Home / General / No Labels is a crypto-Trumpist operation

No Labels is a crypto-Trumpist operation


More excellent work here from Thomas Edsall, who lays out how No Labels, a Nancy Jacobson-Mark Penn joint, is planning to try to get Donald Trump elected.

No Labels is going to pick a presidential candidate after the Super Tuesday primaries in March. The point of waiting that long is to figure out how to best help Trump defeat Biden, by running someone who (modest version) can shave a point or two off Biden’s performance relative to Trump in a few swing states, or (grandiose version) actually win a state or two and throw the election to the House of Representatives, which would then elect Trump. Note that when the House votes if no candidate has an electoral majority, it does so by state delegation, rather than by individual member, which means it’s irrelevant if the Democrats win back a majority of members in November.

Another very special feature of this operation is that No Labels has gotten away with the absurd fiction that it’s not really a political party, at least for the purposes of campaign finance disclosure laws, so the only reason we know Harlan Crow is funding it is because he deigned to tell us, between writing checks for the leisure time activities of his own personal Supreme Court justice. Who else is throwing big money at this is a question to which we don’t know the answer at present, but it’s pretty easy to guess, at least as a general matter.

Yet another fun fact is that No Labels itself appears to be something of an authoritarian cult, which might explain its abiding if technically closeted affection for Donald Trump:

One of the many questions facing No Labels is how the organization can select nominees without looking as if the candidates have been chosen in a less-than-democratic process by a small group of No Labels leaders.

“We have not solidified that process,” Jacobson said in the Zoom interview.

I asked [William] Galston how decisions were made at No Labels during the years he was associated with the group. He replied:

The decision-making structure was always a bit of a mystery to me. There were several advisory committees and a board, but Nancy Jacobson, the C.E.O., always seemed to be the ultimate authority. My hunch is that a handful of people — the co-chairs, the lawyers, the largest funders, perhaps others — had an informal veto in key decisions, but Nancy was always focused and persuasive, adept at building internal coalitions and marginalizing dissent.

“In my experience,” he added, “she almost always got her way.”

Crypto-fascists are in many ways worse than open fascists, because their lies are especially destructive of liberal democracy.

They should be treated accordingly.

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