by Jeffery Rendall
Just when you thought the Democrat presidential primary race couldn’t get any nuttier came last week’s news that uber-liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s joined the two dozen or so already declared candidates. The Democrat contest was showing signs of settling into a dull lull after the initial excitement wore off – but now Steyer is on scene to spice things up.
Democrats lost a competitor too, as little-known California Congressman Eric Swalwell withdrew from the scrum having miserably failed to attract attention and adoration for his pathetic anti-Second Amendment platform and… well, not much else. Swalwell did participate in the first round of Democrat debates last month yet didn’t distinguish himself in the minds of party voters (at least according to the polls). Republicans made light of Swalwell’s quitting so early – and why not? Heck, we haven’t even reached mid-summer yet!
We’re a long way off from Iowa’s snow and ice and the 2020 Democrat caucuses, scheduled for February 3rd. Swalwell didn’t admit as much during his withdrawal speech, but he likely couldn’t sustain a campaign with no money, no name recognition and no distinct niche apart from the rest of the Dems.
Money, niche and to some extent, name recognition, shouldn’t be a problem for Steyer who’s so filthy affluent and “out there” that he can afford to purchase a base of support if he so chooses. Maybe Antifa will serve as Steyer’s door-knockers and neighborhood canvassers (except they’d probably blow down the doors first!). It could happen.
Max Greenwood reported on Steyer’s big reveal at The Hill, “Tom Steyer, the billionaire philanthropist and liberal activist, announced … that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination, reversing course after saying months ago that he would not mount a campaign.
“Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, has funded political projects and Democratic campaigns for years. He has also become one of the most outspoken advocates for impeaching President Trump, launching Need to Impeach in 2017 to rally support for bringing impeachment proceedings against the president.
“In his announcement, Steyer said he would focus his campaign ‘on solving two major crises – reforming our broken political system and saving our planet from the ravages of climate change.’”
You can’t help but chuckle at Steyer’s stated purpose for running, mainly because every other Democrat claims the same topics this year. Bernie Sanders staked his 2016 effort on systemic reform and bashing corporate hegemony – and look how far it got him. “The Bern” almost rode an anti-establishment wave to the Democrat nomination, only to fall short because (as the Wikileaks email dump demonstrated) then-DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile and company cooked the results against the ancient Democrat socialist from The Green Mountain State.
Of course Sanders is running again and repeating the same themes he used against Hillary Clinton, though polls show his bluster and wild hand gestures aren’t carrying him as far these days. Bernie’s anti-corporate trope is echoed by fellow Democrat control freaks like Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, Cory “I am Spartacus” Booker and Kamala “I was that little girl” Harris.
If every Democrat was his or her own vegetable you could add them all to the stew and it wouldn’t taste any different than when you started — like red (communist) tomatoes.
Steyer’s addition won’t add much flavor either, though he smells a little more pungent. Place him on the next Democrat debate stage and he’d come off somewhere between freako “I am going to harness love” Oprah-guru Marianne Williamson and babbling idiot Gov. Jay Inslee (Washington). Or maybe he’d be more like virtual unknown non-politician Andrew Yang, a novice so unprepared for primetime that he disappeared for practically the entire two-hour program (but Yang did materialize long enough to tout his “universal income” proposal).
Perhaps Steyer will channel New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and make a jackass out of himself to draw attention and additional media reverence by interrupting everyone in mid-lie without justification or permission. With such a large field it’s essential to stand out, but shouldn’t you try to be a little likable, too?
Sure, Steyer is renowned for his climate-change-is-everything pitch, but so are the others. How can anyone hope to get to the extremes of their competitors on environmental matters when most of them already endorsed the Green New Deal in one form or another? Colorless skateboarding dolt “Beto” O’Rourke, for example, argued the illegal immigration crisis is fueled by climate change, so how much farther to the left can a Democrat kook possibly hope to go? Inslee said “our towns are burning” because of the shifting global climate. Any predictions on what’s next…that the California earthquakes were triggered by an overheated planet?
