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OPINION

Lincoln Project’s schemes familiar to its adversaries

By DOUGLAS MACKINNON | Special to The Baltimore Sun | Published: March 1, 2021

Much of the Republican conservative universe has been united in their contempt of the now scandal-plagued Lincoln Project, a self-described group of Republicans who sold themselves as do-gooders only seeking to rid the nation of the evils of Donald Trump.
Now, many on both sides of the aisle and in the media have been describing the Lincoln Project as a team of “grifters” who allegedly cashed in on the hate the Democrats, the far left and various celebrities in Hollywood had for Trump — to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
Last month, the conservative Washington Times published a piece titled: “How is the Lincoln Project still in Business? For people who have willingly given their money to Lincoln Project grifters, the word ‘sucker’ doesn’t go deep enough.” Fair question. But a better one for Republicans, conservatives and people of faith who supported Trump would be: “Are there Trump grifters out there? If so, how are they still in business?”
The lack of curiosity from most in their ranks regarding some of the Trump swamp creatures is quite telling.
Fortunately, a few are speaking out. Before the attack on the Capitol, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, at the very end of December, tweeted out a warning. “All this talk about Jan. 6 from @realDonaldTrump and other congressional grifters is simply explained: they will raise money and gain followers by blaming everyone else knowing full well they can’t do anything. It’s sad, and an utter scam. #restoreourgop.”
The congressman — who is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard — was not only spot-on with his Twitter criticism, but eerily prescient in a CNN interview around the same time: “If you convince people that, you know, Congress can change a legitimate election and everything was stolen, there is a deep state/QAnon theory driving this that Satanist pedophiles run the government, you can see people being driven to violence …”
Ten days later, the Capitol building was stormed. Knowing that, maybe the GOP should take Kinzinger’s warning regarding Trump “grifters” very seriously.
For instance, soon after Trump legally lost the election to Joe Biden, Trump supporters created a leadership PAC titled: “Save America.” As recently reported by ABC News and others, this PAC and other Trump-enabling entities raised close to $300 million contesting the presidential election as well as the runoff election in Georgia. Almost all of that money was sent in by “small donors.” In other words, average and often poor Americans who were convinced by hundreds of fundraising emails, that the election may have been “stolen” from them.
Fleecing the poor, the elderly, the ignorant and the vulnerable for personal profit is a time-honored tradition for various swamp creatures. It’s also how certain “prosperity preacher” televangelists and evangelists have operated for years, as they accumulated jets, mansions and bursting bank accounts.
Coincidently, as news reports keep telling us, a number of “Republican” political consultants are allegedly buying multimillion-dollar homes, paying off massive tax debts and working overtime to conceal how much money went into their personal bank accounts.
Going back to the Trump “Save America” PAC and others raising money off suggestions of a stolen election, news reports reveal that only about $13 million of the almost $300 million was spent on legal expenses. More than $100 million of it went to fundraising, ABC reported.
If the Lincoln Project is bad, how do we classify those bombarding “small donor” Americans for money to fight a “stolen” election that wasn’t stolen? I suspect the Biden Department of Justice will be interested in “following the money.” A swamp creature is a swamp creature no matter their party affiliation, and none are good for the American people.
Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House writer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and a Pentagon official. His latest book, a novel, is “The Dawn of a Nazi Moon: Book One.”