In case you missed it (or have a life and aren’t following the nauseating race for Governor in Virginia) five people holding tiki torches and pretending to be fans of the Charlottesville white supremacy group, Unite the Right, that sparked a riot in 2017 showed up to show their support for GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin last week. The stunt was met with furious criticism of Youngkin’s opponent, Terry McAuliffe, who was presumed to be behind the incident, and why wouldn’t he be? As the slimy former Clinton fundraiser has slipped in the polls, his “ends justify the means” approach to politics (and life) has become especial pungent. However, the Never-Trump group The Lincoln Project came to McAuliffe’s rescue, claiming responsibility for the deception.
Yesterday one of the group’s co-founders, Stuart Stevens, refused to apologize for attempting to influence an election by deceiving voters. “Listen, every day I hear people pleading with the Lincoln Project to help show Democrats how to win, how to play hardball. You know, this is an example,” he said on CNN. “The question here is not about some guys who showed up at a rally,’ said Stevens. ‘It’s why hasn’t Glenn Youngkin denounced Donald Trump for saying that there are good people on both sides? I mean, that is absolutely outrageous. And it’s because Glenn Youngkin wants it both ways. And I think that’s the message that needs to be driven here. You know, the Lincoln Project was the first in this race to put Charlottesville in an ad. And some people thought maybe it went too far. But we did it. And it worked. And then McAuliffe’s campaign followed us and put Charlottesville in a very good ad they did. So I think the question here is, we can’t ignore what happened in Charlottesville, the question is why hasn’t Glenn Youngkin denounced Donald Trump?”
Meanwhile, the McAuliffe campaign pronounced the hoax “disgusting” and called on the Lincoln Project to apologize.
If not, why not? It sure was obvious to me. Even more than the rest of the Never-Trumpers, the Lincoln Project had the stench of insincerity and ethics rot all over it. Why would alleged Republicans and conservatives set out to defeat their party’s incumbent President and hand over power to the most radical and irresponsible incarnation of the Democratic Party since the Confederacy? The most visible member of the cabal for those who are not political junkies (founders Mike Madrid, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, Reed Galen above are the ultimate D.C. insiders, aka “swamp creatures”) was Kellyanne Conway’s lawyer hubby George, who used the news media’s hatred of President Trump to get publicity for his relentless attacks on his wife’s boss, embarrassing her and putting her family life in conflict with her responsibilities to the President. Who does that? Answer: a self-serving, untrustworthy creep like George Conway, that’s who.
Organizations led by unethical people behave unethically and eventually self-destruct; the Lincoln Project was a lesson in signature significance waiting to be taught. Now it is falling apart in chunks, as ploys by arrogant and awful people always do, even if they thrive for a while because, as P.T Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The suckers in this case were Trump Deranged progressives, who were so thrilled to have alleged conservatives linking arms with them to bring down an elected President with lies and abuses of power that they never asked the crucial ethics inquiry question “What’s going on here?“
Glenn Greenwald, in a no-holds-barred excoriation of the group, answers that question with a tasty mix of disgust and brio:
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.
One of the many benefits of the Trump Administration and the concomitant 2016 Post-Election Ethics Train Wreck, one theory goes, is that it has exposed the ethical rot and lack of integrity of so many previously admired and trusted professions.
Among those that have thoroughly disgraced themselves in their rush to enamor themselves before their progressive, President Trump- loathing colleagues and friends—you know, the good people—have been journalists (of course), academics, psychiatrists, doctors, epidemiologists, ethicists, historians, teachers, judges and lawyers. Thus it shouldn’t have been a surprise (though it was to me, as always an optimistic sap) when efforts to prevent the Trump campaign from having the best possible legal advocates as it pursues challenges to the 2020 election results would bear ugly fruit.
