In the long history of rat-eff’ing, members of The Lincoln Project stand alone. Over decases, they’ve manipulated and trained the rubes to respond on a dime, and I’m sure in the Great Beyond, Dr. Skinner is looking on in amazement that with such blunt tools Republicans could be so easily trained. From working on Poppy Bush’s election to Chimpy McStagger’s to John McCain to Willard, every dirty trick from Willie Horton onward has been the work of someone on the Lincoln Project team channeling their inner Lee Atwater. It is not an exaggeration to say that they built the Monster Factory.
But then they lost control of it. And they lost it to a moron.
When the King of the Birthers, Candidate Trump, glided down the golden escalator, he out-smarted the rat-effers. While they always tried to keep a veneer of respectability on their evil machinations, and keep their indoor voices indoors, Candidate Racist just brayed the parts that they left out. And lo! It worked. The Lincoln Project guys didn’t know what hit them.
Lord Damp Nut usurped the astroturf Tea Partiers with blunt racism. No more dog whistles and innuendoes. Mexicans are rapists, Muslims want to kill you, Blacks want revenge, Liberals will turn your kids gay and you will not be allowed to eat a hamberder ever again.
Possum Hollar now says that Trump “tells it like it is,” and that he”says what they are thinking.” You bet he does. He’s every bit the lowbrow that they are.
The Lincoln Project thinks that they can be swept back into the sweet spot of being Republican Kingmakers by creating another astroturf project, the Never Trumpers, but history is going to repeat itself. Instead of Birthers, The Lincoln Project is about to lose control to another conspiracy movement: Q-Anon, which is all-in to re-elect Trump.
That one is easy. If they cannot regain control of the Monster Factory they build for the Republicans, then they are going to build one for the Democrats and try to become the kingmakers here. They won’t be making Socialist monsters, they will be bending the Democratic Party to the right, and given how quickly good liberals are singing their praises, I’m predicting it will work.
The other week on Twitter I got a lecture in my DMs from a well-meaning liberal that I should be glad for their help, and only an idiot would turn away the kind of assistance the Lincoln Project is offering. I even was told to remember that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
OK, there are no atheists in Foxholes (I can sling clichés with the best of them), and I get that in the Emergency Room the goal is to keep the patient breathing, everything else is secondary. (Told ya!)
Enemies and anemones aside, remember this: everytime they are in the media being praised, it is upping their influence. Once you get onto a producer’s rolodex, you are there for life. Each time they are in a seat being interviewed, there is a bonafide liberal who is being ignored.
When the dust clears and the smoke dissipates after the 2020 Goat Rodeo, someone from the Lincoln project will be interviewed about what went right and wrong. They will nod their heads sagely and blame the liberals (or praise the centrists, depending) and it will become the new conventional wisdom that moving to the right is the winning strategy.
Give them an inch, they will take a network. Looking at you, MSNBC.