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Tags 2020 elections , George Conway , PACs , republican party , Rick Wilson , steve schmidt , The Lincoln Project

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Old 30th July 2020, 02:20 PM   #1
Donal
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The Lincoln Project and the future of the GOP

I've mentioned my lukewarm feelings towards the Lincoln Project before, but I wanted to get some more insight.

Who they are: The Lincoln Project is a PAC founded by a group of current and former Republican party members who have declared themselves anti-trump. They started out by dedicating themselves to his defeat in the 2020 election and have expanded that to include his supporters in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Their founders include Republican operatives like Steve Schmidt, George Conway, and Rick Wilson. The group consists of Republican strategists, media spokespeople, and various people who have either worked on campaigns or within the party itself.

What are they doing: They are collecting lots and lots of money to run ads attacking Trump on various topics. Whether it's on his disastrous economic policies, his seemingly intentional attempts to inflame racial tensions, or his awful handling of the coronavirus, they have ads stripping him down. They are also attacking Republican Senators up for re-election and backing their Democratic opponents.

Who likes them: Establishement Republicans. The people who couldn't muster enough support in their own party to beat him in the 2016 primaries.

Political commentators i nthe media. the same people who had no idea how to handle Trump in 2016 and basically handed him a billion dollars in free advertising in 2016.

Centrist and establishment Democrats. The folks who blew a seemingly slam dunk general election against Trump in 2016.

Anyone seeing a pattern?

Who hates them: You know who. It seems that, if nothing else, their commercials are great for getting under his skin. They can needle him in ways an actual political opponent can't.

My problems with them:

1) For starters, I'm not a fan of the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" line of thinking. We've seen that blow up before. Ya, Trump is obviously the bigger threat right now, but that brings me to my next point.

2) They are a big part of how we got into this mess. They laid the ground work for the rise of Trump by waging wars on the institutions that were supposed to protect us from his brand of psuedo populism. Public education, higher learning, unions, government itself. Their strategies to turn the American populace against our own self interests mad eus distrustful of the very foundations of our society. Their unabashed love for Ronald "Southern Strategy" Reagan kind of drives this home. A handful of these guys were in W's ear when the invasion of Iraq started. And they don't seem to have an ounce of remorse over any of it. In fact,

3) They are trying to pull the Democrats further to the right and shape them into a new Republican party. They don't seem to have any actual remorse for the damage they have caused and instead are trying to drown out progressive voices. In essence, Republicans are trying to shut Democrats out of the Democratic party. they are pretty open about how they still maintain "Conservatice principles", whatever that means anymore, and are still pretty derisive when it comes to actual Democratic platforms and ideas. This wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact they are trying to leverage their assumed influence on voters to change the Democratic party. Which goes to my next point.

4) Just how effective are they? I mean, the commercials are great. I can't front. "Mourning in America" hits home emotionally. But, the Pod Save America guys have been doing a series on political ads and they have mentioned that just because an ad is memorable or emotional, doesn't mean it is effective. It should fit in with an over al lstrategy. My wife is a marketing director and has said similar things. She points to how much companies spend on SuperBowl ads. They used to be huge productions that took multiple spots. Now, not so much. It seems big production ads are like a mediocre laugh track sitcom. They might trigger a response in the moment, but you totally forget it five minutes later. I've tried to look for any sort of polling about their ads, but haven't found anything.

Also, it seems most of their ad plays are online. If they are supposed to be getting white, older, middle class voters in swing states, is that really where you run the ads? I know they have run them on TV, but it seems they aren't doing it very frequently. We watch then news a lot these days (probably too much) and I'm seeing those Trump ads where America has collapsed into anarchy way more than any Lincoln Project ad. Granted, I am in a safe blue state.

The finance stuff I won't say much about since I don't know anything about starting a PAC, so their burn could be very similar to a tech startup's.

