The Lincoln Project is not your friend

They’re just trying to Republicanize the Democrats, which way too many Democrats (I’m looking at you, Chuck Schumer) think is a good idea. I’m sure it is tempting, when you think only in terms of acquiring power, to argue that becoming more Republican will attract more Republican votes — and that’s true! — but it also means you’ve got no principles, and are just trying to swap places with the other party.

Cody explains it well.

The Lincoln Project is definitely putting out harder hitting ads than the Democrats are, which tells you something already: the Democrats are at the mushy soft stage of decay, and are over-ripe for takeover. Rick Wilson knows that. Why don’t the Democrats know that?


  1. says

    While it’s great that some Republicans are fighting Trump, let’s not forget that those are the people who brought us Trump to begin with. Trump didn’t appear from nowhere. He’s the logical conclusion to the last several decades of Republican politics.

    They wanted this; they’re just mad they’re not in charge of it.

  2. William George says

    They wanted this; they’re just mad they’re not in charge of it.

    @1 LykeX

    I’ve been trying to explain to FaceBook chums for months now that these guys are just cheesed off former Republicans angry that they no longer have a position of power in the party and they’d be pulling Bush era BS the second they got it back. But they’ve been, as PZ pointed out, doing a far better job pummeling Trump, McConnel, and the rest than the actual opposition party so they’ve been cheering them on.

  3. weylguy says

    Picture this possible (if not likely) scenario—Biden wins, the Democrats take the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi tells Americans that no legal or punitive actions will be taken against Donald Trump because Democrats just want to get on with the job of healing the country and moving on to more productive endeavors. For the next four years, the Democrats get bogged down dealing with the damage Trump and his GOP caused, and in 2024 the Republicans retake the Executive and Legislative houses under the leadership of an even more insane president.

    I say full steam ahead, Lincoln Project! Expose the GOP for what it is, anyway they can, and destroy the Republican Party once and for all.

  4. says

    I’m coming around more every day to the idea that the Democratic party will take over the ground previously occupied by the Republican party, while the GOP becomes an increasingly irrelevant rump, pandering to an ever shrinking reactionary base.

    That leaves a space for a new party, founded on anti-corporate and anti-elite politics, ignoring the antiquated left-right divide. The only question left is whether that can happen peacefully, or whether it requires a breakdown of the current system.

  5. says

    @Ian King

    I could definitely see that if the Dems continue to march to the right because many Millennials and Gen Z are closer to Bernie and AOC than they are Biden. If they can’t get progressives on the D ballots they might resort to forming their own party.

  6. says

    I appreciate the Lincoln Project for their work trashing the Angry Cheeto. I do not hold any illusions about the Lincoln Project being anything resembling a ally to progressives. I will gladly vote the straight AARON ticket (Aabsolutely All Rpublicans Out Now) for at least the next 20 or 40 years, presuming American democracy survives the election of 2020.

  7. 6ImpossibleThings says

    Principles without power are useless if we want to change the country and the world. If we have to compromise to achieve power, maybe we should consider being less dogmatic. I know that doesn’t go down well here, though!

  8. specialffrog says

    @6impossiblethings: you don’t have to compromise with everyone. The Lincoln project is not made up of moderates. These are all Reagan and Bush (I and II) people who want to pretend that “their” Republican Party was good.

  9. kingoftown says

    When you choices are between a guy who could comfortably fit into the UK Conservative party (though a little more openly rightwing on healthcare than most) and an actual fascist, the decision is obvious but your system is clearly broken.

    Kind of like Macron v LePen.

  10. mastmaker says

    I may be wrong, but IMO democrats are soft, precisely because of the relentless attack of faux news, and rw propaganda which have put them on defensive for the better part of 4 decades, and has certainly intensified many-fold during Gingrich & Carl Rove (then Hannity, Limbaugh et al took over). 25 years of being told “even to think of housing assistance or govt sponsored medical care is treason” can take its toll. Even when they controlled Presidency & both houses during 2008-10, they could do jack because they are mentally mush. The Overton window has been dragged so far right that Biden is a ‘left wing loony’ and the mere sight of Sanders can kill a RWNJ at 200ft.
    Have patience and keep electing democrats. We will eventually drag the window back to where it should be.
    Another possibility is (hope, dear friend, hope): Republican Party commits hara-kiri/made irrelevant, democrats are the conservatives and a new liberal party comes up as a superior alternative (AOC is the founding leader?). Till then, vote democrat. Build back there mental strength.

