Apparently laboring under the mistaken belief that they will fare better this time around than they did the last time, a collection of NeverTrump conservatives have formed a group that will attempt to keep President Donald Trump from winning re-election in November. In a Washington Post op-ed, prominent Trump haters George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson, calling themselves the Lincoln Project, said that while they had “never voted for a Democrat” before this year, they would do so in 2020 if it meant stopping Trump.
Kicking things off on a catastrophic note, the authors write:
This November, Americans will cast their most consequential votes since Abraham Lincoln’s reelection in 1864. We confront a constellation of crises: a public health emergency not seen in a century, an economic collapse set to rival the Great Depression, and a world where American leadership is absent and dangers rise in the vacuum.
Today, the United States is beset with a president who was unprepared for the burden of the presidency and who has made plain his deficits in leadership, management, intelligence and morality.
When we founded the Lincoln Project, we did so with a clear mission: to defeat President Trump in November. Publicly supporting a Democratic nominee for president is a first for all of us. We are in extraordinary times, and we have chosen to put country over party — and former vice president Joe Biden is the candidate who we believe will do the same.
While we’re not sure that the efforts of Conway, et al, would have made the slightest bit of difference this year in any case, this motley crew might have been somewhat more convincing if they hadn’t spent the last four years plastering their opinions all over the media (social and otherwise). Conway, Schmidt, Weaver, and Wilson have been blasting Trump without cessation on cable news, Facebook, Twitter, and in the very pages of the newspaper that published this op-ed. Their support of Biden is hardly a surprise.
We can’t envision a single Republican-leaning voter who would be persuaded by this article to defect in November.
At least when we saw the first round of NeverTrumpers in 2016, there was some plausibility to their claim of conservatism. Bill Kristol, the editors of National Review, Mitt Romney, and others may have worn out their welcome in a hurry, but their criticism of Trump at least came as a (mild) surprise.
But these guys? They pretty much became Democrats on the day Trump was elected, if not before. How one can even take them seriously as conservatives is beyond us. They are of the same mold as Jennifer Rubin, Ana Navarro, Nicolle Wallace, and Michael Steele. They haven’t said one cross word about the Democratic Party in four solid years. Their entire ideology is boiled down to hating Donald Trump.
As it turned out, there was little appetite for NeverTrump conservatism in 2016. Standing here in 2020, after four enormously successful years of a Trump presidency, that appetite has shrunk to microscopic levels. We’re sure that WaPo-reading Democrats appreciate The Lincoln Project, but it’s not going to give Joe Biden a single extra vote.