Could everyone just stop about Tulsi Gabbard?


She was never a serious challenger, she’s got a bizarre homophobic/racist background, she only seems to be supported by right-wingers, and yes, recently she had a freaky meltdown about being indirectly accused of being a Russian agent. Don’t care. She’s done. She was never going to get the Democratic nomination. All the attention being paid to this irrelevant distraction is meaningless, except as a tool to get you to ignore the slimeball-in-chief.

In every election, there is always an assortment of fringe kooks who make noise for a while, get the backing of some other fringies with money, and then melt away as the campaigning gets serious. She’s one of them. Move on.

I swear, media coverage of the Democrats is like watching a dog with the zoomies spotting a squirrel.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s obvious the NY Times and cable news didn’t learn anything from 2016 because they’ve fallen into their old ways sigh and with Facebook refusing to block false ads it will be another bumpy election

  2. petesh says

    It’s very widely understood that Jimmy Carter is the greatest ex-President. I propose that Hillary Clinton is the greatest ex-candidate. Certainly she is the funniest.

  3. brucegee1962 says

    She isn’t giving up. I just drove across South Carolina, and I saw half a dozen billboards for her. Total for all other candidates=0.

  4. says

    As much as I don’t support Gabbard, she seems to have completely backed off her former homophobic position. Whether or not you believe her is another thing of course.

    Also, it was completely clear who Clinton was referring to in her statement, which in itself was pretty nasty, so Gabbard’s response doesn’t really seem to be so off the wall.

    Why she and half a dozen others are still in the debates is a question that only the DNC and their arcane rules can answer. Unless of course they really are just trying to make money for the various news media who need this sort of thing for click bait.

  5. Ed Seedhouse says

    @5: “Also, it was completely clear who Clinton was referring to in her statement”

    It was? Not to me it wasn’t. Just offhand I can think of at least two candidates who might fill the bill, and more if she hadn’t mentioned the gender.

    I don’t think I can read minds – perhaps you have this ability?

  6. PaulBC says

    I never got started. Tulsi who?

    And Tom Steyer must be feeling really left out by now. You’d think he could at least buy some notoriety if not a viable candidacy.

  7. stroppy says

    Thank you. And then the Russians try to sow division, so Clinton gets divisive about it.

    So over the Clintons… I think I’ll go read something about AOC to freshen my palate.

  8. markgisleson says

    I’m looking forward to Gabbard finally getting some attention from the news so she can explain her cult upbringing which she seems to have survived with flying colors, losing the cult while not losing her family (a very tricky thing to do).

    I read transcripts of her speeches and have yet to read one single honest account of what they say. She is Eisenhower-like in her ability to appear to say things she never says. Her AIPAC speech didn’t fool AIPAC. She made them applaud her, but not once for her own words. Her formula was relentless: I know NAME. NAME is a huge supporter of Israel and has told me YADA YADA [pause for applause]. Not once in the speech does Gabbard directly praise Israel on any matter of substance, yet does not in any way insult them. It’s called diplomacy.

    Do your own homework as I think PZ is relying on what others are saying. Gabbard still needs more vetting (Ilhan Omar anyone?), but she has done nothing to earn anyone’s disrespect. She serves our country in uniform and is much better than Bernie Sanders or any other D candidate on foreign policy. She WILL bring our troops home. That alone makes her legit in my book.

  9. says

    I’m not sure where to start here but I guess I’ll start with “I’ll stop about Tulsi Gabbard as soon as everybody stops about figgin Joe bloody Biden.”
    I mean I could add all the rest of the candidates minus Sanders to be honest.
    If Gabbard’s background is brought up then Warren’s background as a former Republican should be, but I have to admit I have no idea why she was a Republican or what that entailed, mostly because I have simply refused to research candidates until 2020 because this is still too early to be doing this…
    But I don’t see right-wingers supporting her so much as people who want to end the endless wars and imperialism and colonialism going on. Although that’s usually more of a “it’s good she’s there to push the democrats in that direction” support.
    I guess the last thing is… the fact it’s freakier that someone points out a subtle smear on them than it is that a major politician makes such a smear and everyone is like “who knoooows, could be referring to anybodyyy” says a lot about our politics.
    anyway bernard for pres

  10. PaulBC says

    @11

    Take any Politico article with a grain of salt, but I see nothing inconsistent here.
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/04/12/elizabeth-warren-profile-young-republican-2020-president-226613

    Warren herself says that in her early academic work she was merely following the dominant theory of the time, which emphasized the efficiency of free markets and unrestrained businesses, rather than holding strong conservative beliefs herself. Still, she acknowledged in our interview that she underwent a profound change in how she viewed public policy early in her academic career, describing the experience as “worse than disillusionment” and “like being shocked at a deep-down level.”