I'm not suspicious of them because they aren't ideologically pure or anything. It wouldn't bother me if they stuck to the "true conservatives against Trump" shtick. My issues are their influence-peddling and how they seem to refuse to acknowledge that Trump is their monster. They are being given way more screen time and money than I think they actually deliver on. They aren't just Republican in ideals or ideology. they are Republican in sleezy tactics.
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Old 30th July 2020, 02:35 PM   #2
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I see their ads on youtube. They are very mean to Donald Trump. I like them.
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Old 30th July 2020, 02:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I see their ads on youtube. They are very mean to Donald Trump. I like them.
I like the ads, but the people? Meh.
I got about half-way through Rick Wilson's Everything Trump Touches Dies before giving up. He spent several decades getting the party to where Trump could take it over and NOW he's unhappy?
Where was he when elected Republicans were proclaiming the President of the USA to be a Kenyan Marxist Atheist Muslim? When Dick Cheney's minions were outing a CIA a agent for telling the truth? When John Kerry was being dishonestly swift-boated? When his party became the party of borrowing money and giving it to rich people? Right behind them cheering them on, that's where.
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Old 30th July 2020, 03:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
1) For starters, I'm not a fan of the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" line of thinking. We've seen that blow up before. Ya, Trump is obviously the bigger threat right now, but that brings me to my next point.
You're right... the enemy of your enemy isn't necessarily a friend.

I guess the question is... how exactly can it blow up? Either Trump wins (and the group probably disappears), or Biden wins, in which case they may pat themselves on the back, but apart from that how exactly would they benefit? Its not like they are getting control of the Democrats.
Quote:
2) They are a big part of how we got into this mess.
I agree.. they did in many ways set the stage for the rise of Trump.

But maybe they learned the error of their ways. Or maybe we should recognize that there is some value in diversity of political opinions. Its certainly possible that someone might 1) not be an asshat, and 2) still support a political agenda that leans slightly to the right.

[quore]3) They are trying to pull the Democrats further to the right and shape them into a new Republican party.[/quote]
I am sure they like the fact that Biden is a moderate Democrat. (And maybe they wouldn't be so active if Sanders or Warren had won the nomination.)

Not really sure how they are 'pulling' the democrats though. They put out ads damaging to Trump. They aren't demanding Biden reverse his plans to raise business taxes or ignore global warming.
Quote:
4) Just how effective are they?
Well, how effective are ANY political ads?

Politicians spend millions/billions on their own ads during each election cycle, so they must think political ads have value. So how does it differ if the ad comes from The Lincoln Project, another pro-Biden PAC, or the Democrats themselves?

Quote:
Also, it seems most of their ad plays are online. If they are supposed to be getting white, older, middle class voters in swing states, is that really where you run the ads? I know they have run them on TV, but it seems they aren't doing it very frequently.
Maybe they are limited by budgetary constraints? Or they are just careful with their targeting, and you don't see them often because you're not in an area they want to cover with ads? (You said you were in a 'safe blue state' so its possible they don't run them there.)

From: NBC News
The Lincoln Projectís latest spot is part of a broader $4 million buy focused on Maine, Alaska, and Montana with the Alaska and Montana ads backing Democratic challengers to the statesí GOP incumbent senators.
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Old 30th July 2020, 04:00 PM   #5
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I think the phenomenon you are seeing is part of the new structure of US politics. It is not so much Democrats vs. Republicans as it is now Establishment vs. Populism. The Establishment can be happy with either party in power, so they are really spread across both parties. They control the things that are important to them:

1. Totally free trade to maximize multinational corporation profits with no regard for fair trade when dealing with currency manipulation, child/prisoner labor, or extreme environmental pollution. This is basic Neoliberalism which also includes privatization and deregulation.

2. The Neo-conservatism of endless wars, regime change and nation building.

3. Having a preference for globalization at the expense of the nation, borders, etc.

To keep the voters fooled into thinking they have a choice, a small set of relatively unimportant but highly emotional issues are kept divided among the Democrats and Republicans.

