I’ll admit, I’ve always had a political crush on Tulsi Gabbard. Maybe it’s because of her eagerness to speak truth to power, or perhaps it’s her good looks or the fact she so selflessly served her country in the military, but there’s been something special about her from the start.
Gabbard became one the rarest of rare political commodities when the former representative from the Aloha State publicly resigned from the Democrat party last week and burned every bridge behind her while doing so. Tulsi’s short video explaining her action certainly must’ve seared the ears of liberals at Democrat Party headquarters, as the attractive, articulate and fit former Bernie Sanders supporter spared no ill-will towards the faction she’d served in Congress for four terms beginning in January, 2013.
In case you’ve been away from the news or simply trapped under a heavy object, Gabbard said, “I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war... I believe in a government that is of, by, and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite.”
Whoa. Did a lifelong Democrat really just say such a thing? Was the blurb co-written by Steve Bannon? Gabbard’s words on the way out the Democrat door echoed the anti-Washington swamp establishment sentiments she’s expressed for years, so they didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to her career. Afterwards, it was the general reaction to her announcement that drew surprisingly strong emotions from all sides of the political spectrum.
When I originally read Tulsi’s thoughts, I wondered whether she’d finally made a full conversion to conservative Republicanism, but notice that she didn’t mention several of the most important tenets of conservatism, namely small or limited government, pro-life, pro-traditional family and pro-individual liberties. No, hers was more like a rant against the “woke” direction of the Democrat party, every word ringing true, but not exactly the type of resolve that you’d hear from a Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Ron DeSantis.
Of course, Gabbard had made herself thoroughly unwelcome in Democrat circles by frequently appearing as a guest on Fox News’s evening shows and even speaking at conservative/ Republican events such as CPAC earlier this year. The new company she kept tacitly declared that she wouldn’t be seen at any of Nancy Pelosi’s beautiful people shindigs any longer.
Gabbard began her journey off the Democrat reservation during the 2020 presidential campaign when she was the only blue candidate openly questioning the war mongering mindset of the group that had once been considered the “peace” party and even made directed and pointed criticisms of its leaders, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Tulsi turned heads when she took on Kamala Harris during one of the cycle’s early Democrat debates, all but ending buzz of the Californian being an upper-tier contender for the nomination.
It's hard to tell exactly where Gabbard stands on the issues these days, though she does talk a pretty good game against the hypocrisies of Democrats towards women’s rights and the LGBTQIA+++++ (whatever) agenda. Last week, after her pronouncement, Tulsi went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and aired opinions that wouldn’t be found in your typical Democrat’s mouth.
No wonder she resigned from the blue meanies. If Gabbard showed up in Democrat company these days, they might label her a semi-fascist MAGA backer, even though, to my knowledge, she’s never declared such an affiliation. I’m not sure she’d be believable even if she did.
Where does Gabbard go from here? Some respected conservatives began name-dropping Tulsi as a possible running mate for Donald Trump in 2024. In a piece titled “Could Tulsi Gabbard Be Trump’s VP?”, the always insightful Roger L. Simon wrote at The Epoch Times:
“I don’t care if she ever joins the Republican Party officially. She’s yards ahead of many of the RINOs in leading positions in the party now. What this country is in dire need of at this moment is original—not traditional party line—thinking. Wouldn’t you prefer this woman’s passion over what we often hear from the leadership of the Republican National Committee? She also has called upon other disenchanted Democrats to join her.
“And, of course, there’s the little matter of finally bringing this country together again. Trump himself, much as I love him, has great trouble doing this, especially since he has been characterized so unfairly for so long. Tulsi Gabbard is positioned to at least reach out to some of the people.
“Of course, the left Democrats will dismiss her. She’s an apostate. But they are hopeless for the most part. The center of the country is still here. We should try to save it.”
As I read Simon’s words, I nodded in agreement with many of them. But before conservatives go leaping headfirst into the “Tulsi for VP” mosh pit, we should seriously consider what we’re advocating. Gabbard’s foreign policy beliefs closely align with Donald Trump’s and the MAGA coalition’s anti-neocon war-at-any-cost point-of-view. But is that enough?
