There are many things to look forward to as 2020 draws to a close. Cockburn has had quite enough of lockdowns and pandemic politics. In fact, he would be quite open to everybody simply agreeing that 2020 never happened, rolling the clock back one year on New Year’s Day, and having a do-over.
More than just about anything, Cockburn has been looking forward to seeing the last of the Lincoln Project, Rick Wilson’s scatology fan club posing as a grassroots anti-Trump organization.
But God is distant and His judgment is cruel: the Lincoln Project plans to be with us forever.
On Tuesday, Axios revealed that Wilson’s NeverTrump enterprise will not be closing up shop on November 4, even if Donald Trump is defeated. Instead, it aims to become a media empire.
‘The group…is weighing offers from different television studios, podcast networks and book publishers,’ Axios writes. There will be memoirs, podcasts, perhaps a big budget Hollywood film with breasts and explosions. The Project apparently hopes to ‘develop a House of Cards-like fiction series’. Cockburn can’t blame them. In 2012, HBO cast Woody Harrelson to play Steve Schmidt, a casting choice that was…flattering, to say the least. No doubt, the rest of the Project’s rather-doughy leadership cabal hope to receive similar treatment.
‘We didn’t set out to become a media company, but we’ve inadvertently become a content creation machine,’ Wilson told Axios
Cockburn tries to be charitable. But Wilson’s statement to Axios is off. The Lincoln Project was never actually created to defeat Donald Trump. Donald Trump is defeating himself just fine, thank you. The Lincoln Project was created to print money for its founders as long as they can get away with it. Just like the Southern Poverty Law Center makes millions by spooking New Jersey housewives about ‘hate groups’ roaming flyover country, the Lincoln Project lures in left-wing donors with the fantasy of an anti-Trump conservative movement.
It’s been a lucrative grift. In the first quarter of 2020, 90 percent of all the group’s spending went to Lincoln Project staff or firms owned by them. In the second quarter, they improved slightly; a mere 86 percent of expenses went into the Project’s own pockets. From July through September, the Project raked in $39 million from Democratic donors with more money than sense, and managed to spend a whopping $13 million of that just on basic operating expenses.
You can hardly blame the Project’s leaders for trying to keep the good times rolling. But Cockburn is skeptical of their longevity past November 3. Ultimately, Rick Wilson is the man who was humiliated by Stephen Colbert and who tried to cancel Domino’s Pizza for tweeting at Kayleigh McEnany in 2012. Steve Schmidt convinced John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as a running mate, and compared a Jewish writer to Nazi collaborators for the atrocity of…wanting Joe Biden to answer questions on court packing. George Conway may be the first person to publicly rip apart his own family thanks to a Twitter addiction, and sadly, Keeping Up With the Conways is unlikely to be a Lincoln Project TV original.
Is there any real interest in feeding these people money after the election is over? Cockburn certainly hopes not. But if there is, it would be a suitably grim end to a 2020 everybody would rather forget.