One unfortunate thing is that this establishment machine has taken over the center and made it extremely hard for a centrist populist candidate to succeed. We are currently stuck with right wing populism (Trump) or left-wing populism (Sanders) type candidates.
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Old 30th July 2020, 05:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
1) For starters, I'm not a fan of the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" line of thinking. We've seen that blow up before. Ya, Trump is obviously the bigger threat right now, but that brings me to my next point.
Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
You're right... the enemy of your enemy isn't necessarily a friend.
Nonetheless when your enemy

1. Is wrecking your country's economy (and lying about it)
2. Is clearly and openly stoking division and racial hatred (and lying about it)
3. Is showing callous disregard for the pandemic deaths of over 150,000 of your countrymen, (and touting dangerous, cures that do not work)
4. Has turned a blind eye to a hostile nation paying bounties to kill your fellow countrymen (and claiming he knew nothing about it)
5. Has used his handpicked, corrupt AG to help his personal friends avoid justice (and lied about it)
6. Has endorsed and encouraged the use of extreme violence and firearms against unarmed, peaceful protestors (and lied about it)

Then the enemy of your enemy might not be your friend, but he at least is the lesser of two evils!
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Old 30th July 2020, 05:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Nonetheless when your enemy

1. Is wrecking your country's economy (and lying about it)
2. Is clearly and openly stoking division and racial hatred (and lying about it)
3. Is showing callous disregard for the pandemic deaths of over 150,000 of your countrymen, (and touting dangerous, cures that do not work)
4. Has turned a blind eye to a hostile nation paying bounties to kill your fellow countrymen (and claiming he knew nothing about it)
5. Has used his handpicked, corrupt AG to help his personal friends avoid justice (and lied about it)
6. Has endorsed and encouraged the use of extreme violence and firearms against unarmed, peaceful protestors (and lied about it)

Then the enemy of your enemy might not be your friend, but he at least is the lesser of two evils!
Nommed.
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Old 30th July 2020, 07:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Nonetheless when your enemy

1. Is wrecking your country's economy (and lying about it)
2. Is clearly and openly stoking division and racial hatred (and lying about it)
3. Is showing callous disregard for the pandemic deaths of over 150,000 of your countrymen, (and touting dangerous, cures that do not work)
4. Has turned a blind eye to a hostile nation paying bounties to kill your fellow countrymen (and claiming he knew nothing about it)
5. Has used his handpicked, corrupt AG to help his personal friends avoid justice (and lied about it)
6. Has endorsed and encouraged the use of extreme violence and firearms against unarmed, peaceful protestors (and lied about it)

Then the enemy of your enemy might not be your friend, but he at least is the lesser of two evils!

The problems with "enemy of your enemy" thinking are well-known. The big problem with refusing to ever engage in such trade-offs is that you can't fix everything overnight. If you just refuse to ever work with the enemy of your enemy, you never get anywhere. You need to start somewhere.

There's a big trend in Republican thinking in particular, but also American thinking in general, that seems to believe that any change that doesn't Fix Everything isn't worth doing. And often not just "not worth doing", but is actually "the worst thing ever". A recent example is the Republican reaction to the Iran Deal. It fixed one thing in the relationship between Iran and the US, and the rest of the world. But because it didn't fix everything, all at once, it was rejected by the Republicans as being the Worst Deal Ever.

Sure, a Republican Party that listens to the Lincoln Project, and pulls back from the worst excesses of being the Party of Trump will still have lots of problems. But that's still an improvement over the complete **** show we have now. It took them decades to get to this point, and there's no way they're going to fix everything in just a few months, or even years. But pulling back from Trump at least might stop the slide into ****, and maybe create some momentum for moving back towards sensibility.

