One of the few major cogs in the Democrat machine that hasn’t begun churning for Hillary Clinton is mega-donor environmentalist Tom Steyer, who bought the entire Democrat party at retail prices, in what turned out to be a disastrous midterm election last time around.
Steyer is what left-wing activists love to pretend Republican mega-donors are: a special interest with very deep pockets who demands absolute fealty to his agenda in exchange for cash. Of course, since his cause is ostensibly environmentalism, they don’t mind, and the media never mentions him when it launches its periodic tirades against the unhealthy influence of special interests, other than itself.
(In reality, Steyer turns some very handsome profits from his supposedly idealistic political investments. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, to the hard-charging capitalist eye, but it should be a matter of great concern to the Left. The resulting cognitive dissonance is managed with stiff doses of hypocrisy and dishonesty.)
It’s a big deal that Steyer and his bankroll aren’t behind Hillary Clinton yet, and might never be. Reuters reports:
Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer said he is not yet prepared to back Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president and he would not rule out supporting her main rival, Bernie Sanders, if he beats her in the primaries.
One of the biggest Democratic donors, Steyer could help Clinton boost her standing among environmentalist activists who are a key constituency within the Democratic party. Clinton is locked in tight races with Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire, which both have early nominating contests.
“Our real goal has been not to support any one candidate, but to emphasize and highlight the issue (of climate change) so that the candidates can lay out their solutions and so the American people can have a chance to make a decision,” Steyer said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
After the Democratic party picks its presidential nominee, that will change.
“We have always come out and supported the climate champion,” Steyer said. “The idea that for some reason we wouldn’t do that, I’d have to understand why in hell we didn’t. Because that has been our practice always.”
Of course, Steyer can expect lock-step fidelity to “climate change” mythology from any Democrat.
The socialist Left wouldn’t give up on global warming if penguins were taking icebergs on sightseeing tours through the streets of New York City. It’s their ticket to absolute, unquestioned power, and if the current two-decade “climate change pause” extended to two centuries, the Democrat candidate in 2216 would still be demanding billions of dollars in regulations and subsidies to prevent the impending apocalypse.
Everyone knows Steyer could pick any candidate he likes, and still expect the eventual winner to toe his environmentalist line with great enthusiasm.
Reuters cites him saying the 2016 election is “critical to consolidating gains for the climate movement in 2015,” such as the “global climate pact” (he means the absurd waste of time and money in Paris), blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, and ushering in “new curbs on oil drilling and air pollution.” There’s not likely to be any meaningful difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on any of those issues.
Steyer does venture that Sanders’ overall “climate agenda” is more in line with his own, including a ban on fracking (i.e. one of the few good things to happen to the U.S. economy during the Obama quagmire) and an “aggressive move away from fossil fuels.” To be sure, if you want America reduced to Third World poverty where only rich guys like Tom Steyer can afford to fly around in airplanes, Bernie Sanders is your guy.
However, Steyer suggested part of his problem with getting behind Sanders was the fiery socialist’s harangues against the political influence of billionaires, and his stated refusal to accept money from big donors. None of that would interfere with Steyer verbally expressing support for Sanders, and his imprimatur could make a huge difference with some left-wing voters.
Likewise, he could seriously damage Sanders’ prospects for an insurgency by strongly endorsing Clinton – who is, shall we say, considerably less finicky than Sanders about accepting huge amounts of money from high-rolling special interests. He has to know that staying out of the primary hurts Clinton, because most of the Party power structure is behind her.
If Steyer is privately confident that Clinton will end up steamrolling Sanders, then he can afford to stay out of it, perhaps counting on his mighty political bank to soothe any hurt feelings nursed by the famously vindictive Clintons about his reluctance to jump on board.
If the mounting revelations about Clinton’s email server are beginning to make some Democrat power players nervous about putting all their chips on her, it also makes sense to stay out of the Clinton-Sanders fight, lest one be accused of playing an outsize role in tipping the race to Sanders. From any angle, it’s interesting to note that someone who could probably help Clinton finish Sanders off refuses to tap into the ring.