For those who haven’t heard of it, the Friends of Abe (FoA) is an exclusive society of right-wing celebrities who pretend to be secret so as to protect themselves from imaginary discrimination in Hollywood. Never mind that many of them make public appearances on behalf of the supposedly secret group and with names like Kelsey Grammer, Tom Selleck, Bruce Willis, and Clint Eastwood, they aren’t exactly nobodies who can’t find work in movies and TV.
Now it appears that the FoA is being disbanded. A report by the Guardian reveals that the organization has decided to dispense with their activities just as the 2016 election season is heading into the homestretch. The networking group will cease to host regular gatherings where they can complain about their careers, bitch about high taxes on rich folks like themselves, fret about ISIS coming after them, hate on immigrants, whine that more Americans have access to health care than ever before, and blame President Obama for those, and every other, catastrophe they think is destroying America. The announcement was made in an email to members that said in part…
“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website. Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”
That’s some pretty powerful spin. Did you catch it? They are saying that due to their unparalleled success nobody is paying any dues or showing up for their events. And to think, I used to believe that declining revenue and attendance were signs of failure. Shows you how much I know.
As it turns out, the FoA is suffering from the same sort of internal rancor that is devouring the Republican Party from the inside, and for the same reason: Donald Trump. As the Guardian notes, “infighting over Donald Trump’s candidacy, among other factors, had drained commitment.” It goes on to expose an environment described by one the founders as a “civil war in slow motion,” and laments broken friendships and the loss of a sense of solidarity.
Trump basks in the glory of being a wrecking ball on the right. He has splintered the GOP into factions including the #NeverTrump movement and the well-financed anti-Trump “Our Principles” Super PAC. Party regulars have likened the emergence of Trump to political suicide, or at least threatened to commit suicide themselves if he gets the nomination. As for the Storm-Trumpers, they cling so tightly to their messiah that they promise to wreak havoc at the RNC convention and abandon the GOP entirely if the crown is not passed to Trump as God intends.
Even Fox News has been run through the Trump meat grinder. He has bitterly castigated the network as being full of dopes, and dummies, and boring lightweights who can’t function because of their menstrual cycles. He has even called for a boycott of the network that he says is totally unfair to him, despite the fact that they have given him far more airtime than any other candidate. The same animosities that drove the break up of the FoA can be observed in the hallways of Fox News.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
But don’t jump to conclusions yet. This announcement of defeat may be a ruse to throw everyone off the trail of the FoA’s true mission. They may just be pretending to break up so they can return to their former state of obscurity from which they can launch wingnut missiles at Democrats and other liberal foes in anonymity. Yesterday they posted a message on their Facebook page that cryptically presaged this announcement:
“Friends of Abe mentioned in the media again…sheesh, we’re becoming about as ‘secret’ as Mount Everest. I will concede that the author is correct, in that sides have certainly been drawn regarding Trump. But the organization will survive, even if, for the time being, fewer people are being let in.”
That sounds like a tactical retreat. Not that they would be any more effective as guerrilla-style activists fighting in the shadows. Having twice the impact of zero impact is still zero impact. We’ll know more shortly as the FoA Facebook page currently has a cover photo that says they will release an official statement on the Facebook page in the next twenty-fours. Maybe that statement will include an explanation for why an organization whose first rule is (borrowing from The Fight Club) “Never talk about Friends of Abe,” has a Facebook page to begin with.