The rodent coitus is starting early for 2020, and I want nothing to do with the looming disaster that is Tulsi Gabbard.
Tulsi Gabbard is known — insofar as she is known — for bucking her party. She criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of ISIS. She was widely criticizedfor meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been accused by the US government of using chemical weapons against his own people, when she traveled to Syria for a fact-finding visit in 2017. She rebuked the way the Democratic National Committee handled the 2016 presidential primary, and then publicly resigned as vice chair to endorse Bernie Sanders.
Now, nearly three years later, the Democratic member of Congress from Hawaii is poised to try to convince Democratic primary voters that they should turn the page not just on status quo politics, but on the Vermont senator whom she championed.
Gabbard has acknowledged that she is “seriously considering” a presidential bid. Her team is actively seeking to staff senior roles on a potential presidential campaign, according to a person briefed on the outreach, and has indicated that an announcement could come as soon as this week.
She’s in discussions with the Des Moines–based Asian and Latino Coalition about organizing an event with them sometime in the first two weeks of January. She did several events in New Hampshire earlier this month, on the heels of trips there before the 2018 election. She also made a trip to Nevada the week before the election to connect with “progressive” candidates and causes, and was set to hit early state bingo with a trip to South Carolina, but that trip was scotched due to plane trouble.
Even in a barely formed presidential field, Gabbard would enter the race as an underdog. She did not rate a mention in a Des Moines Register/CNN poll of the Democratic presidential field last week. House members have an inherently difficult time running for national office, as they are often little known outside their district. The last one to successfully do it was James Garfield — in 1880. In a field that could number more than two dozen candidates, Gabbard stands out as the only one to have met with Donald Trump, then the president-elect, to discuss her foreign policy views at a moment when she was reportedly being considered for a cabinet post in his administration. And for all her Sanders campaign bona fides, she has a much more conservative political history, and she would hardly be the only one to claim the progressive mantle — with Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, and Sanders himself considering bids.
But conventional political wisdom proved to be a poor guide in the last crowded presidential primary, when Trump upended the field of favorites to win the whole thing.
“The more progressives, the better,” said former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a stalwart Sanders supporter who spent time on the 2016 campaign trail with Sanders and Gabbard, adding: “Hopefully then that means that we will get a real progressive elected to president.”
Let's get this out of the way right now.
Tulsi Gabbard is not a progressive in any way, shape, or form.
I didn't trust her in early 2016, and my hunch was correct.
So the same time this article drops, Rep. Gabbard resigns from the DNC to back Bernie over Hillary's hawk positions, both dropping the day after Bernie gets cremated in SC by 45 points.
That's not a coincidence, considering Super Tuesday is in less than 72 hours. Taken collectively, that bothers me.
It only got worse in 2017.
Democrats were silent on Thursday as Tulsi Gabbard, one of the party’s sitting lawmakers in Congress, announced that she had met with Bashar al-Assad during a trip to war-torn Syria and dismissed his entire opposition as “terrorists”.
Gabbard, a Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii, disclosed her meeting with the Syrian president on Wednesday, during what her office called a “fact-finding” mission in the region.
“Initially I hadn’t planned on meeting him,” Gabbard told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so, because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that’s exactly what we talked about.”
Democratic leaders were mum on the decision by one of their sitting lawmakers to meet with a dictator whom the US government has dubbed a war criminal for his use of chemical weapons against civilians.
Gabbard’s trip raised alarms over a potential violation of the Logan Act, a federal statute barring unauthorized individuals from conferring with a foreign government involved in a dispute with the US. The US currently has no diplomatic relations with Syria.
It got even worse in 2018.
But a steady drumbeat of criticism from progressives claims that Gabbard also has sympathies with Steve Bannon–style nationalists on the hard right, whose foreign-policy view is also fundamentally anti-interventionist. Her detractors argue that her policy overlap with the hard right is consistent and substantive enough that it ought to undermine her credibility as someone who could represent consensus progressive values in the White House.
If “Gabbardism” is a foreign-policy school of thought, it is perhaps best captured by her own words. “In short, when it comes to the war against terrorists, I’m a hawk,” Gabbard told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in 2016. “When it comes to counterproductive wars of regime change, I’m a dove.” It’s a sentiment that wouldn’t be out of place in Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign — or in Pat Buchanan’s in 1992.
In Gabbard’s own telling, her non-interventionist views are the result of her seeing the cost paid by American soldiers while deployed in Iraq — the cost paid by the Iraqis themselves goes unmentioned. And according to her critics, Islamophobia underlies her hawkishness. Gabbard’s idiosyncratic foreign policy is an uneasy fit next to her orthodox economic populism, and suggests a deeper question: what are progressives’ foreign-policy priorities in the first place? America is still fighting the borderless and interminable War on Terror, launching surgical strikes and drone attacks in countries around the world with impunity — in such an environment, is it enough to be just against wars of regime change?
I don't trust her, I especially don't trust her relationship with India's Narendra Modi, particularly when it comes to Pakistan. She's shown bad judgment when it comes to Syria as well. She's way too close to the Ron Paul/Steve Bannon school of foreign policy, and that's bad news all around.