The Lincoln Project

This might be the greatest/funniest political ad I’ve ever seen. While I don’t like the people behind the Lincoln Project, their ads against Trump have just been killer:

They’re not trying to take down Trump. They’re trying to make people on the left believe that not all Republicans are fascists. They do not differ from Trump on any policy whatsoever. They are simply embarrassed by Trump the person. They want a more presentable old white guy to enact the same exact policies. If they are really anti-Trump, they should just become Democrats. Otherwise, we should not allow this PR campaign to absolve them of the guilt of their complicity.


Who said anything about absolving them of their guilt? They make effective ads.

Also, without wanting to get into a political discussion, especially in this thread which isn’t about politics, to say

is just flat out wrong. They may never be Democrats, they may never be Liberals or Progressives, but there’s still a difference between Trumpers and Never Trumpers. Like everything else in life, politics isn’t either/or Black/White. It’s possible to not be a Democrat and still be against Trump.

Quoting some random schmo on Twitter doesn’t make you right.

I don’t want to defend Republicans, but when you make statements like that, which are just wrong, I end up having to do that, which makes me feel dirty.

Suffice it to say that you’re wrong, random dude on Twitter is wrong, and there are multiple Republican organizations out there who are trying to get Trump out of office, not because he embarrasses them, but because he goes against their Republican beliefs.

And while I’m not a Republican, and I don’t like the Lincoln Project people or the Republican Voters Against Trump, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, at least for now.


Simple enough. Hypothetically speaking, a Lincoln Project approved Republican becomes president. Name one thing Trump has done that they would not approve of, one bill they would or would not veto that Trump did or did not.

Anything involving Russia

Anything involving DACA

Giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh.

Pardoning Joe Arpaio

Pardoning Eddie Gallagher of war crimes

Cancelling H-1B Visas

I could go on, but you’re capable of using Google.


Must not be any Lincoln Project members in congress then. Even though they may not have the power to stop all of those things, like the pardons, they sure haven’t done much to speak against Trump, and definitely haven’t voted against any of those things.

Here’s the difference as I see it:

Trump - ruin the post office because conspiracy theory about voting fraud! Also so I can win!

Lincoln Project - ruin the post office because government owned things is socialism! (also to help us win the election, but we don’t say that)

They are not fighting to change any policy. They just don’t like Trump saying the quiet part out load.

This is why I hate arguing with you Scott. Because most of the time you have no idea what you’re talking about and you don’t even have the self-awareness to realize that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

You ask me to list examples and just off the top of my head, within about 30 seconds, I list six, and two of them are so broad (Russia and DACA) that they could count as probably 10 more examples between them.

But instead of just letting things end there, you move the goal posts. Classic.

Of course there aren’t any Lincoln Project members in Congress. No Republican in Congress is a Never Trumper. If they were Never Trumpers, they would have lost the 2018 mid-terms and would have lost the 2020 primaries. That being said, Justin Amash is so disgusted with Trump and the Republican Party that he became an independent. Mitt Romney thought what Trump did with Ukraine was so wrong that he voted for impeachment. I’m in no way a fan of Justin Amash, but I admire him sticking to his principles, even if I disagree with them.

What proof do you have of this other than your misinformed opinion and some random guy on Twitter?


When your enemy chooses to fight among themselves you let them and support the groups that most help your overall position. This is basic art of war stuff A division between the trump right and the center right would lead to massive gains by the left. If the left/center left stays united.


The Lincoln Project appears to be very capably peeling the ignorant white center away from Trump in key states. We should let them continue to do so until the day after the election.

Then we turn on them. No rehabilitation for any Republican. Never. Not one.


All y’all liberals are getting taken for a ride by the Lincoln Project. They produce feel good #resistance videos that are aimed more at making white democrats feel good about themselves rather than any real politically effective ads. There is zero proof they are moving the needle at all. The point of them IS rehabilitation.

The Lincoln Project’s own tactics suggest that the PAC’s strategists know that they have little chance of persuading anyone. Their audience is liberals who are delighted to see Republicans roast the president. Instead, they have focused on attracting the ire of the president—which, in turn, brings in attention and money—airing advertisements at night on Fox News in Washington, D.C., in the hopes of getting the president’s attention.

Galen’s comments to Politico are also telling. The Lincoln Project wants a stake in Biden’s 2020 victory. Its various manifestos make large, unverifiable claims: It will win over Republicans, its ads are giving Biden “freedom of movement” to do something or other. If Biden wins, it would not be surprising for the group to claim a modicum of credit—and also to claim that it speaks for the Republicans (and perhaps even moderate Democrats) who backed the former vice president. Even though these voters appear to be statistically insignificant, one could easily imagine a future in which the Lincoln Project is using its claim to speak for moderates to lobby the Biden administration against health care expansion or a rise in the corporate tax rate—which will surely put it on the same side as all the Republican politicians who have enabled Trump’s rise.


A real normal democracy under normal capitalism happening here lol.

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It’s weird because as much as I’d love to just destroy the Republican Party, that is not something we can do within even 10 years. American politics is built on partisan infrastructure such that we’re pretty much stuck with these two power structures until States adopt new methods of voting (which I’m a long standing advocate of and am looking forward to voting into Massachusetts in November, but also isn’t something we can expect to happen quickly). If there was a way for these structures to be destroyed any other way it would’ve been done any number of the times it has been tried in the last 150 years.

