The Lincoln Project, a super PAC founded by failed Republican operatives whose support for Democratic candidates in 2020 has made them darlings of the #Resistance, is trying to avoid getting canceled by its liberal allies.
These anti-cancellation efforts involve cutting ties with affiliates who dare to behave too much like the group's founder, adorably indecent Twitter personality Rick Wilson, whose list of political clients includes police advocate Rudy Giuliani, immigration opponent Kris Kobach, and investment banker Evan McMullin.
The pro-Democrat group cut ties with Sophia Nelson, a woman of color, for calling President Trump a "retarded ass." On Tuesday, video editor Ben Howe was excommunicated for old tweets in which he "deployed female anatomy as an insult." The Lincoln Project immediately ended Howe's affiliation with the group "based on these unacceptable and offensive posts," according to a statement provided to the Washington Post.
Howe used words such as "vagina" and "twat" to attack his critics and once dropped the c-word in what appears to have been an ill-advised joke about feminism. He apologized for the "inexcusable" tweets that had so offended his former employer.
The Lincoln Project's decision to sever its relationship with Howe is a curious one given its founder's own history of vulgar tweets. Wilson has routinely "deployed female anatomy" to attack his critics, using terms such as "humorless twat," "anonymous pussy," and "s— talking pussy," among others, often accompanied by a menacing meme or GIF.
Wilson also posted photos on Instagram of a cooler featuring the words, "The South Will Rise Again," along with the Confederate flag, which he described last month as "the traitor's flag of the loser confederacy." He has not been fired, obviously. Wilson is perhaps best known for a CNN appearance earlier this year in which he made Don Lemon laugh by mocking Republican voters using a thick Southern accent.
Howe's ouster from the Lincoln Project runs counter to Wilson's own philosophy on old tweets. During an utterly humiliating appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Wilson was confronted with a tweet he wrote in 2010 about attendees of the left-wing Netroots Nation conference, describing them as "Barack Obama's bitch" and "pathetic little whores."
Wilson defended himself, in marked contrast with the Lincoln Project's reaction to Howe's old tweets. "The fact of the matter is, everyone on Twitter lives in a culture where there's a lot of fronting and a lot of s— talk," he said. "And not every quote that you have on Twitter from the past is something that you're going to live with forever."
If you're struggling to pinpoint a consistent philosophy here, it's because there is none—apart from the fact that founders are simply less likely to be canceled than video editors. Democratic governors of states such as Virginia, for example, are less likely to suffer consequences for wearing blackface than, say, a random middle-aged woman at a Washington Post party.
The Late Show appearance was a disaster for Wilson, not least because he had presumably anticipated a softball interview that would applaud him for "owning" Donald Trump so hard. Instead, the Lincoln Project was ruthlessly mocked for its founders' affiliations with the George W. Bush administration and for how much money the group was spending on overhead costs as opposed to political activity.
In any event, it suggests that the Lincoln Project's mainstream liberal allies aren't so smitten anymore, and they might not object when the woke mob comes to cancel the group and its anti-Trump associates. It's only a matter of time, now that Lincoln himself is on the cancellation block.