37 PM
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I don't think morality would be a good way to convince Trumpers to become never-Trumpers because 1) many of them think Trump is doing the moral thing, or 2) even if concede that Trump is immoral, think that Democrats are even more immoral yet.

The best argument would be competence - point out that Trump has made a bungled mess of so many things, ruined the pandemic response, tweets 13,000 times with the maturity level of a juvenile preteen, whines and blames and never takes responsibility and plays the narcissist, etc.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:16 PM
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It's a group of Never Trumpers, guys who worked on campaigns for more moderate Republicans (McCain, Kaisch, etc). They get extra press time because one of them is George Conway, husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway.

If you're a liberal and they were running the show, I'm sure you'd still be mad about their positions on a lot of things but they're against Trump's wholesale demolition of our system of government and America's standing in the world.
Yeah, for some reason those particular conservatives aren't 100% on board with Trump's deference to Vladimir Putin.

More power to 'em, says I.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:29 PM
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They're a bunch of conservatives who realize Trump is hurting the conservative movement and want to disavow him.

This is about poll numbers. If it was about principles, they would have disavowed him back in 2016.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:45 PM
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They're a bunch of conservatives who realize Trump is hurting the conservative movement and want to disavow him.

This is about poll numbers. If it was about principles, they would have disavowed him back in 2016.
(My emphasis.) There's something to that. But it's also possible that a lot of them genuinely thought, in the beginning, that Trump could be manipulated into behaving as a normal Republican. Many may have held off on disavowing him under that delusion.

A lot of people held such beliefs back in 2016 and early 2017, you'll recall. There was not only talk of "pivoting," there were people who really thought it was going to happen. From 2021 we look back with cynical eyes, and that leads us to assume that no one could ever have really thought that Trump would behave normally--but the fact is that many people did think it was a reasonable expectation.

It was only with the accumulation of proofs that Trump was never going to adhere to the usual GOP pieties and policies, that they realized they couldn't go on with business as usual. (And I'd argue that the several disgraceful episodes of Trump kowtowing to Vlad, yucking it up with Kislyak in the Oval, etc., played a large role in that realization.)
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:07 PM
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(My emphasis.) There's something to that. But it's also possible that a lot of them genuinely thought, in the beginning, that Trump could be manipulated into behaving as a normal Republican. Many may have held off on disavowing him under that delusion.

A lot of people held such beliefs back in 2016 and early 2017, you'll recall. There was not only talk of "pivoting," there were people who really thought it was going to happen. From 2021 we look back with cynical eyes, and that leads us to assume that no one could ever have really thought that Trump would behave normally--but the fact is that many people did think it was a reasonable expectation.

It was only with the accumulation of proofs that Trump was never going to adhere to the usual GOP pieties and policies, that they realized they couldn't go on with business as usual. (And I'd argue that the several disgraceful episodes of Trump kowtowing to Vlad, yucking it up with Kislyak in the Oval, etc., played a large role in that realization.)
This

Itís hard to remember, it seems like centuries ago. All that hope that Trump would rise to the office and start acting presidential. All that furor over the first lie, the one about crowd sizes.

Donít forget that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski weíre Trump supporters in 2016 (although I donít think they thought he had a chance at winning). All those Republicans that actually though he would confine himself to a couple of pet issues and let their policy makers run the rest of the show.

. And thatís another thing that we have to remember - the Democrats and moderates were victims of complacency in 2016. I know a couple of men who voted for Trump just because they really dislike Hillary AND they knew she was going to win anyway - kind of a weird protest vote that backfired. And they arenít going to be doing that again this year.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 05-10-2020 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:07 PM
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They're a bunch of conservatives who realize Trump is hurting the conservative movement and want to disavow him.

This is about poll numbers. If it was about principles, they would have disavowed him back in 2016.
George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver & Rick Wilson (the founders of the the organization) have been outspoken about Trump since the 2016 primaries. It's not as though they decided two months ago to start not liking the guy.
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Old 05-11-2020, 03:02 AM
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George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver & Rick Wilson (the founders of the the organization) have been outspoken about Trump since the 2016 primaries. It's not as though they decided two months ago to start not liking the guy.
Lots of Republicans were opposed to Trump during the primaries.

What was their public position after Trump got the nomination and it became a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? (It's a rhetorical question; they all backed Trump.)

