Tom Steyer Is a Fucking Moron

Photo: Tom Steyer (Getty)

Billionaire Tom Steyer will announce today that he’s not running for president, according to the New York Times. Good, but there’s a catch: He’s also planning on spending another FORTY MILLION DOLLARS to try to impeach Donald Trump. Not good! Dumb as shit!

The Times reports (emphasis mine):

Mr. Steyer’s decision came as a surprise even to some of his political confidants. He had made deliberate preparations in recent months to seek the White House, running television ads in the early primary states, recruiting potential staff members and even designating a campaign manager for a possible run.

But Mr. Steyer began informing aides early this week that he would not be a candidate after all, after concluding that he could have a greater political impact through his impeachment activism, several advisers to Mr. Steyer said. Mr. Steyer intends to spend at least $40 million on impeachment efforts in the coming year — money that might otherwise have been directed toward a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Most people come to Iowa around this time to announce a campaign for president,” Mr. Steyer said in prepared remarks, which were obtained by The New York Times. “But I am proud to be here to announce that I will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to remove a president.”

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Let’s just get this out of the way to start: Being able to choose to spend $40 million on what will essentially amount to a petition on Change dot org is repulsive and immoral. No one should have that kind of money, let alone have that kind of disposable income. But because we live in the belly of the capitalist oligarchical beast, Steyer could shape the future of Democratic and progressive politics in such a way that rivals what the Koch brothers have done on the right.

As my former colleague Alex Pareene pointed out in late 2017, when Steyer had only announced plans to spend $20 million on the impeachment effort, Steyer was already promising to spend more on this drive to impeach Trump than the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee—the party’s national organ for electing Democratic state legislators—had ever raised in a cycle. After 2018, that’s still true.

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Steyer could dump those many millions into a project to take back state legislatures ahead of the 2020 census, or into support for a Green New Deal and candidates who support it, which would track with his history of environmentalism. He already spent over $70 million in federal contributions during the 2018 cycle, after spending $91 million in the cycle before that. If you have an extra $40 million that you’re just itching to spend, why not spend it on something, you know, useful?

Instead, Steyer is again going to spend another tens of millions of dollars on an effort to impeach the president. This is a goal that is impossible to achieve because getting a whole bunch of people to sign a petition online is not a constitutionally valid way to remove a president from office. You cannot buy a president’s removal like it’s some kind of hostile takeover. There is no possible path forward for this to succeed. Even in the unlikely scenario where Trump is eventually impeached or resigns, it won’t be because 2 percent of the country signed a petition. It’ll be because Congress forced it to happen, and considering the Senate is controlled by Republicans, this is not going to happen in the next two years.

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There are so many more useful things Tom Steyer could be spending his obscene wealth on. Give me $40 million. Give anyone $40 million. Give 40 people $1 million each. Give 1 million people $40. I don’t give a shit. Anything but this again.

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