    Her conversion was ideological before it turned partisan. The first shift came in the mid-’80s, as she traveled to bankruptcy courts across the country to review thousands of individual cases—a departure from the more theoretical academic approach—and saw that Americans filing for bankruptcy more closely resembled her own family, who struggled financially, rather than the irresponsible deadbeats she had expected.

    So, she believed some things complacently, eventually studied the issues in depth, reached contradictory conclusions and… whoa!… changed her mind. I mean a lot of people do find this to be a struggle. I find it both believable and admirable.

    Note: I like Warren but I’m not picking any fights this primary season; I will vote for the viable non-Trump non-GOP (if it’s not Trump) candidate on the ballot. I will vote for a big rubber stopper to be placed in the door of the Oval Office, if that’s an option.

  11. nomdeplume says

    I guess it is the ultimate in right wing projection – the madness of refusing to either accept climate change or act on it is turned into accusing those warning of the problem of being mad. Whatever fraction of human civilisation remains in 100 years will look back in total disbelief at the war on climate change action occurring now.

  12. lotharloo says

    @PaulBC:
    I think the point is selective reasoning of people. I personally don’t like Tulsi Gabbard and I think she should get the fuck out to make room in the debates for the actual candidates who have a chance.

    For example:

    So, she believed some things complacently, eventually studied the issues in depth, reached contradictory conclusions and… whoa!… changed her mind. I mean a lot of people do find this to be a struggle. I find it both believable and admirable.

    Would you say the same w.r.t., Gabbard’s attitude towards same-sex marriage?

  13. says

    @17 Holy fig I love how this points out Twitter quickly had anti-Harris trends and refers to it as pro-Gabbard, while other voices have pointed out the only time Gabbard is actually mentioned in hashtags is negatively (read: just recently, with this mess).
    Was it always like this? Where two sides can say the exact opposite things as if it’s true? It’s had to have been, right?
    Then again it is Twitter. Literally nobody ever agrees with or has nice things to say aboyt Twitter. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, never mind.

  14. PaulBC says

    lotharloo@16

    The debates could be pared down at this point, but I don’t see it as a very serious issue. I am not expecting Gabbard to be a contender or even a distraction by the time the general election is held (I could be wrong about the latter).

  15. doubtthat says

    @3 cervantes

    Gabbard belongs to a small Hare Krishna spinoff cult

    I thought the Hari Krishna’s were harmless eccentrics, basically like slightly more intense than people who go to yoga classes. But then I listened to this podcast:

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/wondery/american-scandal/e/59001358

    Let me tell you that this takes turns that are…insane. I highly, highly recommend it as a batshit story, but also yet another lesson in how religion goes wrong.

    One the more general topic of Tulsi – she yells at Hillary Clinton for being a warmonger, but stands strong with Ellen for hanging out with Bush. I detest Hillary’s vote on that war, but there is no comparison between her culpability and Bush’s.

    Also, Tulsi was upset with Obama for not bombing Syria enough – part of the slippery “I oppose regime change wars” but not really war. She was the only Democrat to oppose allowing Syrian refugees into the country, but has voted to allow Christians in – she is incredibly anti-muslim.

    She is a bad, no good candidate.

  16. nomdeplume says

    Oh FFS my comment @15 is of course meant for the Grossman post. My brain is beginning to age rapidly…

  17. kome says

    What policies does she advocate for that are objectionable? Are they enough to outweigh the policies she advocates for that are worth supporting? Do her behaviors with regards to those policies align with what she advocates or no?

    That’s about all that matters. And for all the candidates, not just Gabbard.

  18. John Morales says

    kome, three questions you pose.

    (You do know you’re on the internet, right? You could research them)

  19. KG says

    Gabbard belongs to a small Hare Krishna spinoff cult – cervantes@3

    It’s not clear she does, although she and various associates were brought up in it. But even if she was, why is that worse than belonging to a large Judaism spinoff cult? Far more serious is her undisguised admiration for far right Hindu extremist Narendra Modi, who facilitated a massacre of Muslims when Chief Minister of Gujerat and now, as Indian PM, has stepped up oppression in Indian-administered Kashmir to unprecedented levels, risking war with Pakistan.

