The Lincoln Project may have helped defeat Donald Trump; who knows? From the beginning it appeared to be a spiteful backlash by sore losers, class bigots and establishment bitter-enders who, like fellow Never-Trumpers George Will, the Bushes, Jennifer Rubin and Bill Kristol, made cutting of their noses to spite their faces into a declaration of virtue. Better to see the policies and principles one had spent a career opposing be inflicted on the nation for who-knows-how-long than to put up with a conservative President whom they couldn’t bear rubbing elbows with at a wine tasting.
The ethics of the Lincoln Project seemed shakier the more we learned about their founders and supporters. The most prominent of them, lawyer George Conway, felt it was acceptable to publicly insult and attack his wife Kellyanne Conway’s boss, for example, displaying the spousal concern and loyalty of a praying mantis. Not surprisingly, this public disloyalty combined with absentee parenting tore the family apart, leading to the Conway’s teenage daughter publicly insulting both parents and playing out her emotional crisis on social media. This, in turn, resulted in both Conways removing themself from political life in the middle of the campaign when they were needed most by their respective warring GOP factions. Good job!
Ah, but as Al Jolson liked to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” The Lincoln Project’s leaders, who supposedly objected to Donald Trump because of his deficits of character, soon entered the Pot-Calling-The-Kettle-Black Masters in ethics hypocrisy.
First: John Weaver,a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, was accused by 21 men of sexually harassing them for years with unsolicited and sexually provocative online messages. His creepy solicitations included those he sent to a 14-year-old boy, asking salacious questions about his body while he was still in high school, then more suggestive comments after he turned 18.Weaver, who is married and has children, sent overt sexual solicitations to at least ten of the men, offering professional and personal assistance in exchange for sex. Last month, Weaver admitted his “inappropriate contacts” while playing the “deeply closeted” gay man card, and announced that he would not return to the Lincoln Project. Weaver had helped run Trump-Hater John McCain’s Presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008 and Never Trumper John Kasich’s campaign in 2016.
Second: Rick Wilson, another key Lincoln Project leader, condemned Weaver, his business partner, in the strongest possible terms, saying that he had no idea that he was leading a double life. The group also dispatched George Conway–apparently taking a break from investigating why a nude photo of his daughter was posted online from his wife’s account– to MSNBC to declare he “didn’t know John very well” despite going into business with him. That’s not very responsible, if true, which it probably isn’t. Wilson said, “We’re an organization that believes in accountability. We are going to hold ourselves accountable for letting someone like this slip past the gates and it will never happen again.”
Nobody here in Washington, D.C. believes that the Lincoln Project buddies didn’t know about Weaver’s hobby. The feigned shock is reminiscent of Democrats and Hollywood figures professing that they had no idea that Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator. Journalist Ryan Girdusky told Hill.TV last week that the accusations against Weaver were well known before major media outlets reported them. Apparently reporterswas willing to impugn the Lincoln Project until the election was over. The accusations were “not a well-kept secret” the journalist said.
While only—“only”— 21 of Weaver’s targets came forward to the New York Times, Girdusky said he spoke to more than 30 for his story in January. “It was probably close to 100 young men in a five-year period,” Girdusky said. “This is not a small group, this is not like he was trying to hide what was going on, and it was very much in plain sight for everyone to see.” But those working with Weaver in the Lincoln Project didn’t see it, they say, and were shocked–shocked!—that he was a gay sexual predator? Right. “I know for a fact, for three weeks after my story came out, they said nothing about him being a predator,” Girdusky said. “They didn’t say anything for three weeks.”
Third, Karl Rove, a member of the Bush branch of GOP Trump-Haters, revealed on Fox News last week that he had been aware of allegations of sexual impropriety against The Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver for more than 30 years. Wait, WHAT? Rove knew the guy was sexually harassing and grooming teens for three decades and took no action to stop him and protect future victims? Nice. See, there’s the kind of ethical conservatives America needs.
But wait! There’s more!
Fourth! Jennifer Horn, yet another “Never Trump” GOP operative who found the President venal, dishonest and lacking moral fiber, and who also co-founded the Lincoln Project, announced that she was quitting the organization in disgust over Weaver’s conduct. “John Weaver’s grotesque and inappropriate behavior, coupled with his longstanding deceptions concerning that behavior, are sickening,” she told The New York Times. “It is clear at this point that my views about how the Lincoln Project’s efforts are managed, and the best way to move the Lincoln Project forward into the future in the wake of these awful events, have diverged.”
Except, as the Lincoln Project quickly revealed, this was grandstanding and cover story. Horn had demanded the group give her “an immediate ‘signing bonus’ payment of $250,000 and a $40,000 per month consulting contract,” the organization said in a statement posted to Twitter. She also “demanded a board seat on the Lincoln Project, a television show, a podcast hosting assignment, and a staff to manage these endeavors. When her demands were turned down, she quit, blaming the Weaver scandal.
Just think: these are the people the news media regards as the good Republicans!
