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:

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.

I’m far more curious about the dynamic in the Conway household. Seems to me, it’s gotta be a Knives Out situation.

Well I’ve gotta say that they have a way with using political ads to shine a spotlight on Trump’s ineptitude.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.)


It’s 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.

Don’t forget that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski we’re Trump supporters in 2016 (although I don’t 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 that’s 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 aren’t going to be doing that again this year.

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

Thanks. And not only that, about 30 seconds ago I learned that they’re pushing for Joe Biden for president. These never-Trump Republicans ain’t fooling. (But I still get the feeling that I’m the one being fooled.)