The current parties are so entrenched in the current US electoral system that it is highly unlikely that we could just destroy the Republican Party and start over with a new one, so we need to start fixing the problems rather than just complaining about them. The Lincoln Project, while clearly not perfect, seems like a good first step. Get Trump out, then see what the next four years brings about.
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Old 30th July 2020, 09:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Nonetheless when your enemy

1. Is wrecking your country's economy (and lying about it)
2. Is clearly and openly stoking division and racial hatred (and lying about it)
3. Is showing callous disregard for the pandemic deaths of over 150,000 of your countrymen, (and touting dangerous, cures that do not work)
4. Has turned a blind eye to a hostile nation paying bounties to kill your fellow countrymen (and claiming he knew nothing about it)
5. Has used his handpicked, corrupt AG to help his personal friends avoid justice (and lied about it)
6. Has endorsed and encouraged the use of extreme violence and firearms against unarmed, peaceful protestors (and lied about it)

Then the enemy of your enemy might not be your friend, but he at least is the lesser of two evils!
Trump conned the Republicans and some of them are finally figuring that out.

All is well and good when your POTUS puppet is slashing EPA regs, the ACA, and giving the rich big tax cuts. But when a real crisis arises it turns out that puppet is not so good to be in power. Now the COVID crises is out of control, the economy is tanking worse than in the Great Depression and all Trump can do is pretend it will all go away.

Whoops!
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Old 30th July 2020, 09:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Trump conned the Republicans and some of them are finally figuring that out.

All is well and good when your POTUS puppet is slashing EPA regs, the ACA, and giving the rich big tax cuts. But when a real crisis arises it turns out that puppet is not so good to be in power. Now the COVID crises is out of control, the economy is tanking worse than in the Great Depression and all Trump can do is pretend it will all go away.

Whoops!
Indeed... Trump is the puppet, controlled by certain section of the GOP.

Covid19 has cut the strings!
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Old 30th July 2020, 10:13 PM   #11
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TLP is laying the groundwork for a change in leadership in the GOP after a loss in November.
I have no doubt that the people who are part of it see themselves as kingmakers for the McConnnell's and the RNC leadership's replacement.
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Old 30th July 2020, 10:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
TLP is laying the groundwork for a change in leadership in the GOP after a loss in November.
I have no doubt that the people who are part of it see themselves as kingmakers for the McConnnell's and the RNC leadership's replacement.
Yep, and they are positioning themselves perfectly to take over the country again once Democrats have gotten it back on it's feet - just like last time. But will it work this time, or have people finally woken up to their little game? (I doubt it).
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Old 30th July 2020, 10:58 PM   #13
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These are the same old never-Trumpers from 2016 (basically 90% of the former GOP punditocracy). They couldn't stop Trump the last time around and they aren't going to be the reason why he loses this time. But they have no future in the GOP because they are also targeting moderate Republicans. And of course they have no future among the Democrats, who will be in the mood for purging the ranks of those who are not 100% on board with the entire program.
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Old 30th July 2020, 11:09 PM   #14
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The Future of the GOP will be decided by Big Donors, not by Pro- or Never-Trumpers.
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Old 30th July 2020, 11:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
TLP is laying the groundwork for a change in leadership in the GOP after a loss in November.
I have no doubt that the people who are part of it see themselves as kingmakers for the McConnnell's and the RNC leadership's replacement.
TLP?

Traffic Light Protocol?
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Privatize the profits and socialize the losses. It's the American way. That's how Mnuchin got rich. Worse, he did it on the backs of elderly people who had been conned into reverse mortgages. Mnuchin paid zero, took on the debt then taxpayers bailed him out.
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Old 31st July 2020, 12:37 AM   #16
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I assume "the Lincoln Project" like the title of this thread.
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Old 31st July 2020, 12:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
TLP?

Traffic Light Protocol?
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Old 31st July 2020, 12:55 AM   #18
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Old 31st July 2020, 03:25 AM   #19
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Honestly, the thing that makes me go "hmm" the most is George Conway. My prevailing theory is that he and his wife are both saying and doing things that they don't believe in order to enrich themselves. I don't buy the whole "she genuinely loves Trump and he genuinely hates" him schtick.

For a start, any guesses on how Kellyanne got her job with Trump? Trump offered George a job after being impressed with a job he'd done for him while they lived in Trump Tower, and George suggested his wife instead. And they're both publishing articles about how he is against the current government and its president, and how she supports them. No, I don't mean currently, I mean in 2005, when Bush was president.