10 thoughts on “Ethics And The Never-Trumpers…”
“You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Oy! The BTO B-Side tune by the SAME NAME……
The Lincoln Project had its place in the sun while it could be used to undermine Trump. Like any other pawn used by the Democrats to gain power, they are useless to the Cause now. It was probably part of the playbook left out of the “Time” article: bury Lincoln Project member scandals until Biden takes office, then let loose.
Honestly, I do not trust the timing of anything that is reported now. It’s not even just the facts or the interpretation that is suspect, but when they are and aren’t published.
Right. “[T]he best way to move the Lincoln Project forward into the future.” What the fuck does that mean? There is NO future for The Lincoln Project other than developing an electric SUV for the Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln car division. They won. Trump’s gone. Haven’t they heard of beating a dead horse?
It doesn’t end with Trump leaving office, there’s still the possibility that he could be a kingmaker or run again. They want to not just beat him, but break him. They want to fix it so that he will be permanently disgraced. This is no longer political, if ever it was. It is now personal, and they are going to treat it like it is a matter of personal hatred. The thing is, once they do that, they are going to set a precedent for personal destruction to become a regular practice.
Silly me, Steve. I keep hoping/assuming these people will render themselves ridiculous by, oh say, the 2020 mid-terms.
I’m not generally a fan of conspiracy theories, but the phrase “controlled opposition” comes to mind.
Right. Even in totalitarian countries, they see the benefit of having some opposition so that they can have the pretense of free and fair elections. Otherwise, the world looks askance at 99.9% of the vote going to the guy in charge.
There has been a great deal of discussion of the behaviors of the AUC, Never Trumpers, and others who worked diligently to convince the American people not that their candidate was more qualified for the office of President but that the current President was a cross between Generalissimo Franco, and George Wallace who maintained ties with Vladimir Putin. We know what they did so why are we beating a dead horse. Stipulated: Progressives employ Machiavellian ethics. So what else is new?
I am interested in where Constitutional conservatives go from here and how to get there. I am interested in ideas on how we fight back (metaphorically Steve although I am leaning your way) against the efforts to silence dissent and systematically remove any opposition to the power mad politicians and bureaucrats that occupy DC.
In short, how can the average Joe go about protecting and defending the US Constitution and the values embodied within it that extend beyond government limits which shaped the uniquely American culture?
I’m not sure what the best way is, Chris. Ben Shapiro claims it needs to be fought in the culture. I would like to see the Republican and Democrat parties gone. They have one job, to provide qualified candidates to get elected, and they’re not even doing that. I think people need to ignore the news and rejoin their community. Be present, volunteer, help a kid. I got some NASTY looks from people because of “kids these days”, I’m the age where it’s perfectly plausible I have kids (and I do), although none were with me. I volunteer, I’m with the kids. The nasty look old ladies, I’m certain, do not. It’s shocking to me that traditional holistic structures, like the family unit, are being criticized and come under attack. I simply don’t understand why. It’s clear kids do best under these parameters. It has been around in all cultures since the beginning. I think we need term limits and campaign spending limits. I think we need to encourage congress to take their power back they siphoned off in order to not make hard choices that would risk elections. How?? Idk. We’re “busy”, on the hamster wheel of life, they made it that way. I find myself asking what direction I should go. I’m raising decent humans… as for the rest? Should I volunteer? Run for school board? Lobby? Write letters to the paper? What?? Get a petition on the ballot for term limits? Defend positions on social media? If I want term limits for how long? I believe they should be cumulative. Is that even constitutional? I’m not a lawyer. The president gets 2 terms, I don’t see why any other office should be pseudo lifetime appointments. (I believe 4 terms state and federal would suffice). Make them rejoin society and the regulations they’ve made. Obviously the first step to protect and defend the Constitution is to know and understand what is in it and then I think it’s to explain to others why it’s not a dusty, old, outdated philosophy. Why it’s still relevant and whats in it for them to keep it around.
Constitutional conservatives can start by:
1. Demanding that their county and state GOP recruit qualified candidates only, perform better vetting and keep a tight rein on messaging.
2. Refuse to vote for dishonest candidates. This would have worked much better in the past when there were reasonable moderate Democrats out there you could risk getting into office instead of your local slimy Republican.
3. Stop voting based on wedge issues. Yes, I am writing about abortion. Conservatives have got to stop making abortion the be all and end all of their votes. Too many unqualified, unintelligent and dishonest people get in office purely by taking the preferred stance on abortion – an issue that Congress rarely addresses in any meaningful way. (This does not mean that I am advocating rejecting candidates if the abortion issue is addressed. By all means, feel free to vote for a qualified, honest candidate that you agree with on a number of issues…but not JUST on abortion.)
4. Push for improvement of the public’s awareness of the Constitution. Parties send out so many flyers about candidates…why not send out flyers or emails educating the public about different aspects of the Constitution? Why not put these educational bits on all GOP-connected websites? My generation grew up on “Schoolhouse Rock”. We learned our multiplication tables, grammar and some U.S. history to song. I’m not saying we need cute lil cartoons on GOP websites, but some kind of primer on due process might work. A few months ago, I would have advocated a public service commercial launch, but I’m sure the networks would work together to suppress that.