The NeverTrump Lincoln Project joined the anti-Trump Democrats in targeting the law firms hired by the campaign. Election law specialists Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur and its lawyers were threatened with professional ruin. The theory went that daring to support the President of the United States constitutes a “dangerous attack on our democracy.” The firm, showing a dearth of legal ethics and integrity withdrew, whining that the assault on its reputation created a conflict of interest, was disrupting the firm, and had prompted at least one lawyer’s resignation. Since then other firms have dropped the campaign as a client, and the reason was fear—of losing clients, of being shunned in the legal community, of losing money. Mostly the latter.
This is only the latest progression in the decay of basic law firm ethics that began during the Obama administration. The reason is—broken record here—bias.
1. This may not be the most trustworthy advocate for the President’s favorite Wuhan virus medicine…President Trump’s supporters among the punditry and conservative bloggers briefly celebrated the endorsement of hydroxychloroquine, despite recent studies questioning its effectiveness and safety, by Dr. Stella Immanuel. Support for her was redoubled after her posts were taken down by both Facebook and Twitter as “misinformation.” That’s censorship, of course, and arguably partisan. Immanuel has an opinion. However, her response to the censoring of her posts does not enhance her credibility. She tweeted,
2. I see…he shouldn’t be honored because he was white, right? I have reached the point where I have to conclude that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez just isn’t very bright, and those who support her passionate—but stupid!—pronouncements have a similar basic competence problem. Take this example: AOC complained in a video,
Even when we select figures to tell the stories of colonized places, it is the colonizers and settlers whose stories are told — and virtually no one else. Check out Hawaii’s statue. It’s not Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii, the only Queen Regnant of Hawaii, who is immortalized and whose story is told. It is Father Damien. This isn’t to litigate each and every individual statue, but to point out the patterns that have emerged among the totality of them in who we are taught to deify in our nation’s Capitol: virtually all men, all white, and mostly both. This is what patriarchy and white supremacist culture looks like! It’s not radical or crazy to understand the influence white supremacist culture has historically had in our overall culture & how it impacts the present day.
I’ll have to do a full post on the entire “white supremacy” canard, which is basically linguistic game-playing. Culture, everywhere, is primarily determined by the majority. In a majority white population, white people, their habits, preferences, interests and values, have the strongest effect on the culture. Because there are more of the majority than other groups, they also will tend to have the greatest visibility and participation in that area’s history. Framing this rather obvious and universal situation as something sinister is silly as an argument, and evidence of impaired critical thinking skills if one is persuaded by it. Continue reading
To my father and all the rest…
Thank-you for saving the world.
1. About that Eva Murry story. The last we heard from Eva Murry, she was telling the story of how creepy Joe Biden complimented her on the size of her breasts 12 years ago, when she was 14. Ethics Alarms noted at the time that the woman’s detailed account had no effect on the credibility of Tara Reade’s allegations one way or the other, since we already knew Biden was creepy. However,earlier this week Fox News reported :
A past organizer for Delaware’s First State Gridiron Dinner now says Joe Biden did not attend the event in 2008, after a woman recently claimed the former vice president and senator sexually harassed her there, Fox News has learned….
Local news reports from the time said Biden was having sinus surgery earlier that week — to address issues including a deviated septum — and was scheduled to be out of work for the whole week.
At the time, his spokeswoman said that she “anticipates that he’ll be out for the remainder of the week recovering at his home in Wilmington,” according to a report in the News Journal at the time.
Murry’s aunt, Christine O’Donnell (of “I am not a witch” fame) says she remembers Murry talking about the event at the time, and stood by her viece’s accusation, telling Fox,
“Yes, it could have been another year. So what? She was a teenager when I ran for office. It doesn’t make it okay. It happened when I was running for office against him. If it was 2007, that makes it even worse.”
But it couldn’t have been in 2007 either, because records place him in Iowa that evening.
All anyone can figure out is that young Murry ran into a different creep that she thought was Biden, though that seems unlikely too. What’s going on here? Why would the woman subject herself to national scrutiny and embarrassment by telling her story in such detail when it wasn’t true?
Since the new evidence came to light, she has been notably silent. That’s not right; she made an accusation against Biden, and needs to follow up with either an explanation or an apology. Continue reading