The dumber the premise the more Democrats seem to like it. Imagine Democrat voters sitting at home viewing these candidates, nodding along with each successively more outlandish allegation and grabbing for a pen to write a check to the pol who looks to be the farthest gone. Strange?
At least Steyer won’t need to rely on the ignorant and undereducated emptying their piggy banks to finance his crusade against good judgment. Iowa’s and New Hampshire’s TV stations will likely meet their advertising revenue goals just through his spending alone. Tom probably figures he can replicate the outsider appeal of Donald Trump, but other than the fact they’re both rich and capable of self-funding, the two men don’t have a lot in common (though at least one commentator thinks Steyer’s media savvy will carry him far).
Steyer is no Ross Perot (who died last week), the billionaire outsider who spurred a populist political movement by challenging the ruling elites in 1992, potentially costing George H.W. Bush a second term.
Steyer’s other signature issue is impeachment, a subject that didn’t get much play in the first Democrat forums. If history is a guide Democrats will all jump onboard the “let’s impeach him!” train when they meet again in two weeks – and if Steyer somehow qualifies for the programs, watch out. Neutral observers were wowed by the Democrat hopefuls’ full-throated endorsement of decriminalizing illegal immigration and giving healthcare to aliens last month, but what happens when the squawking starts over Trump and removal from office?
Steyer will surely run with it having already dumped millions into a media campaign to generate grassroots momentum to castigate the president. He’s shown a consistent eagerness to spend his own cash to propel leftist causes forward. He’ll certainly do so again next year, with some guessing he’ll plop down at least $100 million in the campaign. With Steyer now spending all that coin on himself, how will Democrat down-ballot candidates get by?
Steyer’s also a relatively old (62) white guy and former hedge fund manager in a party that increasingly discriminates against pale-skinned wealthy people who gamed the system to strike it rich, no matter how liberal and nutty they profess to be or how many crackpot leftist campaigns they’ve blown dough on in the past. There’re miles to go before Steyer’s complete platform is defined. If Tom were a horse in a stakes race, the morning line on him would be about 100-1.
Democrats have other fish to fry as well. Alexander Bolton reported at The Hill, “Democrats want to flip the script on Republicans by using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the poster boy for next year’s congressional elections.
“They think they can use the self-described ‘Grim Reaper’ in swing races in the same way Republicans have demonized Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in previous election years.
“McConnell has often flown below the public’s radar with his low-key demeanor, but after two bruising Supreme Court fights over the past three years and the recent accumulation of House-passed bills going nowhere in the Senate, Democrats say using McConnell as a rallying banner can be part of a winning strategy.”
Bolton’s article mentioned McConnell’s approval rating – it’s the lowest of any congressional leader – but that’s largely due to many conservatives and Republicans voicing disapproval of the upper chamber’s ultimate establishmentarian for his failure/refusal to further many important movement agenda items over the years. It ain’t because Mitch is the “Grim Reaper” or a mean guy in the mold of sleazebag Harry Reid or witchy Nancy Pelosi.
If Democrats are upset about the pace of legislation, maybe they should do some soul-searching and look at the stall-everything tactics of their own “Chucky” Schumer. It’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black to blame “turtle” Mitch for the senate’s dysfunction. Democrats – under Tom Daschle and then Reid – started down the road to immovable ruin and haven’t relented on anything Trump’s advocated for thus far, including a number of things they professed to agree with not too long ago (like a border wall).
Let Democrats try and win by demonizing Mitch McConnell. There’s plenty there for Republicans to jump on as well (in terms of who should control the senate).
Tom Steyer’s entrance into the Democrat presidential race will shake things up – for a while – but it’s impossible to tell how he will impact the long-term results. Like all Democrat candidates, Steyer lacks a reason for existing – and they all look like dull pewter compared to solid gold Donald Trump.