Cancel Culture in the House: Using Impeachment Outrage to Fundraise

Matt Webb,
What could the Democrats possibly be thinking starting this impeachment now?

They are in the midst of a contested primary, and should be focusing their energy on campaigning, securing their base and winning new voters. None of the reasons being bandied about really made sense to me, especially not, as Speaker Pelosi stated, that they are moving forward. “Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and our heart full of love for America.” No one, not even Nancy herself, believes that. Love of and respect for the Constitution they routinely trample on is not the reason.

But following an interview we just conducted on a recent episode of Politicked, a podcast I co-host, a light bulb went off. We were speaking with author Lee Smith, discussing his book and the impeachment hearings. During that conversation, a theory that made sense began to emerge.

It’s about raising money.

The Democrats, or at least those in power and their friends in D.C., are utilizing the hearings and the media attention to bring cancel culture mentality to House races.

Cancel culture has been seen as an effective tool on the Left for some time now. If there’s a show that isn’t PC enough, protest it in any way possible, bullying sponsors and network executives to pull it from the airwaves, or it can be used to bully a business or organization into terminating an employee who makes a remark that isn’t in lock-step with one of the left’s causes. Now it’s being used to rake in much-needed money.

The Democrats have been lagging sorely behind the president and the RNC when it comes to money in the war chest. They have an uphill battle against a sitting president from the other party who is not just good, but GREAT at raising money. They also have a group of candidates running for president that do little to excite the base. According to OpenSecrets.org, Democrats are being outpaced almost across the board in fundraising, the only exception being in the House. The House, where impeachment hearings are taking place and where the strategy of cancel culture-style outrage can work best to bring in the fundraising dollars.

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How does it work? Like this: The Democrats, with help from the press and celebrities, highlight Trump’s “defenders” and their “crimes” to an already enraged and motivated group of Democratic voters who love to hate the president. These folks are barraged with wave after wave of cancel culture-style stories and tweets designed to piss them off and donate more money. House members critical of impeachment are painted as co-conspirators or traitors and the base is told that money is needed to help bring them down.

Starting the hearings now forces Republicans, even moderate ones, to say what most of us want to say: This is a sham! Why are you wasting our time and money on this?

Consider attacks on Congresswoman Elise Stefanik out of New York’s 21st Congressional District. By all accounts she’s a moderate, and certainly was a lesser-known member of the House. Since the hearings, Stefanik has become one of the focal points of left-based outrage due to her “defending the president” and being on “the wrong side of history.” She is painted in the press and by left-wing pundits as a pawn of Nunes, Trump and Putin.

 Cancel Culture in the House Using Impeachment Outrage to Fundraise

Just look at a few tweets about Rep. Stefanik following the hearings:

John Cusack called her a “deathkkkult liar and a fraud.”

Ellen Show producer Andy Lassner called her a “co-conspirator” along with other favorite targets, Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes.

Kellyanne Conway Twitter infamous lesser half, George Conway, calling her “trash.”

At the same time #ByeByeElise was trending on Twitter, Stefanik’s opponent, Tedra Cobb, saw donations pour in. With the help of her new friends across the country suddenly concerned about her House race, she raised over $1M in campaign donations in THREE DAYS. All because the left didn’t like Stefanik’s questions and moved to cancel her from Congress.

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Part of the success is due to the work of folks like Adam Parkhomenko, a Democratic grassroots organizer with over 320K followers on Twitter. During and after the hearings, he urged folks to donate to Cobb. He even included a link to a donation page in most of his tweets that says, interestingly enough, “donations will be split EQUALLY between Tedra Cobb and Party Majority PAC.” Translation: If you’re pissed off like you should be, donate to Elise Stefanik’s opponent in her House race. We’ll give her half the money and keep the rest in our PAC.

Party Majority PAC’s mission can be found on their website. Unsurprisingly, Party Majority is tied to Parkhomenko. He’s their treasurer. According to OpenSecrets.org, the PAC raised over $300,000 in 2018 and spent almost all that they raised. About $35K of those funds went to Parkhomenko personally, but only $22K was contributed to campaigns, most of that going to state and local races. PACs, like Party Majority, are using cancel culture-style outrage to raise money as if it’s being spent to defeat folks like Elise Stefanik, when in reality, most of it is not. It’s a model that suffers from the same lack of transparency that they would defiantly decry were it being done by anyone on the Right.

In the end, the real reason for moving forward with impeachment is, much like anything else in politics, there is money to be made. Stir up emotions and make people so upset that they willingly part with their money in return for promises to help defeat evil members of the House and change things in Washington. Rinse. Repeat.