‘Ivan McMuffin’ Rides Again!

Evan McMullin, whom I affectionately dubbed Ivan McMuffin years ago, rides again. As you might remember, McMullin is the dunce who ran for president in 2016 to “save America from Trump” and ended up getting a whopping 732,273 votes nationally—roughly one half of one percent of the vote. 

But have no fear! After face-planting into the brick wall of reality six years ago, McMullin is back, this time running for the U.S. Senate seat in Utah as an independent against Republican incumbent Mike Lee. The good people of the Beehive State should know McMullin has no business running for that office, or even dogcatcher for that matter.  

Let’s start with the self-dealing behind McMullin’s past races and political activism that provide numerous examples of unethical behavior. 

Indeed, McMullin’s entire career as a NeverTrumper leaves many with the impression that it was nothing but a get rich quick scheme. According to documents obtained by ProPublica, McMullin paid himself a $45,000 salary as president of his “nonprofit” Stand Up Ideas and then, indirectly, sent himself consulting fees of $222,305 in 2017 and $1.5 million in 2018, which went to his for-profit consulting business. 

What makes the situation even more appalling is that McMullin still has hundreds of thousands of dollars left in outstanding invoices that he’s refused to pay from his 2016 presidential election debacle. It stands to reason that after he loses this race for Senate he will monetize his fundraising list into some other grift. These transactions may not be illegal per se, but they should raise red flags with voters. Perhaps McMullin isn’t in this race because he cares deeply about the people of Utah but because he is thinking about the cash he can make on the back end when he loses.

What’s even more off-putting is that McMullin has proven to be a political chameleon who is willing to change his views—and his party affiliation—to get ahead in politics and enrich himself. McMullin knows he can’t win a Senate seat running as a Democrat in Utah, so he has transitioned to an independent who used to identify as a Republican who has supported Democrats in the past. 

From 2015 to his failed presidential run in 2016, McMullin was chief policy director for the House Republican Conference (which is illuminating regarding how conservative the House Republican Caucus actually was, or wasn’t, under Paul Ryan). In that role, McMullin helped develop the message for the Republican Caucus in the House. One could be forgiven for assuming that position would require somebody, at a minimum, to believe in the basic platform of the Republican Party but given McMullin’s tenure in that office, one would still be wrong. The moment he saw a benefit to himself he ran for president as an independent. Fast forward to 2020, when McMullin supported incumbent Utah Democratic Representative Ben McAdams and Democrat Joe Biden for president

Think about it this way: McMullin has turned his back on the party that gave him his start in politics and actively is trying to destroy it, not unlike most high-profile NeverTrumpers. While many of us have problems with the Republican Party, our response to those problems is to work actively to reform it from within and make it an America First party; McMullin’s is to destroy it. 

In December 2016, McMullin said the “GOP has a problem with racism.” He had already tweeted in 2016 that, “A number of Republicans see the problem (racism). They try to lead the party in a new direction, but too many disagree [and] thus the problem.” McMullin now believes that the Republican Party is controlled by racists and if you are a Republican Utah voter, McMullin would believe it more likely than not that you are a racist—especially if you voted for Donald Trump. 

So Ivan McMuffin is cool identifying as a Republican, Democrat, or independent depending on how he feels that day and who writes the check. Mind you, this is all taking place in an election year in which there is a 50-50 tie in the U.S. Senate. Republicans can’t trust the guy will vote as a conservative while Democrats can’t trust that he will caucus with the Democrats in the Senate. Independents simply should not trust the guy at all. In an effort to be everything to everybody, to advance his own apparent monetary interests, McMullin has become a man with no constituency, other than the inside the D.C. Beltway NeverTrump establishment types who will fund his campaign.

When one looks at groups like the Lincoln Project and McMullin’s many other projects, one sees a collection of useful idiots for those funding them as they make a great grift. But they should never be rewarded in any way with actual political power. So here’s hoping Utah voters embarrass McMullin again and send him into political irrelevance.

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About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

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