If Joe Biden is claiming the mantle of president-elect, he should at least act to stop his allies’ harassment campaigns.
On Saturday, former Vice President Joe Biden delivered an acceptance speech promising to “work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did.” By Tuesday, ‘those who did’ began hunting down ‘those who didn’t’ like rabid boar.
It wasn’t a week after Democrats scolded their opponents for refusing to accept defeat that their pleas for hand-holding and national unity to turn into something much darker.
The latest salvo comes from the Lincoln Project, which raised $67.3 million over the past year to defeat President Donald Trump “and his enablers.” But the group wasn’t finished on Election Day. Its most recent move, a personal harassment campaign, should make all Americans sick.
The super PAC on Tuesday urged its 2.7 million Twitter followers to track down employees of Jones Day and Porter Wright — two law firms that it feels are in cahoots with the Trump campaign — and to confront them for “trying to overturn the will of the American people.” Soon after, the group published employees’ personal, private information online for those eager to do so.
Co-founder Rick Wilson said the Lincoln Project also plans to “target some of Jones Day’s largest clients,” such as General Motors, as retribution for the firm daring to represent Republicans.
This harassment campaign, while grotesque, was anticipated. It became clear soon after Election Day that Democrats were going to take their apparent victory as graciously as they took their loss in 2016.
In mere days following November 3, Mr. Biden’s campaign bragged that the federal government was “perfectly capable of escorting trespassers” like Mr. Trump “out of the White House.” Former First Lady Michelle Obama condemned the “tens of millions of people” who voted for “lies, hate, chaos, and division.” Social justice activists taunted Republican parents, including one activist who gloated that, under a Biden administration, “your children” will be “forced to read my book on anti-racism in school on your tax dollars.”
Then came the unthinkable commentary juxtaposing the election results with the defeat of the Axis Powers. Online, users described the streets of liberal strongholds as “like VDay after WWII,” with Labour Party loyalist Andrew Adonis comparing them to the “joyful celebrations at the end of WWII.” The Lincoln Project itself declared that “the mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled.”
These statements may sound shocking to some, but not to Mr. Trump’s supporters, who have now endured years being compared to Nazi collaborators. And, in a year during which Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Republicans “domestic enemies” and “enemies of the state,” it is no surprise what came next.
Senior operatives from Democrat Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, including his deputy campaign manager and national surrogates director, launched a public ‘enemies’ list called the “Trump Accountability Project” aimed at destroying the social and professional lives of anyone “who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America.” It is rumored that Mr. Buttigieg will join a Biden administration.
Top figures aligned with the Democratic Party approved, and promoted, such tactics.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez instructed her political circle to archive the names of “Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future.” New York Times contributing writer Wajahat Ali insisted that, “when Biden is in power,” Republicans should be treated “like the active threats to democracy they are.” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin warned that “we have a list” and that allies of Mr. Trump “should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite’ society” again.
Mr. Wilson, the Lincoln Project co-founder, concluded recently that “pain is the only teacher” and that some Republicans “don’t understand that yet. But you will.” His group’s sick, ongoing campaign against Jones Day is what these operatives’ tirades look like in practice.
While the election results are not official, Mr. Biden has claimed the mantle of president-elect. It is up to him to condemn and deter this threatening behavior from his allies, lest his inauguration will not be the end of the “grim era of demonization in America,” as his acceptance speech pledged, but the beginning.
Brian Anderson is founder of the Saguaro Group, an Arizona-based research firm.