  11. rhebel says

    My analogy has been that the Lincoln project is the WWII Soviet Union, the US Military Echelon is the DNC and industrial military complex, an the progressives are the US boots on the ground. After the war is over, the other two entities are going to work to crush/suppress the progressives

  12. brucegee1962 says

    I think the best we can probably hope for after the next election is essentially a three-party system: a shattered Republican party on one side, down to perhaps a third of the total seats, made up of the remaining Trump crazies; the Progressive wing of the Democrats, up to another third; and the mainstream Dems in the center, representing the pre-Trump status quo, sometimes getting tugged in one direction and sometimes in the other. That isn’t the best scenario imaginable, but it’s probably the best that’s achievable, and it would be vastly better than what we’ve got.

  13. stuffin says

    While I love what The Lincoln is doing, I have kept myself detached from them, as should all lefties. I follow some blogs and there are Democrats (average people) who are donating to them. Now they have your (e)mail, after Trump is gone you will be subject to bombardment of their propaganda. We need to shield ourselves from these shysters.

  14. DexX says

    Cody and the small team behind the camera are amazing. I’ve been saying for years that Netflix needs to hire them to do a daily comedy news show as an antidote to the far right propaganda and spineless appeasers in the supposed “real” news.

  15. KG says

    a new party, founded on anti-corporate and anti-elite politics, ignoring the antiquated left-right divide – Ian King@4

    The claim that the left-right divide is antiquted is a piece of blithering nonsese, peddled by squishy “centrists” in order to prop up a status quo that sees the world on course for climate disaster. Parts of the right like to pretend to be anti-corporate and anti-elite, just as 1930s fascists did, but actual opposition to the corporate elite is only found on the left.

  16. numerobis says

    I’ve had plenty of conversations over the years with Republicans who told me what they were for… and it was basically what the Democratic Party actually does when it’s in power. And so these poor republicans were wondering who to vote for because they were wedded to the party, but the party wasn’t doing what they wanted.

    I never understood that of them. Why vote for a party’s name?

    This goes back to early Bush years.

  17. slapula says

    I’m all for keeping these guys at arm’s length for many many reasons but you have to look at the board and look at what costs that have yet to be paid. Let the Russians take Berlin. Getting Biden in office is only a small percentage of the battle yet to come.

  18. says

    The LP reeks of Reaganites trying to wrest back control of the republiclowns after Karl Rove put it in the hands of “the crazies” (as Rove himself termed them). Desperate to hang on to power, the Bush regime gave space to the mouth breathing bottom feeders, who then took over the party sheer numbers. It certainly wasn’t a Machiavellian take over of intellect and political manœuvering..

  19. jenorafeuer says

    @Intransitive, numerobis:
    I’ve been saying for years that things like the Tea Party (and then the Freedom Caucus, and then Donald Trump) were the natural result of decades of pandering to the proto-fascists, racists, evangelicals, etc., poisoning the well with regards to the other party, and playing to them to get their votes with no intentions of actually giving them what they wanted (because then they wouldn’t have any reason to continue voting for the panderers).

    After a couple of generations of that, now you’ve got the people who were pandered to and pissed off that they haven’t been getting what they were promised… and are old enough to take power themselves and take what they want, but with no willingness to compromise or work together, and no actual understanding of how the levers of power are supposed to work, that just makes them more frustrated and unhinged because they keep getting blocked from their holy quest.

    The echo chamber became a pressure cooker, and it has exploded all over the cooks, who are too busy trying to keep themselves clean to stop it from continuing to boil over.

    This goes back to Nixon… not just his rise with the Southern Strategy, but his fall. When you get right down to it, a lot of the modern right-wing media machine started because many of Nixon’s supporters blamed the media for his downfall (rather than the horrible and unconstitutional things he did) and set about building their own media so they’d be able to get away with it next time…

  20. raven says

    A few have already mentioned this.

    There was a GOP Civil War between the Reagan/Business wing and the Tea Party/fundie xian crazies over the last few decades.
    The Reagan/Business wing lost big time!!!

    The Lincoln project is just the losers trying to take back their party.
    It’s unlikely to work.

    What is happening is that the crazies wing of the GOP is getting stronger and even more extreme.
    The up and coming GOP candidates believe in pointless fantasies like Qanon, health problems due to sex with demons, Covid-19 virus is a hoax, the Flat Earth, and the government is controlled by the Illuminati which are really deep state UFO Reptilian Shapeshifters.
    When you have untied your ship and sailed away from Realityland, you can believe in anything no matter how weird or pointless it is (crank magnetism).

  21. Ishikiri says

    @mastmaker, #10:

    “Another possibility is (hope, dear friend, hope): Republican Party commits hara-kiri/made irrelevant, democrats are the conservatives and a new liberal party comes up as a superior alternative (AOC is the founding leader?).”

    If enough disaffected Republicans cross the aisle, I could see a socialist or social democratic party eventually splitting off from the Democrats. But it’s going to depend on how well we continue to get involved in Democratic primary elections, organize, and support parallel structures to the Democratic Party establishment like the DSA and the Justice Democrats. But whether the party moves left or schisms will incidental to the struggle for social and economic justice.

  22. raven says

    Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities”

    The GOP is already controlled by those who “can make you believe in absurdities.
    Or rather, those who do, in fact, believe in absurdities.

    It remains to be seen, if those who believe in absurdities, can and will in fact, commit atrocities.
    Just because Voltaire said it, and it sounds good, doesn’t mean that it is true.

    Hmmm, let’s see.
    Bush II did start the Iraq war, a pointless invasion that killed 5,000 or so Americans and a few hundred thousand Iraqis while making things worse in the middle east. An atrocity.
    Trump/GOP did completely fail to do anything about the Covid-19 pandemic and so far, our economy is sick, 30 million people are unemployed, and 155,000 Americans are dead. And there is no end in sight for this pamdemic yet. Another atrocity.

    OK, what is behind Door #3???
    It could be the next atrocity and we might find out the hard way again.

  23. unclefrogy says

    I think that tthe troubles took a bad turn after Nixon resigned.
    For reasons of safety and the rational that the country should be spared from the turmoil that would result ford pardoned Nixon.
    We have ever since then shied away from taking the steps really necessary to get back to the rule of law. That has led to the increasingly executive branch. We have not really trusted our founding principles very deeply it appears. That has led us to thee place we are now with agent orange and his boot licking Bar and the rest of his fellow travelers in charge of screwing the country.
    uncle frogy

  24. says

    sez Marcus Ranum @26: “The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. Sometimes they’re just another enemy.”

    Agreed. But as long as the Lincoln Project is willing to put in some effort to torpedo their own party’s candidate, I’m willing to let them be Useful Idiots for progressives.

  25. F.O. says

    The system we “western democracies” have ensures that people who care more about power than facts and principles get to the top.
    If you allow people to get rich, they can buy the media and can buy the laws
    It’s a necessity, it’s inevitable.

    Post fall of the USSR, without the threat of communism, no liberal democracy succeeded in reducing income inequality.

    By any means, vote to keep fascism away (really, please do vote), but don’t expect that voting will solve any other problem.

    Kind of like Macron v LePen.

    Kind of like every country in Europe.

  26. Reginald Selkirk says

    Scott Walker, other budget hawks hatch plan to force constitutional convention

    WASHINGTON — GOP activists want to trigger a constitutional convention with the goal of enacting a federal balanced budget amendment, potentially requiring massive cuts to government spending…

    Wow, what a great time for that.
    It reminds me of how W talked about privatizing Social Security, and the stock market belched almost immediately. At least W had the sense to shut up about it after that.

  27. flange says

    Don’t forget who comprises the Lincoln Project: The same thugs who got GW Bush elected, pushed the Iraq “War”, enabled him through eight years of lying, dismantling government agencies, and misery for citizens.
    These people in the Lincoln Project have not changed, nor will they change, nor will they go away if someone other than Trump is elected.
    They are not our friends. They need to be used, and flushed.

  28. tommynottimmy says

    I don’t understand people giving them money. I can support just about anything that helps get Drumpf out, but why would liberals give money to rich conservatives? They have plenty of funds, give to progressives that actually need support.

  29. robro says

    On the one hand I’m all for it. Any dissing of Humpty Dumpty is fine by me. I wouldn’t trust the LP to run a toilet service at Burning Man, but that’s another story. And, no, I don’t donate to any political operations. I have in the past and now I delete dozens of emails every day.

    The part that I find difficult to square is the Conways. George is a founding member of the LP, and a vocal critic of 45. Kellyanne is working away for the boss, and even defending him against George’s allegations. Difficult to imagine how they leave those differences at the door when they get home at night. If it’s working, that’s some solid life-work separation for you. (And I see no indication that they are living separately.)

    The fact that fifteen-year-old Claudia Conway is Twitter trolling dTrumpf and her mom is more believable, but still you gotta wonder what’s the reality behind these reality stars.

  30. hillaryrettig says

    Why don’t the Democrats know that?

    Well, that one’s easy: they’re being bribed by their corporate and billionaire donors not to know it. A zillion examples out there, but just consider the the DNC refused to change the debate rules so candidates like Castro could stay in the debates, but changed them immediately for Bloomberg.

    Today’s Democrats are to the right of yesterday’s Republicans. Consider that Nixon created the EPA, whereas Pelosi mocked the Green New Deal.

    Speaking of which, an out-of-it sounding Bill Clinton just admitted that the primary was indeed rigged, and by whom:

  31. npsimons says

    @27, cubist: But as long as the Lincoln Project is willing to put in some effort to torpedo their own party’s candidate, I’m willing to let them be Useful Idiots for progressives.

    I had the same thought, but let us not make the same mistake they once did: once the “useful idiot” has been used, dismantle them, otherwise it will come back to bite you, hard. I can all too easily imagine Lincoln Project, having played a strong hand in defeating Trump, turning around and flinging shit at every progressive to come along. All too easy to imagine. Once they take care of Trump, get rid of them.

  32. says

    @#3, weylguy:

    The only thing unlikely about that scenario is Democrats actually trying to undo the damage Trump has done. After GWB, that’s what they said they were going to do — but what we got was Bush’s tax cuts made permanent, Bush’s PATRIOT Act made permanent, Bush’s DHS and ICE entrenched and expanded, Bush’s proposed Total Information Awareness program put into action (but under another name), those “thousands of shovel-ready projects” evanesced, no prosecutions for anybody who caused the meltdown, attempts to prolong the Iraq war and no end to the Afghanistan one, attempts to overthrow the government of Syria, cooperation with the far right to overthrow the government of Brazil (see the recent revelations about “Operation Car Wash”)… Biden has always been even further to the right than Obama, he has always been a “law and order” candidate who was not at all hesitant to collude with the furthest-right of Republicans (he was buddies with Strom Thurmond and they both promoted school segregation, he was buddies with Reagan and pushed him to the right on crime and drug policy, you can’t make this sh*t up). If and when he gets into office, the naked police state we’re seeing Trump try to put into place will continue to be constructed, because that’s what Biden has been working towards his whole life and the other Democrats really don’t mind authoritarian evil as long as they think they’ll be in charge. This is a problem that has been decades in the making, and the Democrats are not “the good guys” — most of them aren’t even neutral, look at the way they just voted to give Trump an even bigger military budget explicitly at the expense of social programs.

    Everybody who supports Biden, at all, in any way, or any of the other people who made that recent vote, can go sit on a spike and spin, because you are awful human beings and deserve no more mercy than the Republicans you despise.

  33. John Morales says


    The only thing unlikely about that scenario is Democrats actually trying to undo the damage Trump has done.

    Well, you sure are thematic. Not the damage Republicans who have aided, abetted, enabled, and exonerated (remember the impeachment?) Trump all the way did, just what Trump himself did.

    (Just because the Republicans not only will try not to undo it, but actively endorsed his so doing, is no reason for you to advocate against them when you can advocate against the Democratic Party instead)

    Everybody who supports Biden, at all, in any way [is bad]

    You are also so very, very predictable. You have form, years’ worth of it. Consistently.
    But at least you’ve moved on from Hillary and Obama, so that’s some progress.

    But sure, you exhort people to not support the only actual viable opponent Trump has.

    As you always have, and will always do.

    (Gob forbid a Democratic candidate gets elected over Trump!)

  34. unclefrogy says

    those on the left can do nothing at all about the Lincoln Project
    it is solely within the republican party. They will do what they do anyway. I find it kind of reassuring that agent orange is also disliked by conservatives so much that they go very public about it, not enough yet but a step in the right direction.
    It is one of the results of Him not being a politician but just a con-man, a con-man does not have to please everyone he just has to fool the mark where as a politician tries to convince everyone that he is what they want. A very different thing after the sale the con-man is fuck you I’m gone, the politician is busy trying to keep all of his constituents appeased at least all the time any way he can.
    uncle frogy

  35. says

    sez npsimons @34: “I can all too easily imagine Lincoln Project, having played a strong hand in defeating Trump, turning around and flinging shit at every progressive to come along. All too easy to imagine. Once they take care of Trump, get rid of them.”

