Friday, October 23, 2020

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Unreliable Friend

 The Lincoln Project has been doing an amazing job of getting inside the heads of the Trumps, and it is delightful:

So, why am I ambivalent?  Let me count the ways:

  1. These NeverTrump Republicans are doing a great job of featuring the awfulness of Trump folks
  2. But they are using brutally negative ads that are probably not healthy for a democracy.
  3. They may be convincing some Republicans to vote for Biden.
  4. They may be sucking up money that could be going to Democratic party building.  We need to win this one, but we also need to build the party to fight at all levels for more than just this year.
  5. They seem dedicated to also removing the rot in the GOP Senate by supporting Democratic Senate candidates
  6. They are chock full of people who helped to make Sarah Palin a thing, she of the "real" America stuff.  So, they are partially to more than partially to blame for where we are now. 
  7. I want to believe in forgiveness.  I want folks to make up for the errors of the past.  Perhaps this is what it is. 
  8. Or it could just be a big grift, keeping the usual crew of GOP ad-makers and campaign organizers employed in a cycle where they are, otherwise, out in the woods. 
  9. Their negativity makes it easier for the Biden campaign to mostly run positive stuff and stay above the fray.

So, I am ambivalent.  I see how much pain they are causing the Trumps, who have largely been able to avoid the consequences of all of the bad things they have done for decades.  And I want the Trumps to feel the consequences--I want them to suffer for the crimes they have visited upon the young, the old, and everybody in between.  They should pay for the extra covid deaths, the abuses the kids have experienced, and all of that.

But I also know that hate is toxic if swallowed, and I can't help but think that the LP is creating more hate, more toxicity, not unlike the ooze that flooded NYC in Ghostbusters 2.  

And I worry about 2024--that these folks may line up with Cotton or Hawley or some other awful candidate who lets them back in.  

The realist maxim--the enemy of my enemy is my friend--has an implicit warning--what happens when the mutual adversary is gone?  It is not a basis for trust.  It is fundamentally unreliable.  The Never Trumps do not support many of the policies that Democrats support (when we are feeling mildly coherent).  So, we enjoy the show, but we ought not send them our $ and we ought not turn our backs on them.  



Mad Padre said...

Agreed. These guys popped up recently on Showtime's The Circus, and while they were gleeful in their energetic destructiveness, rather like Shakespeare's Iago, I didn't see much that was positive beyond it. Like Samson, are they just pulling the house down on a GOP that they no longer recognize, or will they turn on the Dems in the pos-Trump era, assuming there is not a long civil war among the Republicans?
I also think your point #8 is astute - there is a lot of money going into their pockets.

Rheinhard said...

You need to use my friend’s more accurate formulation: ”The enemy of my enemy... is often a useful pawn!