  20. kome says

    @23 John Morales

    I was stating the questions that I think are the only things that matter for evaluating presidential candidates. What are their policies, are they good/bad, and do their behaviors align with the values they say they are fighting for? Anything else is just theater, including bringing up parts of candidates’ pasts that they have grown beyond. Like Warren and her past as a member of the Republican party all those years ago. When people bring that up as a critique of Warren, it’s hollow and meaningless. Hell, even bringing up Gabbard’s religious affiliation is irrelevant because (a) they’re conversations we only have about non-Christians anyway, as though there was anything particularly redeemable about Christianity that we shouldn’t question and (b) it’s not clear how any specific thing she’s supported while in politics has been as a result of her religious affiliations or beliefs overriding her commitment to other secular values. There are legit critiques of all the candidates, but resorting to the cheap and easy stuff no matter how irrelevant it is just isn’t helping.

  21. jrkrideau says

    @ 25 Tabby Lavalamp
    Let them vet Omar. It helps divert attention from Ted Cruz and his secret devotion to Canada, the land of his birth.

    Would you believe Justin calls him weekly?

  22. PaulBC says

    kome@25

    Hell, even bringing up Gabbard’s religious affiliation is irrelevant because (a) they’re conversations we only have about non-Christians anyway,

    I agree on this point. It’s a disgrace for anyone on the left pushing the same bigotry buttons as the right.

    If you’re going to consistently condemn all religious believers in politics, that’s consistent, if impractical. If you’re going to identify some religion as a “spinoff cult” it’s unclear why this in itself makes it any different from a mainstream religion. I think you can sometimes drill down on specific beliefs (patriarchal white identity fundamentalism) or specific practices (abusive levels of member control by the Church of Scientology) (and yeah, serious abuses by the Catholic church with officially sanctioned protection–should we start ruling out Catholic candidates?) But why not look at individuals and their policies.

    Honestly, Tulsi Gabbard was not on my radar to begin with. I still think I can safely ignore her candidacy. I will continue to do so. I am certainly not going to start ratcheting up the religious bigotry as a preemptive response to an unfounded allegation that she’s a Russian plant.

  23. consciousness razor says

    kome:

    I was stating the questions that I think are the only things that matter for evaluating presidential candidates. What are their policies, are they good/bad, and do their behaviors align with the values they say they are fighting for? Anything else is just theater, including bringing up parts of candidates’ pasts that they have grown beyond.

    You may think a person has grown beyond it. You may hope that. You may believe it when they claim publicly that they’ve done so. But their lives do matter, and it does tell you something relevant about that person (maybe good things, maybe not so good) that you wouldn’t otherwise know by only asking your questions about “policy.”
    If that’s “just theater,” then okay … it is possible to have an educational and edifying experience at the theater.

    Like Warren and her past as a member of the Republican party all those years ago. When people bring that up as a critique of Warren, it’s hollow and meaningless.

    Well, my entire life story so far isn’t hollow and meaningless (not in its entirety, at least). I bet yours isn’t either. That kind of thing shapes who we are, how we think, what we decide to do, how we decide to do it, and so forth. That can inform you about how a candidate is likely to make decisions about items that aren’t pre-cooked “policies” they explicitly talk about on the campaign trail. Will they exercise good judgment or not? And on what basis would you decide it, when you believe they’re being honest (this time) about being a changed person?
    Anyway, no matter who the person is (me, you, Warren, Pres. Swamp, or anybody), that shit does matter. Because they’re real people, not just images on a TV screen or puppets in a theater. You said your questions were “the only things that matter,” and if you removed the bit that they’re the only ones, I’d have no complaint.

  24. methuseus says

    The only way that religion means anything is that some Hare Krishna sects are just as patriarchal as fundamentalist Christians. Yes, that should be done on a case by case basis.

    As for why others’ religions don’t matter, the average Christian doesn’t go along with many of the insane beliefs. The average Catholic believes in using condoms and birth control, although the pope doesn’t. That’s just one example in most familiar with. People who are from more done religions are more likely to adhere to the more objectionable parts of the beliefs.

  25. says

    In the meantime, Canada just called and had an election in the amount of time it takes to get from one presidential primary debate to the next.

