In a new TV and digital ad launching soon, the Lincoln Project finds Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) For stock trading after attending a private Senate briefing on the spreading coronavirus. The ad, first shared with POLITICO, has a populist tone that contrasts Loeffler’s wealth – her Georgia mansion and her Sea Island villa – with the Americans struggling during the pandemic.
In the longer run, the 18 Republican attorneys general and the majority of House Republicans who supported the failed Texas lawsuit “will not get a free pass,” Galen said. “They’re not allowed to run themselves through the car wash on January 21 and say, ‘Just kidding, we didn’t mean it.’ ”
Raising money without Trump in the White House to motivate donors will undoubtedly be another challenge for the movement. The Lincoln Project leaders said they expect fundraising to decline after the run-offs in Georgia, but they are confident that their creativity in ads and messages will attract the attention that helps raise money. Kristol said “our donors think we have made a difference in 2020” and want the group to keep going.
A mysterious anti-Trump group is plotting the future
But the way forward for the never-Trump movement is far from clear. A recent email to attendees of the secret anti-Trump rally known as the Meeting of the Concerned, obtained by POLITICO, illustrates the crossroads some never-Trumpers are facing.
With Trump soon to leave office, “it is worth considering what new functions the meetings can or should serve,” Geoff Kabaservice, a meeting organizer, wrote to his allies.
Then he asked them to fill out a questionnaire, asking everything: “Do you believe that after Trump’s departure, the Republican Party can become a positive force in American political life?” to “Would you rather focus your political efforts over the next two years on reforming the GOP, or on supporting the Democrats or a third party?”
Kabaservice said that because the meetings are confidential, he could not discuss the specific findings of the poll. But he said to those in the movement “Worried a little bit about what will keep us together” after Trump left office.
Some believe in “renovating and restoring the Republican Party”. Others say, “Well done, and it must all be burned down.” Regarding forming a third party, Kaberservice said, there is “a huge difference of opinion.”
Sarah Longwell, co-founder of the anti-Trump Republicans for the Rule of Law, said her mission is two-fold: to continue to combat Trump’s attacks on the electoral system and to protect Republicans who break with Trump or who work with Democrats.
Her group dropped nearly $ 1 million in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan, defending GOP officials who certified the election results in recent weeks. Longwell’s group also launched its very first ad purchase on Newsmax – a far-right outlet turned favorite of Trump’s – to combat misinformation served to Trump voters at the source. And if Trump runs again, she will keep her other organization, Republican voters against Trump, going.
Longwell also said, “We want to be there to provide close air support for Republicans trying to find a way to work together on sensible things” with Biden, such as infrastructure legislation or reforms that keep the executive in check.
A new party?
The Republican Party’s attempts to reverse the election results, including an upcoming last-ditch House floor attempt and threats of violence by GOP officials, never baffled Trumpers. It spurred McMullin to ask in a New York Times op-ed this week if it was time to form a new conservative party.
That could “include running our own candidates in Republican primaries,” he said in an interview with POLITICO.
“I wouldn’t be in favor of starting a new party without the support of some sitting officials in Congress or elsewhere,” said McMullin. “We’re getting closer to a point where that might be possible.”
Some leading never-Trump groups have begun debating which Trump loyalists should target in primaries. Among the possibilities: Republican representatives Louie Gohmert from Texas, Andy Biggs from Arizona, Chris Stewart from Utah, Jim Jordan from Ohio, and Paul Gosar from Arizona. They can also challenge Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) By supporting a Democrat. However, the talks are at an early stage and the goals may change depending on which party wins the senate.
The amorphous nature of the Never-Trump movement is evident in the individuals who composed it. Some have done what they once considered unthinkable and have become Democrats. Others said they are neither Democrats nor republicans, making it more difficult to plan their next steps.
“I don’t see any place for me to be elected in the next four years because Trump and Trumpism are going to dominate,” said former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.). “I’ll probably stay in the political wilderness for the rest of my life.”
Stevens, of the Lincoln Project, is willing to work for Republicans, but is more focused on helping Democrats be a “ruling” party.
“In essence, the choice that divides the parties now is not so much ideological as it is pro-democracy or pro-authoritarian,” said Stevens. ‘It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We’ve had authoritarian moves in America before, but we’ve never had one so embraced by a majority of a party to throw away election results. “