Definitely seems like a grift to me, which makes me distrustful of anything that either of them is involved with.
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Old 31st July 2020, 04:02 AM   #20
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It's swell that Lincoln Project Never Trumpers are taking a stand here and actually acting on their convictions. I suppose that speaks well to their personal character, in a small way.

I see no reason to lionize these people. Mainstream pre-Trump GOP, including many individuals from the Lincoln Project, have been dog-whistling all the elements of Trumpism for decades. Trump just did away with the thin veil of deniability.

Nothing about Trumpism - the racism, the xenophobia, the authoritarian tendencies - are elements that weren't present in pre-Trump conservatism. Trump just dropped the veil and adopted these vile ideologies openly, to thunderous applause of the right-wing public that grew tired of dogwhistling conservatives that never delivered.

It's great that the Lincoln Project is attacking Trump. All these conservatives involved are still ghouls and, assuming Trump is no longer the head of the Republican party after the election, must be opposed vigorously in their future political endeavors.
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Old 31st July 2020, 04:05 AM   #21
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I'd like to believe that they could herald a return to a more moderate conservatism in the coming years, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
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Old 31st July 2020, 04:17 AM   #22
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These guys are good at being negative, but they haven't shown what they'd be positive for. They could be well-meaning conservatives trying to get back to the Lawful Evil roots of the party, or they could be another batch of stinkers merely trying to push Trump out and take his populist base as their own. The only thing to count on is that they WILL attack Democrats in exactly this dishonest fashion the instant Trump is out of the picture.

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The Future of the GOP will be decided by Big Donors, not by Pro- or Never-Trumpers.
Ultimately, this. If Sheldon Adelson decides he likes UBI and single-payer health care, the whiplash of the GOP reversing course would shatter windows all over the country.

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Old 31st July 2020, 04:29 AM   #23
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Reading through some of the posts in this thread, I get the general feeling here about The Lincoln Project is.... "they'll do for the moment".
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Old 31st July 2020, 04:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The only thing to count on is that they WILL attack Democrats in exactly this dishonest fashion the instant Trump is out of the picture.


But that's the brilliant part - the vast majority of what they're saying about Trump and his cronies is actually true, unlike the crap they spent years slinging at Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. They might accidentally discover how great it is to have something real to attack, and develop new habits.
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Old 31st July 2020, 04:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
But that's the brilliant part - the vast majority of what they're saying about Trump and his cronies is actually true, unlike the crap they spent years slinging at Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. They might accidentally discover how great it is to have something real to attack, and develop new habits.
And if you believe that, I have a nice bridge for sale in Brooklyn if you're interested.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:19 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
The problems with "enemy of your enemy" thinking are well-known. The big problem with refusing to ever engage in such trade-offs is that you can't fix everything overnight. If you just refuse to ever work with the enemy of your enemy, you never get anywhere. You need to start somewhere.
Can we start somewhere other than the people who got us here yet refuse to acknowledge that? Or maybe, we start with people who have actual power within the Republican party?

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There's a big trend in Republican thinking in particular, but also American thinking in general, that seems to believe that any change that doesn't Fix Everything isn't worth doing. And often not just "not worth doing", but is actually "the worst thing ever". A recent example is the Republican reaction to the Iran Deal. It fixed one thing in the relationship between Iran and the US, and the rest of the world. But because it didn't fix everything, all at once, it was rejected by the Republicans as being the Worst Deal Ever.
Overall, I agree. I just don't think the Republicans actually believe this. they use it as a weapon to discourage voters. After all, most of them agree that Donal Trump isn't "perfect" but he did get them their tax cuts and judges.

Also, when you compromise with someone, you get something I return. What do the Democrats get from these folks for giving them all this hype and whitewashing their history? Commercials of questionable value? There's no evidence they have a lick of influence over any voters. They certainly aren't exposing the GOP propaganda machine they helped build. Yet, they are getting donations and hype from Democratic leadership and hours of air time so far. What do you say when they start picking at Biden's platform?

