Instead of debating the allegations from the Republican-run Lincoln Project, President Donald Trump's team is trying to take them down with attacks on them instead.
Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot wrote in his Wednesday column that we should look no further for evidence that the Lincoln Project videos are working than the recent attacks.
"The most common charge is that, as Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel put it, the organization has a 'record of grift' and 'profiting off attacking President Trump,' Boot quoted. "This charge has been faithfully repeated with no evidence by the lapdog conservative press, e.g., the National Review and Ben Shapiro."
It's "pretty rich," he said, coming from Trump's team after watching Trump's friends and top right-wing conservatives who have used the White House to benefit personally and for former employers.
"According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Trump campaign and affiliated committees have spent $22 million at Trump properties since he entered politics in 2015," reported Boot. "Now we learn that Trump directed the U.S. ambassador to Britain to ask the British government to steer the British Open to his golf resort in Scotland."
That, Boot said, is corruption, if McDaniel was confused. The Lincoln Project starting their group and hiring themselves to do the work is the everyday business of politics. The desperate attempt to attack them, however, shows the GOP's hand.
"There is no reason to believe that the 'Lincoln Project executives are simply pocketing the money that's channeled through their political consulting firms,'" Boot quoted the Daily Beast. "If those working on the Lincoln Project are compensated, well, they deserve it. They're turning out brilliant videos at a relentless pace that puts most political organizations to shame."
They're arguably also working hard to get their message out and do press and media around it. That's how normal campaigns run. As far as we know, no one at the Lincoln Project has met with a Russian lawyer to discuss "dirt" on any candidate, they're merely using the publicly available information from the president's own mouth.
The war against the Lincoln Project is really a "thinly disguised attack on its tactics," Boot said, noting the ways in which they pick apart Trump and the Republican Party from a moderate political position. The right-wing is furious, Boot described, for targeting vulnerable GOP senators. But the reality is that the Republican senators are only being held accountable for trusting that Trump would protect them or save them from being kicked out of office. As with Trump's allies sitting in jail, it's obvious that isn't the way Trump works.
He went on to cite a book from Stuart Stevens, who has consulted with the Lincoln Project, It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump. The book outlines the extent to which the GOP has been willing to turn its back on their longtime values to score votes with the far-right.
The book blasts today's Republican Party as "a white grievance party," claiming "there is an ugly history of code words and dog whistles in the party."
Any other parts of the GOP platform are "convenient fiction," Boot said.
"How do you abandon deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy, and the national debt in a matter of months? You don't. The obvious answer is those beliefs weren't deeply held.… [I]t had always been about power. The rest? The principles? The values? It was all a lie," Stevens' book reads.
"The most distinguishing characteristic of the current national Republican Party is cowardice," the book goes on. "The base price of admission is a willingness to accept that an unstable, pathological liar leads it and pretend otherwise."
Like a farmer burning the fields, it appears the Lincoln Project thinks the only way to get the real GOP back to what it was is to burn the fields. Boot noted that you know things are bad when the GOP is going after conservatives like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and John Bolton.
"If we are ever again to have a sane and sober center-right party in America — something we desperately need — then the Trumpified GOP must first be demolished," Boot closed. "That is what the Lincoln Project is trying to accomplish and more power to it. By leading the charge against the Republican Party, its founders have shown greater fealty to conservative principles than 99 percent of elected Republicans."