The way to fix the Lincoln Project: Shut it down for good

The revelation that political operatives you probably assumed were pretty cynical turn out to be somewhat more cynical than you supposed would not seem like a huge revelation. But there’s a reason this hypocrisy is important even if not very surprising.

In 2020, the Lincoln Project made common cause with progressives in heckling Trump and trying to mobilize voters to beat him. But this alliance between progressives and former Republican operatives was conflicted at the core. Long term, the success of progressive politics depends on a revival of public faith that politics is genuinely animated by idealism and that government is effective. In short, it requires faith that, most times, things are on the level.

By contrast, right-wingers who don’t have a large agenda for activist government and already think conventional politics is often corrupt are entertained by the Lincoln Project’s sordid meltdown. It validates their worldview, rather than threatens it.