The gathering featured a whos-who of Trump haters.
According to a weekend blurb in Politico, a launch party Friday night to celebrate the release of yet another screed about Donald Trump attracted journalists and lawmakers as well as NeverTrumpers such as Bill Kristol and David Frum. Unmasking the Presidency, a new book authored by Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes, went on sale a few weeks ago and is already available on Amazon for a deep discount.
The book party was sponsored by Democracy Fund, a nonprofit backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Since 2016, Omidyar, a self-proclaimed Trump foe, has dumped tens of millions of dollars into projects to sabotage the president. (Lawfare, a wellspring of Russian collusion propaganda, received $600,000 from Democracy Fund between 2017 and 2019.)
So, of course, Kristol was in attendance at the soiree. Alleged “conservatives” in the NeverTrump cabal that Kristol commands have prostituted themselves by accepting money from the leftist tech billionaire with a grudge against the president and a record of hostility to conservatism.
“Omidyar has given $213 million to various causes, many of which are active in left-wing politics,” according to a report in InfluenceWatch, which tracks the activities of political interest groups. His name often is mentioned alongside other tycoons on the Left such as Tom Steyer, George Soros, and Michael Bloomberg.
Shortly after American Greatness exposed in 2018 how Kristol and several of his fellow NeverTrump co-conspirators lived off Omidyar’s generous dole, the owners of The Weekly Standard, a once-respected outlet for conservative thought founded by Kristol, shut down the magazine. Its replacement, The Bulwark, is funded by Kristol’s latest group, Defending Democracy Together.
In 2018, an Omidyar nonprofit donated $1.6 million to Defending Democracy Together. Figures for 2019 aren’t yet available but it’s probably safe to assume Kristol received at least as much, if not much more, to pimp for Trump’s impeachment this year.
That’s because Kristol has been burning through other people’s cash on (another) public campaign against Donald Trump. Republicans for the Rule of Law, a project of Defending Democracy Together, bought pricey air time and sponsored billboards to bully vulnerable Republican senators into rendering a guilty verdict against Donald Trump.
Over the past few weeks, according to an ABC News report, Republicans for the Rule of Law has spent $1 million on impeachment-related propaganda. The group aired TV ads on cable news and broadcast networks in six states urging Republican senators to allow for new witnesses.
“They can honor their oath to do impartial justice and vote for transparency and openness. Or they can shove their fingers in their ears and try to hide the facts from both themselves and their constituents,” a spokesman for the group told ABC News, referring to senators such as Colorado’s Cory Gardner and Arizona’s Martha McSally, both up for reelection in November.
In one of Kristol’s more embarrassing moves—and that’s saying a lot—he launched a website last month that promotes replacing Trump with the vice president. PresidentPence.com posted a checklist comparing the two and concluded, of course, that Pence is the better man. Trump haters can purchase t-shirts, mugs, and hats with the logo, “Pence. Well, I guess he’ll do.” (Anyone caught wearing such garb should be deported.)
Kristol explained on MSNBC the mad genius behind his push to elevate Trump’s number two, claiming Pence would govern in the exact same way Trump has for the past three years. Never one to be shy about spewing his contempt for Trump voters, Kristol went on, “I really do think that half the people who watch Fox News and support the president think that if he’s impeached and removed that Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi will become president,” the Bulwark’s editor-at-large told Mika Brzezinski on January 23.
Other Omidyar-backed NeverTrumpers shilled for impeachment. They include Stand Up Republic, led by Evan McMullin and the recipient of more than $1 million in Omidyar cash since 2017; Protect Democracy, whose advisors include National Review columnist Mona Charen and pundits Linda Chavez and Matthew Dowd, has received more than $2 million from Democracy Fund since 2017; and writers and editors at The Bulwark. (Charlie Sykes, editor-in-chief of The Bulwark, is an advisor for Democracy Fund.)
But Omidyar isn’t Kristol’s only left-wing BFF. Kristol partnered up with yet another new outlet—Defend American Democracy—in November to harass Republican House members with TV ads featuring military veterans imploring congressmen to “put country over party.” Defend American Democracy is sponsored by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a nonprofit feathered by so-called dark money operated by Clinton and Obama loyalists.
The D.C.-based 501(c)4 spent more than $140 million in 2018 alone on various anti-Trump campaigns and left-wing causes. “The money contributed to efforts ranging from fighting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and other Trump judicial nominees to boosting ballot measures raising the minimum wage and changing laws on voting and redistricting in numerous states,” Politico reported in November. “The group’s 2018 fundraising surpassed any amount ever raised by a left-leaning political nonprofit.”
Once again, it looks like defending “conservatism,” Kristol and NeverTrump’s alleged raison d’etre, means continuing to front for deep-pocketed leftists who oppose every supposed “conservative” principle they claim—or used to claim—to cherish.
Just like every other Trump-slaying crusade that Kristol has initiated for nearly five years, NeverTrump’s impeachment gambit backfired in spectacular fashion. The president’s job approval rating is at an all-time high; even the Republican Party got a boost from the House Democrats’ ill-fated operation. Republicans for the Rule of Law is left to run ads commending Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) for his vote to convict Trump and defending Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman against Trump’s “attacks” on the “whistleblower’s” source. Hilarious.
Post-impeachment, Kristol has been campaigning in New Hampshire—not for a Republican primary challenger to Trump, as Kristol has promised for the past few years. No, the fraudulent conservative is asking Republicans and independents to take a Democratic ballot in Tuesday’s primary and vote against Bernie Sanders, the likely winner.
“We’re trying to save the nation from a choice between Trumpism and socialism,” Kristol explained to a local newspaper over the weekend.
A stunning, and dishonest, statement from someone on the take of a leftist billionaire who supports much of Sanders’ agenda, including open borders and climate change dogma. (Omidyar produced a film in 2015 that blasted climate change skeptics.)
There’s little daylight between Omidyar and Sanders. The tech titan is an advocate of what he calls a “new economy,” which promises a more equitable economy based on a “rebalanced social contract among business, the state, and individuals.”
But Kristol’s public ploy to defeat Sanders is a bait and switch; while Sanders is the most recognizable face of socialism, all the other leading candidates have voiced their support for the Vermont senator’s radical policy agenda. The Democrats, and NeverTrump, just need a different face.
It won’t work. And it’s only a matter of time before more left-wing largess flows Kristol’s way and he’s running ads on Fox News trying—unsuccessfully—to convince Republicans to vote for Bernie Sanders. It will be NeverTrump’s inevitable, and humiliating, endgame in 2020.