Realistically, the best argument for Trump to choose Gabbard as his running mate closely mirror the same one that senile Joe Biden probably employed to select Kamala Harris for his own ticket partner in 2020 -- namely that she’s a she and stems from an ethnic background which produced darker than pale pigmented skin on the surface. Then there’s the fact Tulsi isn’t Christian – she’s Hindu – and you’ve got a trifecta of affirmative action justifications for adding her to a Trump team in 2024.
But couldn’t the same be said for Biden in 2020? I recall making the case two years ago that basement dwelling senile Joe would’ve been much better off with the surfing common sense/pro American military veteran Hawaii congresswoman on his Democrat ticket rather than Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, Cardi B, Val Demings, Karen Bass or some other no-name African-American Democrat pol fished from the relatively small pond of black women that Biden had stupidly confined himself to.
There were white female horses in the Democrat veep stable, too, but not for long. Recall that when senile Joe originally proclaimed that his vice president would be a woman, he didn’t limit the potentials to black women alone. Technically speaking, Biden never did set skin color criteria, though after the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis and the nation’s streets erupted with a virtual ethnic rainbow coalition of leftist miscreants and hoods assaulting, murdering, burning and marching (don’t forget Mitt Romney, or does this describe him too?), there was no way the pasty white former Obama errand boy could bow to an urge to select either Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren or Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
I thought, if senile Joe was truly interested in tapping a “unity” type woman candidate, Gabbard was the perfect choice. She had all the bona fides – dark complexion, successful, independent minded and a history of liberal positions and votes that would appeal to the most dedicated of leftist radicals. Tulsi had supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, came around to endorsing Hillary Clinton that year and even delivered a well-received convention speech in Philadelphia.
Gabbard checked out well on most of the salient subjects back then – gay marriage, gay rights, climate change, subsidies for “green” energy, Medicare for all, HUD’s crippling AFFH rule (community grants), to redefine police use of force, ending any deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and reducing off-shore oil drilling leases, among others.
In other words, Tulsi could appeal to moderates, the handful of military minimalist conservatives and some of those on the leftist fringe as well. A unique combination, for sure, but is she someone Republicans would feel good about supporting as the next-in-line to a GOP president these days?
Trump could offer the position to Tulsi to act as a “unity” candidate, just like Biden could have done in 2020. But would Gabbard really bring many “centrist” votes as Simon argued? It’s safe to say Democrats now despise her as the worst kind of Benedict Arnold-like traitor, a person who stood on the grandest of party stages – the primary debates – and then stuck a knife in their backs just a couple years later.
It very well could be that Gabbard is to Democrats what John Kasich, Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Charlie Dent are to Republicans now. They haven’t exactly said the words (that I’m aware of), but liberals must consider Tulsi a renegade DINO (Democrat in name only) and already departed from the enlightened smart people long ago.
To me, it seems like an awful risky move to speculate that Gabbard would make a full changeover from leftist-backing loyal Democrat to full-on Donald Trump supporting MAGA conservative. And even if she were to “evolve” to the point where Trump would bring her up on stage at one of his rallies, would everyone buy into it?
Would you? Neither would I.
I’m ecstatic that Gabbard finally followed her instincts and dropped the Democrat party like a bad habit, and I’m even more pleased that she did so in such a manner that forced the wishy-washy establishment media to cover her every word. But I’m not yet ready to turn the keys to the front gate of Republican-land over to someone who not long ago was singing the praises of an avowed Vermont socialist for president.
This is the type of situation that screams, “Caution! Warning! Danger! Go Back! Turn Around! Cliff Ahead! This means you!” Or, if you’d prefer an audible example, your car’s backup camera when you’re about to strike something in the garage. Beep! Beep! Beep! Beeeepppp!
Tulsi Gabbard is one of the forthright politicians of our generation, a respected individual who speaks her mind and doesn’t appear to care who doesn’t like what she has to say. Not bad for a woman who hails from the same state that produced Mazie Hirono. But it’s a little early to declare her as a potential leader in the GOP. We should all heed those caution warnings instead.
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