Democrats are criticizing billionaire left-wing environmentalist Tom Steyer’s campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, fearful that it will hurt rather than help the Democratic Party’s 2018 ambitions.
“D.C. Democrats have privately complained about what they think is an unhelpful, out-of-touch strategy from Steyer,” writes Alexi McCammond of Axios, describing an increasingly open divide between the moderate and “progressive” wings of the party.
Steyer launched his Need to Impeach website and campaign on October 20, 2017, in hopes of taking down the commander-in-chief — and perhaps with presidential ambitions of his own.
He has reportedly mailed his group’s guide to impeachment to 5,171 candidates across the country for them to reference during their campaigning.
“We think avoiding impeachment is a strategic mistake. It’s what fires up the Democratic base,” Kevin Mack, lead strategist at Need To Impeach, told Axios.
Steyer also recently launched an impeachment television ad in Spanish. He has reached out to millennials to help in the hopes of having them register and vote Democrat ahead of several important House and Senate races.
However, Axios noted that Democrats — particularly Beltway power brokers like House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — believe all the impeachment talk from Steyer and his PAC is more of a distraction than anything else.
In fact, many moderates seem to agree with this line of reasoning, and won’t even mention Trump while discussing their platform.
Bottom line: It’s hard to deny the significance of Steyer’s impeachment campaign, which now has more than 5 million supporters. But many Democratic candidates, especially those running in Republican districts, will more than likely ignore the impeachment guide they’ll find in their mailboxes in the coming weeks.
Some observers have also argued that all of Steyer’s efforts are nothing more than an attempt to build a “political death star” through which he hopes to lay the groundwork for a potential presidential run in 2020.