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Sure, a Republican Party that listens to the Lincoln Project, and pulls back from the worst excesses of being the Party of Trump will still have lots of problems. But that's still an improvement over the complete **** show we have now. It took them decades to get to this point, and there's no way they're going to fix everything in just a few months, or even years. But pulling back from Trump at least might stop the slide into ****, and maybe create some momentum for moving back towards sensibility.
I haven't seen actual proof they want to fix what got us here.

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The current parties are so entrenched in the current US electoral system that it is highly unlikely that we could just destroy the Republican Party and start over with a new one, so we need to start fixing the problems rather than just complaining about them. The Lincoln Project, while clearly not perfect, seems like a good first step. Get Trump out, then see what the next four years brings about.
A Trump that doesn't say the quiet parts out loud and is more enthusiastic to get us into foreign wars? Basically, George w Bush.

ETA: I also think it is telling the group didn't form until last November, when Trump was already floundering in the polls and was looking to take some senators with him. They are more likely riding the anti-Trump bus than driving it. He's going down without them. they are just trying to cash in and wrangle some undue influence. Look at how they are still disparaging the progressive wing as "extremists" when they are the ones pushing for actual Democratic policies.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
And if you believe that, I have a nice bridge for sale in Brooklyn if you're interested.

Which part were you referring to? The suggestion that most of what they've said about Trump is true, or the speculation that they might find out they like telling the truth?
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:20 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Which part were you referring to? The suggestion that most of what they've said about Trump is true, or the speculation that they might find out they like telling the truth?
The latter.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:25 AM   #29
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The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:27 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.
I don't know why people take this adage to task so much.

The whole point is that when you're trying to defeat your enemy, you might want to have their enemies as allies. It's as simple as that. Being unwilling to do so can easily result in defeat. Once you've dealt with the first enemy, of course, there's no reason to continue to be allies. The adage doesn't mean that you should become like your enemy's enemies.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:29 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Can we start somewhere other than the people who got us here yet refuse to acknowledge that? Or maybe, we start with people who have actual power within the Republican party?

As a Republican once said, "You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want".

Who will it be that begins to reign in the worst excesses of the GOP? Clearly not Trump, as he is the physical embodiment of their worst excesses. It also wont be the "people who have actual power within the Republican party"; were they so inclined, they'd have supported the impeachment, and been happy with President Pence going into the election. It can't be the Democrats, because Republicans have spent decades training themselves to not hear a single thing any Democrat has to say.

Who else is left?

As far as I can see it, a group of people with genuine GOP bona fides, but who oppose Trump and his enablers, are the only ones who even have a chance of getting new ideas into the heads of any Trump supporters. They may fail, but everyone else has either already failed, or shown no interest in even trying.

Sure, if I had a magic wand and could just wave away the last 40 years of GOP ********, I'd do that. But I have no such wand. I'm stuck beating them with the only old crooked stick I have.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:31 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
The latter.


Well, as I said, that's speculation.

But if you really believe that opinions and attitudes are so entrenched that even just hoping they might change is considered a ridiculous fantasy, then we've already lost. Might as well start the executions now, and save ourselves the headaches.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Well, as I said, that's speculation.

But if you really believe that opinions and attitudes are so entrenched that even just hoping they might change is considered a ridiculous fantasy, then we've already lost. Might as well start the executions now, and save ourselves the headaches.
Let's just say I find it very unlikely.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:34 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't know why people take this adage to task so much.

The whole point is that when you're trying to defeat your enemy, you might want to have their enemies as allies. It's as simple as that. Being unwilling to do so can easily result in defeat. Once you've dealt with the first enemy, of course, there's no reason to continue to be allies. The adage doesn't mean that you should become like your enemy's enemies.
Because that sort of constant Machiavellian powerplay wearies me but more importantly creates an air of distrust over the whole operation.

This sort of thinking is exactly what lead to the "Politics is just one big game where everyone is dirty and everyone is playing everyone" mentality being taken as a default, which is one of the reasons we're in the... lovely position we're in now as a nation.