    Something that just occurred to me… Why don’t you have your primaries mid-term? It would give people more time to get to know the nomin… Oh, right. Never mind.

  26. kome says

    @29 consciousness razor

    You may think a person has grown beyond it. You may hope that. You may believe it when they claim publicly that they’ve done so. But their lives do matter, and it does tell you something relevant about that person (maybe good things, maybe not so good) that you wouldn’t otherwise know by only asking your questions about “policy.”

    You appear to have missed where I asked “do their behaviors align with the values they say they are fighting for?” I don’t just care about policies advocated for and against in isolation. I care about behavior in relation to those policies. A person’s past isn’t irrelevant if they’re similar to or are still the same as they were in the past. But if a person used to be X, is now no longer X, hasn’t been X in 10 or 20 or 30 years, has apologized for ever being X, and has worked actively against X for years now, bringing up that they used to be X as a criticism of who that person is now is nothing but hollow political theater.

    Gabbard ain’t perfect because she’s human like everyone else. There are legitimate criticisms of her from a progressive political viewpoint (her cageyness on questions about the use of torture is my biggest critique of Gabbard, for example). If we actually care about politics as anything other than some stupid ass team sport, let’s leave the nonsense critiques, like what a person used to be but no longer is, alone. If Gabbard were to suddenly support some homophobic legislation or something, then her past becomes relevant. But since there is no evidence that she has supported anything anti-LGBTQ in her political life, and she has a pretty solid track record of actively supporting pro-LGBTQ equality measures throughout her political life, her past associations with homophobic people/groups before she was a politician is just not a valid critique of her as a political candidate. It is just cheap spectacle. It’d be as stupid as arguing that Orrin Hatch really does support poor people because decades and decades ago when he was a child he grew up in a poor family (which, incidentally, Orrin Hatch does try to argue regularly).

  27. clevehicks says

    I am not 100% sure what to make of Gabbard’s positions, but she gets some points very right. Nevertheless, Dr Myers, I have some questions re your rather high-handed dismissal of her:
    1. ‘she’s got a bizarre homophobic/racist background’ … Warren was at one point a Republican. So we should dismiss everything she says now? And what about Hillary Clinton supporting the Iraq War? People can change.The real question: is Gabbard homophobic now? I have seen nothing suggesting that.
    2. ‘She only seems to be supported by right-wingers’ … I can tell you, that is not true at all. Have you watched Jimmy Dore’s show?
    3. ‘and yes, recently she had a freaky meltdown about being indirectly accused of being a Russian agent.’ …Why freaky? If she is not actually a Russian agent, surely she is very right to react the way she did to HRC’s (very) thinly-veiled accusation about her (and even worse, about Jill Stein).
    I am a bit confused about Gabbard’s approving comments about Modi, and I think she was very wrongheaded to support Ellen’s friendship with war criminal Bush, but other so-called progressives, such as HRC, have done far worse (‘super-predators’, Iraq, Libya) .. Isn’t it good to have a more diverse range of voices, and not fewer?

  28. PaulBC says

    Given that Gabbard is a member of the House, the simplest thing to check is voting record. She seems unremarkable compared to other Democrats. You can go to https://projects.propublica.org/represent/members/G000571-tulsi-gabbard/compare-votes/115 and compare her to anyone you want, such as your own representative. She’s 96% in agreement with my representative Anna Eshoo for example.

    Some of the most damning accusations against her strike me as inconsistent with her getting elected in Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Is she keeping some big secret from her constituents? I have trouble believing there is anything very unusual about her.

    That said, it’s extremely unlikely she’ll be nominated. If she actually does launch a 3rd party candidacy I suppose I can re-evaluate and see what’s wrong with the above.

  29. doubtthat says

    She seems unremarkable compared to other Democrats.

    Years before Trump’s travel ban, Gabbard supported the SAFE Act, which would have effectively frozen the admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by requiring unanimous approval for each person from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and director of national intelligence, and she introduced a bill to suspend the Visa Waiver Program for anyone from a country whose citizens had gone to fight with ISIS.

    One year later, Gabbard introduced a resolution calling for prioritizing the admission of refugees who were ethnic and religious minorities, “especially Christians and Yazidis.”

    https://www.thenation.com/article/tulsi-gabbard-president-foreign-islam/

    She is on her own in the Democratic Party in so far as hostility to refugees goes.

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