(This is an official editorial of the Washington Examiner, from August 1) The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group led by formerly Republican consultants, has become an affront to its namesake. The group is working to destroy the political party Abraham Lincoln built.

If the group contented itself with trying to defeat President Trump, its founders could at least claim that they were interested in opposing an individual they viewed as a norm-destroying threat to conservatism. But the Lincoln Project is not stopping there. It is now fighting a political holy war to defeat Republicans up and down the ballot, with a particular focus on transferring the Senate majority from Republicans to Democrats.

These consultants trade on their Republican pasts and claim to be “broadly conservative … in our politics and outlooks,” yet they are scorching the political earth against even the most thoughtful and moderate of Republican senators in favor of liberals and even hard-left opponents. And beyond that, not content with merely opposing Republicans, the Lincoln Project resorts to harsh name-calling and smears.

The most egregious example came this week in the group’s malicious advertisement against Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican of renowned personal decency and diligence. The ad calls Collins “a fraud” who “makes excuses for corruption, for criminality, for cruelty,” and it portrays her as a “Trump stooge.”

This is the same Collins who was one of only two Senate Republicans with the courage to vote to hear additional witnesses (presumably against Trump) in the president’s impeachment trial — the same Collins who is the least likely Republican to support Trump’s stated position on any issue. (Collins’s 67.5% “with Trump” rating is approached only by quirky libertarian Rand Paul’s 69.9%, with 48 of her 52 GOP colleagues voting with Trump more than 80% of the time — most above 90%.)

[The full editorial is here.]


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