Tom Del Beccaro: Tom Steyer and AOC will be the generals in Democrats' civil war

They are a match made in their political heaven. Tom Steyer and his money along with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her Justice Democrats.  As the 2020 election nears, they will be two of the generals in the Democrats’ civil war.

The party that loses the White House often struggles to find unity. When Barack Obama defeated John McCain, the Republicans struggled to find a unifying leader and a unifying message for years.  With Trump in the White House and his 90 percent approval rating among Republicans, according to Gallup, Republicans are unified.

The Democrats are not.


On the contrary, the Democrats are in the midst a burgeoning civil war between three warring political armies.

Warring Faction No. 1:  Nancy Pelosi and Democrats ruling the House of Representatives. Pelosi wants to hold onto the House for obvious reasons.  The Republicans need to flip less than 20 seats (a low number by historical standards) to take control the House in the next election.

That could well happen given that more than 30 Democrat held seats that are in districts Trump won and there are 41 freshman Democrats. -- A freshman’s first reelection tends to be their most vulnerable.

Mindful of all of that, Pelosi wants to steer her ship of state at least somewhat to the middle to hold onto the House.

Warring Faction No. 2:  The Democratic presidential candidates.  More than two dozen Democrats are attempting to win the White House.  In a competition to tax and spend your money, by and large, those Democrats are moving to the left. Actually, to the far-left with proposals like government-run health care, the decriminalization of illegal border crossings and free health care for those here illegally.

Their spending plans would triple the federal budget overnight -- if not even more in the case of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates represent a headache for Nancy Pelosi because they are driving the national message on TV every day and night – and sometimes with their hands raised, on national TV, during a debate.

Democrats are in the midst a burgeoning civil war between three warring political armies.  

Their policies literally jeopardize Pelosi’s hold on the House – especially in those districts that Trump won in 2016.

Warring Faction No. 3:  AOC and her Justice Democrats.  Like it or not, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Justice Democrats are a force, however outsized, in American politics.

They are openly challenging the power structure of the Democrats, including high profile rhetorical challenges to Pelosi and Joe Biden.

A stunning 40 percent of the declared House Democratic challengers, as of the end of May, are challenging Democratic incumbents – and many of those are aligned with the “left-wing activist group that spearheaded the political rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”

Enter billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, stage LEFT.

Tom Steyer is also a thorn in Pelosi’s side. According to Steyer: "I believe that we have a crisis in the United States. The crisis is the president of the United States . . . And that the Constitution gives us one solution, which is to impeach him and remove him from office.”

Steyer believes that so much he backed a “Need to Impeach” effort that runs ads nationwide and collected over 5 million signatures. With that list, and a promise to spend $100 million, Steyer is now running for president.

Instantly, he becomes a major player because he can run ads non-stop compared to his rivals. Look to see him vault above 10 percent in the next couple months as his name ID rises around Democratic circles.

The problem with Steyer is that, according to polling, his message of impeachment harms Pelosi’s goal of retaining the House.  There is no meeting ground for the two – no peace pipe to be smoked. Steyer is anti-establishment and Pelosi is the establishment.

The problem with AOC and her Justice Democrats is that according to polling, their message of socialism harms Pelosi’s goal of retaining the House.  There is no meeting ground for the two – no peace pipe to be smoked.  AOC is anti-establishment and, again, Pelosi is the establishment.

To beat the establishment, AOC and the Justice Democrats need money for primary victories. To win the Democratic presidential nomination, Steyer needs ground troops.  Will the two get together in 2020?

Some would say no because AOC doesn’t like billionaires. Maybe so, unless, of course, we’re talking about your friendly Justice Democrat billionaire. Given their maverick similarities, it’s a good possibility they will find common ground.

If they do, and even if they don’t, the three-way civil war in the Democratic Party will dominate the 2020 headlines if Republicans just let it.


In what I call the “Divided Era,” the Democrats are a divided party. Divided parties tend to lose national elections just like the Democrats did in 1968 when they were badly divided over Vietnam.

We have nothing like the Vietnam War today – but the Democrats are at war with themselves and that may decide the 2020 election.