What we have to do is change what the GOP stands for. The problem with the Lincoln Project is that they are fine with an alliance with White Nationalists as long as they’re the minority of the party, which is bad for so many reasons I don’t feel I need to explain here. The values and figures the Lincoln Project hearkens back to are the ones that had alliances with White Nationalism, in some cases quite deliberately so that they could take that demographic away from the divided Democrats of the 1950s and 60s. I’m not against GOP Rehabilitation conceptually, but it needs to be a reexamination of what they did such that their voters would be okay with someone like Trump, which I haven’t seen the Lincoln Project doing.

This is more than an abstract problem. There are a considerable number of “Reagan Democrats” who jumped onto the GOP once Reagan found a pitch for Nixonian policy that resonated (although Nixonian domestic policy was largely a mix of Goldwater and Reagan’s early political career). A lot of these people lost faith in the party when it was revealed Bush lied about WMDs to invade Iraq but are still nostalgic for that 80s/early 90s Republican pitch.

I don’t really have an answer for what to do about this. It’s a common theme in American politics to see political disaster (which frequently leads to massive suffering and sometimes just straight up human rights violations) as a problem with certain individuals rather than the core ideas. Without going WAY back to my bread and butter as is basically cliche now, Nixon’s policy in 1968 was mostly based on Goldwater, who had been an unmitigated loss just 4 years earlier but people decided it was the messaging not the content. Nixon’s disaster was also decided to be messaging not the content as Reagan became even more iconic than before in 1980, not long after Nixon. It’s REALLY hard to not see this as inevitable as the changes to messaging rather than values usually works for the right wing. I can’t bring myself to believe that it’s impossible to refute the core of the GOP from 1964 to 2010 but I also don’t know how to do it.


You forgot the part where the Lincoln Project has promised to spend “tens of millions of dollars in swing states through Election Day, focused on turning GOP voters against Trump and on Senate races.” They also plan on a “major expenditure on communicating with voters about vote-by-mail,” something which is even more important now with the Coronavirus going on. They also are preparing to “oppose efforts by GOP senators to obstruct and stymie Biden’s agenda, should he win the presidency.”

We’ll see if they follow through with all of that, but they’re more than just airing ads. Their declared mission is “defeating Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box.” That includes a pledge to elect Democrats over Republicans who, like Trump, do not “support the Constitution.”

Again, like Cremlian and Rym wrote, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Their ads are effective at pissing Trump off, making him respond to them and making him look even worse. Their ads are also effective with the Obama 2012/Trump 2016 voters as well as the white suburban women who held their nose and voted for Trump in 2016 because they couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

“Sarah Longwell, founder of Republican Voters Against Trump, has taken a different tack. Her group has collected hundreds of testimonials from 2016 Trump voters who are planning to vote for Biden in 2020 and is using the $13 million it has raised — a droplet in the sea of campaign spending — to air them in swing states.”

"Her research shows that what people found persuasive was real voices, uncut, not produced ads. She’s specifically targeting past Trump supporters (especially suburban women) with voices from people in the same state.

"What’s she hearing? Things like, “I voted for Trump in 2016 and I cried and I felt I needed to take a shower” or “I’ve been watching him since I voted for him and I just can’t stand how divisive he is.”

“There became this myth about Trump that his base is so strong and locked in and they loved him,” she says. “I knew that wasn’t true and it wasn’t true for a long time, and that there were a lot of people out there that could be persuaded if the Democrat wasn’t objectionable to them. I knew that Bernie Sanders was never going to fly with these people, but Joe Biden had always surfaced as somebody in our research that if it was him, there was a bunch of people who could be persuaded to vote for him.”

"This approach is not a knock on the Lincoln Project, Longwell says — ultimately, they’re all working for the same goal.

“And that goal, says conservative commentator Rick Tyler, means alliances with ideological opponents are important in the short term — especially with voters who feel left behind by today’s Republican Party. “There’s no philosophy,” he says. “There’s no belief. There’s no core. It’s just about Trump and his popularity.” The value of the Lincoln Project is that it keeps reminding voters of all persuasions why Trump shouldn’t be reelected.”


Who the F cares what the Lincoln project wants after the election. If we don’t win, it doesn’t matter, if we win, they can try and use whatever influence they have but really they will be without a party and without Trump to hammer on they will have lost momentum and earned the disdain of the party they seek to reform. … After the election, the Lincoln project will most likely be shifting towards reforming the republican party. if they succeed that’s cool, if they don’t the republican party will be split in a pretty serious internal conflict. These folks didn’t become democrats, they could have changed registration but they didn’t, they are looking to destroy the modern Republican party and reform it and we should allow them to wage that war while the left focuses on reforming our system given the clear limitations we have all witnessed.

It should be noted that we’ll probably need a few moderate republican votes to get certain things done even if we remove the filibuster. We’ll also need some states that lean pretty conservative to have moderate republican wings like Kansas to help push back on the crazy ass conservatives.


Hey, if y’all want to defend a propaganda outlet with no political relevance that brings in a ton of money to a bunch of people who enabled or actively participated in an administration heavily entrenched in war crimes, more power to you.

I’m not personally going to get in the way or weaken a organization that is actively trying to take down the same people I am. Seems counter productive. If they change their targets to people on the left, sure, but they show every indication of being focused on burning their party to the ground. Trying to appeal to people who otherwise might sit out and support no one. If they made some entertaining anti-trump ads more power to them.


The Lincoln Project is actively dangerous to any real political effort to build an anti-capitalist coalition that can actually save this country :slight_smile:


This is exactly what I was afraid of and was trying to avoid.

And for the record, it’s still a damn funny ad.

This should’ve been moved to the nuance thread since it’s another conversation on the internet without any.