No matter what you think of NeverTrump, and I think as a little of them as physically possible and as infrequently as they will let me, and their motivations, it is safe to say that in the space of just four short years they have achieved full-blown grift status.
The first to hit the finish line was Bill Kristol. This is not a surprise as he was the most successful, by far, in monetizing the NeverTrump appelation. His nonprofit fundraising apparatus, Republicans for the Rule of Law, part of his fundraising apparatus Defending Democracy Together, is battering away at Trump in the heart of MAGA Country, Times Square.
Loving this billboard in Times Square from the Republicans for the Rule of Law. We need more of these. Everywhere. Suburbs and rural America. Bring them on!@ForTheRuleOfLaw #WhatIsTrumpHiding pic.twitter.com/Q6RgOv6LXq
— SquirrelsJustWannaHaveFun (@Normaninvador76) December 17, 2019
The most interesting grift to come out of this surfaced today in the New York Times…because if you want to reach out to Republicans who don’t like Trump, the New York Times is where you find them. The op-ed is called We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated, the subtitle is The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. and it is authored by some of the most bodaciously conservatism conserving conservatives that you’ve ever encountered: George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson. I know when I think of hardcore movement conservatives I always think of one or more of these guys.
The American presidency transcends the individuals who occupy the Oval Office. Their personality becomes part of our national character. Their actions become our actions, for which we all share responsibility. Their willingness to act in accordance with the law and our tradition dictate how current and future leaders will act. Their commitment to order, civility and decency are reflected in American society.
Mr. Trump fails to meet the bar for this commitment. He has neither the moral compass nor the temperament to serve. His vision is limited to what immediately faces him — the problems and risks he chronically brings upon himself and for which others, from countless contractors and companies to the American people, ultimately bear the heaviest burden.
But this president’s actions are possible only with the craven acquiescence of congressional Republicans. They have done no less than abdicate their Article I responsibilities.
Indeed, national Republicans have done far worse than simply march along to Mr. Trump’s beat. Their defense of him is imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country, who have dedicated their lives and careers to its defense and its security, and whose job is to preserve the nation’s status as a beacon of hope.
Congressional Republicans have embraced and copied Mr. Trump’s cruelty and defended and even adopted his corruption. Mr. Trump and his enablers have abandoned conservatism and longstanding Republican principles and replaced it with Trumpism, an empty faith led by a bogus prophet. In a recent survey, a majority of Republican voters reported that they consider Mr. Trump a better president than Lincoln.
Mr. Trump and his fellow travelers daily undermine the proposition we as a people have a responsibility and an obligation to continually bend the arc of history toward justice. They mock our belief in America as something more meaningful than lines on a map.
There fundraising apparatus is styled The Lincoln Project because Lincoln. Ya know, Lincoln. And unlike the more prosaic non-profit network run by Kristol, this will be a PAC.
Via USA Today:
Weaver told AP that the group plans to focus on winning over Republicans who are wary of Trump in battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina. They also plan to work against Senate Republicans who have supported Trump, such as Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona.
Essentially it will be a Democrat PAC. Can I have a shocked face from y’all?
Let’s face it. There is literally no one involved with either of these projects that are noted for winning. John Weaver used to be a Democrat consultant when he wasn’t running one of John McCain’s ego-fueled campaigns. It is no mystery why McCain ran so hard against George Bush in 2000 and folded like a cheap suit in his campaign against Obama in 2008. Both McCain and Weaver were always happier bashing Republicans than anything else. Schmidt, for his part, is better known for the whisper campaign he and Nicolle Wallace carried out to sabotage John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin.
I could be wrong but I’ll tell you just how I see this. These organizations are going to raise money to pay salaries. A 501(c)4 dedicated to defeating Trump is going to have very constrained operations because it will have to focus on issues, not people. IIRC, they won’t even be allowed to In the case of PACs, and we won’t know about this one until we see the first financial reports, it is not unknown for one of the principals to own a media company and the PAC pays the media company creative and production expenses to produce ads and a commission for placing ads. It is highly unlikely that in a year like 2020 that any major donor is going to dump a lot of money into these operations when political parties and candidates and well established PACs will be in dire need. Some money will flow there, to be sure. The thing to look out for is what, exactly, that money buys besides salaries/benefits/overhead.
As Eric Hoffer said, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”