The Corner

Elections

The Professional Resistance Desperately Wants Trump to Be the Republican Nominee in 2024

Former President Donald Trump looks on at his first post-presidency campaign rally in Wellington, Ohio, June 26, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

A lot of people publicly said they were horrified by Donald Trump’s rise in American politics. Some of us meant it. We may talk about Trump and the events he inspired because they are still newsworthy, but fundamentally, we are looking forward to a post-Trump Republican Party. For others, however, Trump was either just a convenient club with which to bash Republicans, or a meal ticket. It has been obvious for quite some time now who is in the latter camp: those people in the Resistance or the Never Trump factions who won’t stop obsessing over Trump and won’t let him go away. We saw that in people who actually preferred Trump to Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio in 2016. We saw it in people who opposed Glenn Youngkin’s brand of post-Trump rather than against-Trump Republicanism.

Talking to CNN’s Gabby Orr and Steve Contorno, Rick Wilson of the Lincoln Project gave the game away:

Some Trump foes have picked up on the former President’s jealousy and are using it to advance their own objectives. Next week, Palm Beach televisions, perhaps including those in Mar-a-Lago, will once again air a commercial by the Lincoln Project intended to remind Trump that DeSantis is the new GOP “it” guy. Rick Wilson, one of the ex-Republicans behind the Lincoln Project, is hoping to provoke a very specific reaction from Trump. “We want Trump to kill his own babies,” Wilson said. “We believe if we narrow the field and it’s only Trump in 2024, it’s an easy choice for Americans to say ‘no.'”

As with a number of Resistance and Never Trump organizations, the Lincoln Project’s fundraising is so pervasively built around being Against Trump that its leaders cannot abide by the idea of having no Trump around to be against. Just remember, the next time these folks lecture people about what a bad thing it is to have Trump in American politics: They want it that way.

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