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The discredited, disreputable Lincoln Project appears to be attempting to make a comeback with the launch of a new “project” ostensibly designed to promote civility.
The “Never Trump” group unveiled this new Franklin Project, as they call it, in a tweet last week containing a video of several political figures of different ideological stripes, excluding former President Donald Trump, hobnobbing among themselves.
Despite not including the former president, the group did include a photo of former first lady Melania Trump sitting alongside former first lady Michelle Obama to demonstrate civility. There was just one jarring problem.
View the tweet below:
The Franklin Project, launching soon. pic.twitter.com/kwsNmxOQlI
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) May 13, 2021
The Lincoln Project has a history of uncivilly attacking the former first lady with smears. After she renovated the White House Rose Garden last year in line with the tradition of first ladies renovating it, Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt accused her of destroying the Rose Garden “in the name of her vanity.”
Schmidt, who resigned in disgrace three months ago after the “project” was found to be harboring an accused pedophile, also derided her as the “worst first Lady in American History.”
That didn’t seem very civil …
She is as bad as him. Her name is Trump. She destroyed the Rose Garden in the name of her vanity. She is the worst First Lady in American History. She is a Trump, in every way. https://t.co/T8yEtO7nBr
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) January 11, 2021
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last August, Marta McDowell, a renowned expert on gardening history, said it’s a tradition for first ladies to revamp the garden.
That being said, the whole matter surrounding Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver, who was accused of being a pedophile, is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the group’s lack of civility.
After the Weaver bombshell emerged around the start of the year, the predominately male group attacked its one female co-founder, Jennifer Horn, for publicly resigning over the scandal.
As previously reported by BizPac Review, the group’s male members retaliated by publishing screenshots of her private Twitter messages:
Lincoln Project implosion and cover-up intensifies, accused of publishing DMs of co-founder for… https://t.co/JGlURjGdiX
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) February 12, 2021
This move backfired heavily on the group and the backlash eventually led Schmidt to resigning days later in total humiliation over not only the Weaver matter but also his treatment of Horn.
“She deserved better from me. She deserved a leader who could restrain his anger. I am sorry for my failure,” he said in his resignation letter.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) February 13, 2021
Because of behavior like this — not to mention the group’s sketchy financial behavior, its blatant lies and its glaring threats — the notion that it’s in a position to lecture others about decency and civility hasn’t sat well with everybody in the public.
NAMBLA rebranding itself. https://t.co/xEzyPiJxUN
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) May 13, 2021
How does preying on underage boys fit under the umbrella of “civility?” https://t.co/rv1mCx1iyx
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 13, 2021
ummm…is this a parody? @ProjectLincoln folks are the rudest, snobbiest, nastiest bunch I’ve seen in politics in a while. All they do is insult people. Constructive dialogue? These people are the worst. But hey, another place to dump donor $$ I guess. https://t.co/q09yYVKiS5
— Kira (@RealKiraDavis) May 13, 2021
Application Question #3: When propositioning teenage boys do you do it civilly?
— Kira (@RealKiraDavis) May 13, 2021
Application Question #2: Are you a pedo? Is it a well kept secret?
— Bryan Suits. KFI Los Angeles/Early Seltzer Adopter (@darksecretplace) May 13, 2021
You gonna have pedophiles in that one too? Or nah?
— Chris Pack (@ChrisPack716) May 13, 2021
The Grift Train chugs on!
— Jason Ferrante (@FerranteJason) May 13, 2021
Launching soon? The Aspen Institute launched the Franklin Project in 2012.
— Todd Gurvis (@tevye) May 13, 2021
The latter Twitter was correct. The real Franklin Project was a policy program ran by the nonpartisan Aspen Institute nonprofit from 2012 to 2015. But unlike the Lincoln Project’s apparently stolen Franklin Project, it actually served a real purpose.
“In 2013, the Aspen Institute launched a new venture, the Franklin Project, to build a case for a voluntary civilian service counterpart to military service in the United States. The Project seeks to make ‘a year of full-time national service a cultural expectation, common opportunity, and civic rite of passage for every young American,'” according to a profile published by the Hewlett Foundation in 2015.
“In addition to mobilizing public and political support for such an effort, the project is working with nonprofit leaders, representatives from local, state, and national governments, universities, and major US employers to help establish full-time service year positions within their organizations. The Project aims to create 30,000 new service year positions by 2017, and eventually reach a total of 1 million existing and new positions by 2023.”
The project eventually merged with ServiceNation and the National Conference on Citizenship’s Service Year Exchange Project of the National Conference to form a new organization, the Service Year Alliance, that is still active today.
Unlike the Lincoln Project, the original Franklin Project didn’t have a track record of harboring suspected pedophiles and using fundraiser money to pay off their debts.
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