    While I don’t disagree with your sentiment at all, I do have a question: How do you propose that progressives “get rid of” the Lincoln Project?

  36. Rob Grigjanis says

    The Vicar reminds me of Claudius in Robert Graves’ Claudius the God. Claudius is near the end of his life, with his hopes for a restoration of the Republic dashed. He writes, with bitter resignation to the idea that things must get much worse before they can get better;

    Rome is fated to bow to another Caesar.
    Let him be mad, bloody, capricious, wasteful, lustful.
    King Stork shall prove again the nature of kings.

    By dulling the blade of tyranny I fell into great error.
    By whetting the same blade I might redeem that error.
    Violent disorders call for violent remedies.

    Yet I am, I must remember Old King Log.
    I shall float inertly in the stagnant pool.
    Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

    Of course, Graves said it much better. And just the once. But I think the last line sums up The Vicar’s nasty philosophical outlook rather well.

  37. logicalcat says

    The Vicar: “i think anyone who supports biden is a terrible human being”.

    Also the vicar: “i think id rather support trump”.

  38. fishy says

    Where were they during the Mueller investigation?
    Where were they during impeachment?
    They don’t rant about issues. They rant about Trump.
    Who doesn’t?

  39. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    No. The Lincoln Project Republicans are not friends. However, it is my fervent, though perhaps fond hope that the Republicans supporting the project go on to perhaps become worthy enemies. We need good enemies lest our arguments and policies become dull and repetitive.
    Hopefully, they will reject the strategy of lying through their teeth that the party has embraced all too closely ever since Newtie Gingrich. As I said, it’s a fond hope.

  40. Devious Brownies says

    As the saying goes, “my enemy’s enemy has their own agenda!”

    Well, actually it doesn’t, but it should.

  41. stroppy says

    @ 44
    Yeah, it’s nice to see that there is a least one or two points of common ground there. Sure they’re Republicans. This is hardly news. Rather than making the Lincoln Project the latest shiny distraction to hate on, I’m inclined to give them a point for doing something right for once, and leave them to it… for now.

  42. stroppy says

    @ 43

    Who doesn’t?

    Trump is an issue, actually a bundle of issues, and he has a scary lot of support from Republican voters who think he’s great.

    We’re talking about people whose thinking is based wholly on Republican doctrine, they need to have that disrupted and it has to come from other Republicans. They’d rather die than listen to it from liberals.

  43. nomaduk says

    @41: The problem is, Claudius was basically right. Someone else wrote something about this basic issue:-

    ‘[…] mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.’

  44. Pierce R. Butler says

    hillaryrettig @ # 33 – Your twit-link has nothing to do with Clintons or primaries. Try again?

  45. says

    it is incoherent to believe that Trump and Trumpianism pose a singular, fascistic threat to the body politic and then turn down (lower case) liberal alliances because their underlying ideology diverges from yours.

    It is almost as if you don’t believe what you claim about the Lincoln Project or Trump or both.

  46. says


    The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.

    Oh for the love of fuck, these pricks just object to Trump on aesthetic grounds, you fucking child. They’re just as transphobic and racist and milk-thieving as him, they just want someone more polite, you idiot. You can’t have respected enemies like that, not if your politics are anything other then aesthetic.


    It’s not just republican mayors setting the cops on folks.

  47. says


    Captain Jeep-Eep

    If the LP is as “transphobic and racist and milk-thieving as him [Trump]” then Trump isn’t a singular threat but instead just a particular;y garish representation of dominant ideology of the US. And given that way over half of the electorate supports that ideology you are implying electoral politics are fruitless.


  48. unclefrogy says

    I will admit that the LP may represent a dominant ideology but if you take into consideration the 2016 election and the 2018 election that dominance looks to me to be a political dominance and does not clearly represent the ideology of the population as a whole and is fighting an almost entirely defensive struggle to maintain that ideology which is on many fronts clearly showing signs of failing.

    uncle frogy

  49. logicalcat says

    Cant believe I didnt see thus video earlier. It pisses me off because the never trump republicans are litteraly doing the thing I wanted leftists to do with the democratoc party. We are missing our chance, probably already missed it. Once again the right wing understand the system better than those who are technically morally correct.