“Beware of false prophets. If this is the best American Christians can do, God help us all.”
This warning about the danger posed to the nation by current U.S. president Donald Trump and his minions came in a video ad released this week by The Lincoln Project (see video below).
The Lincoln Project group was co-founded last month by Rick Wilson, a Republic political strategist and “Never Trump” leader who authored a book titled, Everything Trump Touches Dies, and John Weaver, a strategist for John Kasich’s 2016 presidential run.
The group argues that Trump and the evangelical leaders who support him “are trying to transform America into their greedy image,” characterizing them as “false prophets,” “professional grifters” and “cult makers,” Fox News reported.
Attorney George Conway, the husband of top White House advisor Kellyanne Conway and a Project board member, tweeted:
“Christians can do better, and Americans can do better, than having [an] amoral con man in the White House.”
Fox News reports that The Lincoln Project’s goal is to persuade “enough disaffected conservatives, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in swing states and districts to help ensure a victory in the Electoral College, and congressional majorities that don’t enable or abet Mr. Trump’s violations of the Constitution.”
An ABC News report said the group hopes to “chip away at [the president’s] support among evangelical voters” and “to try and help sink [his] re-election prospects.”
The new ad is the group’s first public salvo in its bid to unseat the president.
“We see a sizable segment of the Republican base experiencing ‘Trump Fatigue,’ — they’ve had it, and that’s a huge red flag for him,” Mike Madrid, a veteran Republican political consultant and vocal Trump critic, as well as a Lincoln Project advisory board member, told ABC News.
Madrid argues that the Project’s impact on the 2020 election could be huge, even if only a tiny percentage of Republicans are significantly impacted by its campaign.
But it won’t be easy.
“A marginal decline in Republican support, as little as 3-5% will create a tectonic electoral shift away from Republicans,” Madrid said. “That’s not just possible — it’s probable.”
The president’s support in his party is mammoth — more than 85 percent of Republicans support the job he is doing as president — and it’s mostly unwavering.
If the group is also looking for some kind of mea culpa from Trump, it’s likely a fool’s errand, as even evidenced by its new video. When asked by a CNN reporter in a clip on the video, the president seems to not know why he should.
“Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness?” he asked the reporter, rhetorically.
Meanwhile, the president continues to pander to evangelicals, who appear to believe whatever he says.
“We have God on our side,” he told cheering evangelical Christians at a Florida “megachurch” outside Miami the day after Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was believed responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. and coalition troops, Fox News reported.
“I really do believe we have God on our side … or there would have been no way that we could have won,” Trump told the Florida crowd, once again harking back to his improbable 2016 victory. “People say, ‘How do you win?’ You don’t have the media. You have so many things against you’ — and we win. So there has to be something.”
But how effective will The Lincoln Project’s first anti-Trump video be? It’s an open question, considering that even Trump opponents think the ad is flawed. One respondent said it “just fell flat. It was too long overall; within, it took way too long to get anywhere near a point; and it was too disjointed to sell the message.”
Don’t start celebrating Trump’s political demise just yet.
But don’t give up, either. These Project Lincoln guys are rich and probably can afford more ads. Let’s hope the next one is better.