|“Mr. Trump: You’re either a coward who can’t stand up to an ex-KGB goon, or you’re complicit,” ex-Navy SEAL Dan Barkhuff asks in “Betrayed,” one of the Lincoln Project’s powerful commercials. “Which is it?”|
They arrived like the cavalry, bugles blowing, flags flying.
“Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption and corrosive nature of Donald Trump are a higher calling than mere politics,” began a December op-ed in the New York Times announcing the formation of the Lincoln Project. “As Americans, we must stem the damage he and his followers are doing to the rule of law, the Constitution and the American character.”
The Lincoln Project is a super PAC of Republican patriots taking a stand against a failed Republican president. In January their first video dropped, a pickaxe aimed at Trump’s evangelical base, cutting between fawning evangelical leaders — “To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God!” — with a greatest hits reel of Trumpian crudities and cruelties.
Since then the commercials arrive regularly, whistling in like artillery shells. They are quick, often appearing within a few hours of whatever outrage they are reacting to. They are blunt, not shying away from spotlighting Trump’s mental and physical decline. The latest, “Whispers,” released Tuesday, is murmured in Trump’s ear, fanning his despair and paranoia.
“Why do you think you’re losing, Donald?” a woman purrs. “It’s because you have a loyalty problem.”
In early May, “Mourning in America,” a twist on Ronald Reagan’s cheery phrase, was delivered into Trump’s head with laser-guided-bomb precision. The Lincoln Project spent $400,000 placing spots on Fox in the Washington, D.C., area with the intent to catch Trump’s attention. It worked. The president bit, hard, thrashing about like a hooked carp.
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