The reason we don't take politics seriously (or the wrong kind of seriously depending on how exactly you want to look at it) is because we've gotten so comfortable with nobody having morals or standards in it, only goals.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:39 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Because that sort of constant Machiavellian powerplay wearies me but more importantly creates an air of distrust over the whole operation.

This sort of thinking is exactly what lead to the "Politics is just one big game where everyone is dirty and everyone is playing everyone" mentality being taken as a default, which is one of the reasons we're in the... lovely position we're in now as a nation.

The reason we don't take politics seriously (or the wrong kind of seriously depending on how exactly you want to look at it) is because we've gotten so comfortable with nobody having morals or standards in it, only goals.
But that's the sort of thing that you, Joe, complain about all the time: that people's search for perfect solutions or ideological purity is preventing them from winning in, for example, elections. That Democrats keep losing because they're trying to be too fair. Here some are suggesting that TLP might help defeat Trump but the idea is suddenly unpalatable because they are otherwise your opponents?
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:49 AM   #36
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Mixed feelings. I’ve never really been a fan of scare style attack adds, and they still don’t sit well with me even when they are largely correct and attacking someone that actually deserves it. There is no question in my mind that these adds will have an impact on conservatives and harm Trump, but they will not fix the underlying issues that lead to Trump and may even help set the stage for someone almost as bad taking over the GoP.
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:54 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
As far as I can see it, a group of people with genuine GOP bona fides, but who oppose Trump and his enablers, are the only ones who even have a chance of getting new ideas into the heads of any Trump supporters. They may fail, but everyone else has either already failed, or shown no interest in even trying.

Sure, if I had a magic wand and could just wave away the last 40 years of GOP ********, I'd do that. But I have no such wand. I'm stuck beating them with the only old crooked stick I have.
That's the problem. You want to do what is already obviously impossible. the only person who can turn away Trump voters is Trump himself. And the Lincoln Project are welcome to try. Having them run negative ads lets Biden's campaign focus solely on telling his own story. A small benefit right there.

But you know who you can reach? Disaffected voters. Voters who think "both parties are exactly the same". The ones who see Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnel at the same party hosted by one of the Koch brothers in the Hamptons. The people who see pictures of prominent Republicans and Democrats posing for pictures with Jeffrey Epstein. The ones who normally stay home on Election Day.

And what drives me up the goddamned wall is we have seen that in action. Twice recently. Once in 2016 (Trump and to a lesser extent Sanders) and again in 2018 and 2019 (progressives in the primaries). Democrats ostensibly support policies the vast majority of Americans agree with.
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Old 31st July 2020, 06:03 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Overall, I agree. I just don't think the Republicans actually believe this. they use it as a weapon to discourage voters.
Maybe, but the next generation of Republicans is being indoctrinated along the way. Even if the current ones are just doing it as an election ploy, the next generation of Republican politicians will believe and try to act on those beliefs.

Despite their public opposition to taxes 1980ís Republicans, Reagan included, were more than willing to raise taxes to pay for spending they supported. 20 years later Republicans indoctrinate in that public position started to take over and actively tired to formulate policy based on the concept that tax cuts could pay for their spending initiatives. It doesnít work of course, and it was supposed to sway voters not be something to base policy on, but now they actually believe it.
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Old 31st July 2020, 06:10 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't know why people take this adage to task so much.
It's a caution against the other side of tribalism. "If you're not against us, you're with us" is as erroneous as the converse.
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Old 31st July 2020, 06:12 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Because that sort of constant Machiavellian powerplay wearies me but more importantly creates an air of distrust over the whole operation.

This sort of thinking is exactly what lead to the "Politics is just one big game where everyone is dirty and everyone is playing everyone" mentality being taken as a default, which is one of the reasons we're in the... lovely position we're in now as a nation.

The reason we don't take politics seriously (or the wrong kind of seriously depending on how exactly you want to look at it) is because we've gotten so comfortable with nobody having morals or standards in it, only goals.
This is definitely odd to hear from you.
It seems that in every discussion I have had with you, you deride "ideological purity" at the expense of practicality.
This post seems to be a reversal.

Thoughts?
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