The Lincoln Project, in yet another desperate bid to cling tenaciously to any shred of relevancy, put out an advertisement making some questionable claims about its archnemesis, former President Donald Trump. The lie was so egregious that even a decidedly left-wing activist media outlet fact-checked it. After a series of humiliating public missteps, the confab of anti-Trumpers has seen its influence plummet. Will this group ever be able to claw back what little clout it had when it first emerged on the political scene?
Lincoln Project Swings and Misses
The Lincoln Project aired a commercial on a local Fox cable channel in Bedminster, NJ, where Trump’s summer home is located. The ad, on Sept. 8, focused on how the former president denied the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The video voiceover said: “Trump told you the election was stolen to rip you off, to sucker you, to take your hard-earned money and shovel it into his pockets. He spent it on himself, not to take back the White House.”
The ad appears to be a reference to the email campaigns with which Trump solicits donations from his supporters. “After the raid on his home in Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s email campaigning brought in millions of dollars,” according to Business Insider. In a statement, Reed Galen, Lincoln Project co-founder, said Trump “spun his supporters into a frenzy with total disregard for what it means for the nation,” claiming that “Trump’s supporters are threatening violence and trying to subvert our free and fair elections while he keeps raising money and ‘living large.’”
The commercial concluded by telling viewers: “It was the biggest scam in political history. Every dollar you sent him paid to keep his shady business empire and lavish lifestyle going. It was a sucker game all along. And you know who the sucker is? You.”
Trump issued a scathing response on Truth Social, threatening to sue Fox News and savaging the Lincoln Project. “The Perverts and Lowlifes of the Lincoln Project are back on, where else, Fox News. I thought they ran away to the asylum after their last catastrophic campaign, with charges made against them that were big time sleaze, and me getting many more votes in 2020 than I got in 2016,” he wrote. “The Perverts should not be allowed to ‘false advertise,’ and Fox news should not allow it to happen,” the former president continued, concluding, “See you all in Court!!!”
Rick Wilson, who has been fuming since Trump turned him and his ilk into mere relics of the old guard, escalated the exchange by cutting a video in which he taunted the object of his nightmares. “Go for it! Go for it, b-tch,” he said. “Come at me. I can’t wait. We’re delighted by the thought you would try to sue us, Donald.” But, as always, there was a fatal flaw in the narrative being spun by the Lincoln Project and its cronies. A prominent left-leaning Washington newspaper looked into the financial records of Trump’s political action committees and found no evidence that the donations they received went to “keep his shady business empire and lavish lifestyle going,” as the gaggle of grifters claimed.
Debunked, But Not Deterred
This is not the first time the Lincoln Project has beclowned itself. Indeed, the New Jersey commercial is the latest in a series of incidents in which Orange Man Bad Inc. has been caught attempting to deceive the public. You might remember last year’s Virginia gubernatorial race in which Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The group paid people to pose in front of one of Youngkin’s buses carrying tiki torches to create a scene reminiscent of the Charlottesville white nationalist rally that ended up with a counter-protester being murdered by one of the participants.
At first, the activist media exploited the appearance of these supposed white supremacists. But after the hoax was exposed, the Lincoln Project admitted it had concocted the whole affair. The group justified the farce by claiming it “was our way of reminding Virginians what happened in Charlottesville four years ago, the Republican Party’s embrace of those values, and Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn it.”
The organization also has come under fire for the questionable handling of its finances. Indeed, the Associated Press reported that more than half of its funding had been allocated to consulting firms owned and operated by the Lincoln Project’s leaders.
In the end, this ad won’t do much to further the group’s anti-Trump agenda; the Lincoln Project has about as much influence over the conservative base as Rev. Al Sharpton does over the Ku Klux Klan. When Trump came onto the scene, he essentially banished the neocon establishment to the annals of ancient GOP history. To put it simply, the base has moved on from these individuals and is no longer interested in their TDS-infused meanderings.
But even worse than the project’s apparent irrelevancy is the reality that it has no idea what effective messaging looks like. This ad is yet another perfect example. The fact that the group of malcontents believed it could turn people away from Trump by calling them “suckers” goes to show precisely why nobody listens to it.
Will the Lincoln Project ever fade into the background? It is not a question of “if” as much as “when.” Once it has outlived its supposed usefulness, it will disappear like CNN Plus. But in the meantime, we can at least enjoy the endless entertainment its hijinks provide.