There were conservatives who endorsed Clinton in 2016 when it came down to Trump or her: Richard Armitage, Max Boot, Sally Bradshaw, Jim Cicconi, Maria Comella, Doug Elmets, Charles Fried, Richard Hanna, Ben Howe, Frank Lavin, P.J. O'Rourke, Hank Paulson, Larry Pressler, William Reilly, William Ruckelshaus, Mark Salter, Brent Scowcroft, Craig Snyder, John Warner, Lezlee Westine, and Meg Whitman.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-11-2020 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:17 AM
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I clicked (and was unimpressed) but as I clicked and clicked again I encountered the claim that Zuckerberg's Facebook has banned Lincoln Project ads, while continuing to run Trump lies. True? Is Zuckerberg a Trump-licker?
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:51 AM
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I clicked (and was unimpressed) but as I clicked and clicked again I encountered the claim that Zuckerberg's Facebook has banned Lincoln Project ads, while continuing to run Trump lies. True? Is Zuckerberg a Trump-licker?
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/08/linc...-trump-ad.html
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:36 AM
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Probably no more than Mary Matalin and George Carville's household. Or perhaps even Arnold Schwarzenegger's and Maria Shriver's ( although they divorced recently, I can't imagine their political differences were the issues after 30 years of.marriage.) There's a well-worn joke about men heading the polls to "cancel out" their wives votes, but there's no reason to suppose that differing politics means differing core values or an inability to get along.
In the case of Trump, yes it fucking does. (bolding mine)

George Conway argues that Trump is trying to destroy America. It's not merely political disagreements like arguing what the best top marginal tax rate is. If he's sincere in how he describes Trump, well, I don't see how he could have any respect for his wife.

Maybe they hate each other and don't believe in divorce, but I kinda just doubt his sincerity.
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:58 AM
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Eh, I'm sure 95% of republicans will vote for Trump the same way they did in 2016.

Its like when people got optimistic about the log cabin republicans in 2004 and it came to nothing
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:58 AM
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I clicked (and was unimpressed) but as I clicked and clicked again I encountered the claim that Zuckerberg's Facebook has banned Lincoln Project ads, while continuing to run Trump lies. True? Is Zuckerberg a Trump-licker?
The problem is Trump is the President of the United States. Sure, he lies on a daily basis but you can't just ban him; his lies are newsworthy.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:44 PM
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Anything that may create even a small schism in the Trump voting block is OK by me.

Youtube suggested the Rick Wilson/Trevor Noah segment so I watched that and there much of what he says that I agree with (esp around targeting voters and districts where those efforts may make a difference in the Electoral College result, and not wasting time and resources on areas that are pretty much already decided). I also detect a smidgen of nuttiness, but at least a sane and intelligent person.
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Old 05-11-2020, 03:49 PM
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It's a group of Never Trumpers, guys who worked on campaigns for more moderate Republicans (McCain, Kaisch, etc). They get extra press time because one of them is George Conway, husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway.

If you're a liberal and they were running the show, I'm sure you'd still be mad about their positions on a lot of things but they're against Trump's wholesale demolition of our system of government and America's standing in the world.
Thanks. And not only that, about 30 seconds ago I learned that they're pushing for Joe Biden for president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GzdrNsSLBU These never-Trump Republicans ain't fooling. (But I still get the feeling that I'm the one being fooled.)
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:37 PM
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I guess because of George Conway's hate of Trump there have been rumors his wife is not a big Trump fan and has been leaking info. It was even said she could be the author of the anonymous book on Trump that came out last year . BTW the author of that book said they would reveal their identity before the Nov. election.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:09 PM
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I'm loving the ads just as theater. But since they're using standard Republican tactics, their target audience is wavering Republicans (or, perhaps I should say, recently former Republicans) who can be swayed by that sort of approach. The "Mourning in America" ad was BRUTAL (and I mean that in a good way). Schmidt strikes me as a fundamentally decent guy. Wilson and Conway as a bit more serpentine, but this time around they've decided to use their powers for good and I can't really complain about that.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:18 PM
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In ordinary times, I'd be an active opponent of positions advanced by members who comprise the Lincoln Project, but we're far from ordinary times. I admire these fellows who have been willing to defy their party, step forward in actual, meaningful ways and say what is true.

Schmidt and Wilson in particular are regular guests on MSNBC and they are not at all shy about expressing the contempt they feel for Trump and the damage Trump has inflicted on the country. Their words are forthright, plain and memorable.

As I have said before on this forum, I will never forgive Steve Schmidt for foisting Sarah Palin on us. But he has done much to redeem himself in my eyes as a never-Trumper. He has clearly learned from his mistakes.

