In a keynote address at the annual Netroots Nation gathering in New Orleans on Thursday, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer tore into establishment Democrats for refusing to do "anything real" to stop President Donald Trump and accused Democratic leaders of lacking the courage and "common sense" to support impeachment.
"They're not willing to face the devastating and obvious facts about this president. Like the fact that Donald Trump is wildly corrupt, and we are well past the threshold to kick him out of office."
When Steyer asked the audience packed inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center whether "the leaders you elected are actually listening to you and doing what you want them to do," the response was near-complete silence. (One person said, "Barbara Lee," to which Steyer responded, "Love Barbara Lee.")
Recent polling data has shown that over 70 percent of Democrats believe Congress should move to impeach Trump, and the idea has garnered support from a small group of House Democrats as well as up-and-coming progressives like New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Over the past several months, Steyer has been working to build on this Nixon-level support for impeaching Trump and bypass members of the Democratic leadership who believe impeachment is, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it, too "divisive."
"A lot of people in the Democratic establishment will privately tell me that they agree, but when I ask them if they are willing to step up and take action—to take a stand publicly—I get a lot of long-winded nonanswers," said Steyer, whose petition calling for Trump's impeachment now has over 5.5 million signatures. "Their message is that it's bad politics. It's off message. It will galvanize Republicans. So my question for the Democratic establishment is: How corrupt is too corrupt for you?"
It is our duty to get this corrupt president out of office. And we have to usher in a new era in America —one that is more just, more inclusive, and more prosperous. Thank you, @Netroots_Nation, for having me today. #NN18 pic.twitter.com/ZYrpt7LiuB
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) August 2, 2018
"They're not willing to face the devastating and obvious facts about this president," Steyer added, referring to the Democratic leadership. "Like the fact that Donald Trump is wildly corrupt, and we are well past the threshold to kick him out of office."
As Common Dreams reported on Tuesday, Steyer has announced plans to dump $110 million into the upcoming midterm elections with the goal of toppling vulnerable Republicans. According to Steyer, the massive election investment will go toward a major voter registration push, not into the coffers of the the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Watch Steyer's full speech in New Orleans on Thursday: