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Popcorn: How an Anti-Trump Group Got Hit With a Boomerang Over a Self-Righteous Tweet

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Look, I guess you could say I was in the “Never Trump” camp when the crazy 2016 season began. Then, the president won the brutal GOP primaries. He was going to be our guy and I got on board. One, that’s what loyal Republicans do. Second, defeating Hillary Clinton was now the only mission. The primaries were done, it was time to unite and defeat the Democrats. For a small sliver, this principles crowd, Trump will never win them over, despite pushing an agenda that conservative Republicans have advocated for years, especially the remaking of the judiciary. Nope. It’s still not good enough because he tweets, of they don’t like his personality, etc., so is that why they’re supporting…a Democrat. Sorry, backing Democrats to save the GOP has to be the nth degree of stupidity. And no, the GOP of old is not coming back. The party base changed. Trump proved that. Deal with it. 


So, we have this Never Trump Lincoln Project that’s now a “sudden campaign force” (via WaPo):

The grainy first-person testimonial arrived at 2 a.m. in late June. A 40-year-old man with a thick Southern accent — shirtless, the red ember of his cigarette glowing in the green twilight between drags — looked into his smartphone and began talking.

“Hi, my name is Josh and I live in North Carolina and I voted for Donald Trump — my bad, fam,” he begins, before explaining that this November will mark the first time “ever, ever” that he will vote for a Democrat. “If Joe Biden drops out and the DNC runs a tomato can, I will vote for the tomato can, because I believe the tomato can will do less harm than our current president.”

The unsolicited video submission to a group called Republican Voters Against Trump is just one small part of a broader “Never Trump” rebellion that began four years ago as a largely ineffective cadre of appalled Republicans, but which has transformed in recent weeks into a potentially disruptive force in this year’s presidential race.

Groups such as the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump — which is focused on first-person testimonials like Josh’s — emphasize guerrilla tactics and scathing ads as they troll the president. The movement seeks to build a national political operation to oust both the president and his supporters in Congress, with a particular emphasis on persuading white suburban voters who consider themselves true Republicans to break from the president, according to interviews with more than a dozen anti-Trump advisers and allies who are involved in the planning, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

Advisers to the Lincoln Project, which they say has about 30 employees and raised $16.8 million this quarter, will soon expand to include ground operations. They are coordinating over 2,500 volunteers in Michigan and plan to next target Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who they see as vulnerable after his challenger, Jaime Harrison (D), pulled in a staggering $13.9 million since April.


I mean, this is a free country, but these people are Democrats now. And they’re at like single-digit strength among the GOP. No, I’m not going to listen to a bunch of former GOP operatives and their demands that we all abandon Trump because they’re salty their candidates got an ass-whooping in 2016. One tweet in general just embodies the self-righteous nature of this group, “We pledge allegiance to our country, not a political party.”

Yeah, in other words, losing but losing on principle is something honorable. It’s not. And the base was tired of it. Losing is still losing. I’d rather win with a man who may be a bit colorful in his tweets, but one with whom I agree with on 85 percent of the issues. Is that, what—un-conservative? You’re on crack if you think differently. Also, it seems one of this group’s co-founder, John Weaver, had to register as a Russian agent when lobbying against new sanctions eons ago, so great work on that blindside defense, boys. This comes after the group peddled some ads entirely in Russian, calling Trump “comrade” in a mock endorsement from Vladimir Putin.  Oh, and they thought that fake Russia-Taliban bounty story was real because they did a media spot for that too. But let’s get to the group’s ties to Russia, thanks to Mr. Weaver who was a former adviser to John Kasich, by the way. This was in May of 2019. Michael Duncan of Calvary, a public relations firm and former Mitch McConnell campaign staffer, was one of many who pointed out why this tweet was trash (via Politico):


John Weaver, the top strategist for John Kasich’s presidential campaign in 2016, has registered as a foreign agent and plans to lobby against potential sanctions on Russia.

Weaver signed a contract last month to lobby on behalf of the Tenam Corporation, a subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company.

Weaver will lobby Congress and the Trump administration on “sanctions or other restrictions in the area of atomic (nuclear) energy, trade or cooperation involving in any way the Russian Federation,” according to a disclosure filing.

The six-month contract is worth $350,000, plus expenses, with an option to extend if necessary. “Time is of the essence in the Agreement,” the contract reads, according to a copy filed with the Justice Department.

As Jerry Dunleavy at Washington Examiner wrote back then, Weaver later decided to back away, saying he wanted to focus on beating Trump and his allies. So much for country first, huh? The point is you can be anti-Trump, just don’t act like you’re any different from the rest of the clowns in DC. It’s all about money and power and it always will be. It’s war by other means. It’s a street fight. It’s all nasty. And that’s fine. The American people actually expect their leaders to be sleazebags, just don’t lie about it. It’s never the crime that’s been alleged that gets politicians in trouble, it’s the attempted cover-up. I don’t care that Trump allegedly slept around with porn stars. All I want is someone who can beat the Democrats. Right now, he’s our guy. End of story. 


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