And while Rick Wilson is the sort of Republican attack dog I have loathed in the past for working, sometimes quite dishonestly, to elect such infamous characters as Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani, he did endear himself a bit when discussing Trump's criminal behavior during the Ukraine impeachment proceedings. He opined that Moscow Mitch's approach to the Senate trial was to try and make it all go away as fast as possible. Wilson said that there is more to learn re Ukraine. Something to the effect of, as with all things Trump, the Ukraine debacle is just the tip of the fecal iceberg, with only the sticky top presently revealed.

It was a classic exchange, well worth the 3 1/2 minutes to watch. Brian Williams' response is hilarious.

The ads the Lincoln Project are running against Trump are based entirely on knowable facts. They're devastating.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:05 PM
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As the old saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is a friend of mine. Also, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:18 PM
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I'm not very sanguine on the chances of this making any meaningful impact.

It would be one thing if Trump were being primaried by another Republican who had significant grassroots support. But the group the Lincoln Project is attempting to target aren't being given the choice between Trump and Ted Cruz. Their choice is between Trump and the Democratic Party, which includes Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Beto "Hell Yes I'm Taking Them" O'Rourke; it includes appointing liberal justices to the Supreme Court - I just think it's asking the impossible to try to get meaningful numbers of Republican voters to set aside everything they believe about how America is supposed to be run just to get Trump out of office.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:27 PM
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I disagree.

I think the Lincoln Project is targeting swing independents far more than hard core Trumpists. Independents went Trump in 2016 because they hated Hillary. The Lincoln Project hopes to make sure those folks understand who Trump really is, so they know how important it is to either sit this one out, vote third party or (gulp) vote for Biden. Right now, those independents are moving toward Biden.

The hard core Trumpists are unreachable. Schmidt and Wilson in particular are long time, seasoned Republican strategists in days of yore. They understand this.

Few know how to read polls and reach the wavering independent vote better than they do. And the Lincoln Project, both individually and as a group, have endorsed Biden. I'm glad they're in the Dems' corner this time around.

Last edited by Aspenglow; 05-11-2020 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:37 PM
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I'm not very sanguine on the chances of this making any meaningful impact.

It would be one thing if Trump were being primaried by another Republican who had significant grassroots support. But the group the Lincoln Project is attempting to target aren't being given the choice between Trump and Ted Cruz. Their choice is between Trump and the Democratic Party, which includes Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Beto "Hell Yes I'm Taking Them" O'Rourke; it includes appointing liberal justices to the Supreme Court - I just think it's asking the impossible to try to get meaningful numbers of Republican voters to set aside everything they believe about how America is supposed to be run just to get Trump out of office.
I don't know. For all the talk about judicial appointments, how much does the average voter really care about this issue? The average voter probably couldn't name all nine justices on the Supreme Court, name a single judge from any other court, or explain exactly what he thinks the difference is between a conservative judge and a liberal judge.

Judicial appointments have always seemed to me to be the kind of thing - like trade policy - that a lot of voters say they care about because they've been told it's important. But they don't really connect to it so it's an easy thing for them to shake off if some other issue changes the way they want to vote.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:42 AM
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Conservatives who don't like Trump could just not vote for president while voting in other races.
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Old 05-12-2020, 10:00 AM
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What was their public position after Trump got the nomination and it became a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? (It's a rhetorical question; they all backed Trump.)
Conway supported Trump in 2016, Schmidt endorsed Hillary, and Wilson backed Evan McMullen's campaign.
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:02 PM
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...- the Democrats and moderates were victims of complacency in 2016. I know a couple of men who voted for Trump just because they really dislike Hillary AND they knew she was going to win anyway - kind of a weird protest vote that backfired.
Yeah, there was a lot more of that than people want to admit.


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... Schmidt strikes me as a fundamentally decent guy. Wilson and Conway as a bit more serpentine, but this time around they've decided to use their powers for good and I can't really complain about that.
I read them the same way. Wilson and Conway put more effort into being entertaining than Schmidt does, but Schmidt is on more solid ground ethically, I think. Wilson and Conway are more Dark Side-friendly (witty, though).

But they're all doing the nation's work, now.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:15 PM
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In the case of Trump, yes it fucking does. (bolding mine)

George Conway argues that Trump is trying to destroy America. It's not merely political disagreements like arguing what the best top marginal tax rate is. If he's sincere in how he describes Trump, well, I don't see how he could have any respect for his wife.

Maybe they hate each other and don't believe in divorce, but I kinda just doubt his sincerity.
You can have similar or compatible core values and disagree on the correct course of action, depending on either original principles or how much you weight matters.

All that being said, however, I do tend to agree with you that there has to be a bit of smoke and mirrors going on, although I have no reason to suppose he's more likely to be lying about his convictions than she is: they've got four kids to send through Harvard, and Trump's presidency has done nicely for both of their bottom lines.
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