The Smearing of Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard and her most infamous accuser

W.J. Astore

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a compelling choice for president in 2020.  She’s principled, she’s against America’s disastrous regimen of regime-change wars, and she’s got the guts to criticize her own party for being too closely aligned with rich and powerful interests.  She’s also a military veteran who enlisted in the Army National Guard in Hawaii after the 9/11 attacks (she currently serves as a major and deployed overseas to Iraq during that war).

What’s not to like about a female veteran who oozes intelligence and independence, a woman who represents diversity (she’s a practicing Hindu and a Samoan-American), an early supporter of Bernie Sanders who called out the DNC for its favoritism toward Hillary Clinton …

Aha!  There you have it.  Back in February 2016, Gabbard resigned her position as vice-chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders, and the DNC, controlled by establishment centrists like the Clintons as well as Barack Obama, have never forgiven her.  Recently, Hillary Clinton smeared her (as well as Jill Stein, Green Party candidate from 2016) as a Russian asset, and various mainstream networks and news shows, such as “The View” and NBC, have suggested (with no evidence) she’s the favored candidate of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Think about that.  Hillary Clinton and much of the mainstream media are accusing a serving major in the U.S. military of being an asset to a foreign power.  It’s an accusation bordering on a charge of treason — a charge that is libelous and recklessly irresponsible.

A reminder: Tulsi Gabbard enlisted in the military to serve her country in the aftermath of 9/11.  What did Hillary Clinton do?  Can you imagine Hillary going through basic training as a private, or serving in the military in a war zone?  (Hillary did falsely claim that she came under sniper fire in Bosnia, but that’s a story for another day.)

Tulsi Gabbard is her own person.  She’s willing to buck the system and has shown compassion and commitment on the campaign trail.  She may be a long shot, but she deserves a long look for the presidency, especially when you consider the (low) quality of the enemies she’s made.

37 thoughts on “The Smearing of Tulsi Gabbard

  1. You need go no further than “she’s a practicing Hindu.”
    I would imagine the DNC would love to drop that one on her: “Well, Tulsi, by rights the nomination should be yours, but this Hindu business … that would complicate taking the Oath of Office, don’t you think? It’s not very American. We were lucky to get Barack Obama in with that crazy name of his.”
    And I don’t think we even want to consider the electorate’s response.
    I suppose I should have a higher regard for my fellow Amerikans and their ability to tell the difference between a natural seven and snake eyes, but they’ve never given me any reason to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Evangelicals embrace Trump, who worships only himself.

      So why can’t Americans accept a practicing Hindu?

      After Trump, does religion matter?


    2. I don’t know if you have read The Martian, by Andy Weir, or seen the movie of the same name starring Matt Damon, but where the book has a NASA official named Venkat Kapoor, a Hindu, the movie changes that to make him Vincent Kapoor with one parent a Baptist and the other a Hindu. At one nervous moment during a launch the flight director asks him: “Do you believe in god?” and he answers: “Several of them.” To which the flight director adds: “We could use all the help we can get.”

      A good line for Tulsi when the Bible-thumpers start their Bronze-Age Single-Spook Avenger thing on her.


  2. Who was it Karl Marx who said Religion: “The Opiate of the People” more concerning to me her 180’s. on issues, and how many more will we see? And those pesky meetings with questionable characters… :/ :o) Bannon & Trump etc… Religion should be a non-issue. To her credit she does have more positives than negatives tho.


    1. I wouldn’t surprised if that is, indeed, a Marx quote, but it’s commonly attributed to Vladimir Lenin as well. Regardless, religion SHOULD be a non-issue. This “god bless America” nonsense has gone far enough. Get it off the money, and out of the oaths. Demographically, the U.S. may be a Christian nation, but it was founded as a secular republic, where you are free to practise any religion, or none at all.

      Personally, I am in favour of any candidate that the establishment doesn’t like – remind the politicians that they exist to serve the nation, not the other way round. I don’t agree with Gabbard on everything (and I don’t like her 180s either), but every time she calls out the likes of Kamala Harris or Hillary Clinton, it makes me happy.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Whenever I post anything remotely positive about Tulsi Gabbard on Facebook, the same few people come out to denounce her. My response is below, though I know you can’t reason with haters:

    That Tulsi has been on Fox News is an argument in her favor, i.e. her crossover appeal and her willingness to engage with the “other side.” That Tulsi met with Assad is, in my view, reasonable; true leaders are always willing to meet with “bad” people, even ruthless dictators, in the cause of averting war. My main point is how she’s being smeared as some kind of traitor, or at least a useful idiot. She’s neither. Also, I’ve read the piece on Tulsi in Jacobin, and I’ve heard about alleged cults. Is this really the best the media can do? Guilt by association?

    Some of our readers may have concerns about Tulsi, e.g. alleged Islamophobia, alleged cults, etc. The main point is this: Does she deserve to be smeared as a Putin puppet? What does this say about our media? And why are they doing this? I can tell you why. Trillions of dollars are spent on wars and weapons, and Tulsi is calling for an end to regime-change wars and a return to diplomacy. She also, like Bernie, is willing to call out the DNC as being against the interests of ordinary Americans — and she’s right about this. She has a lot in her favor. I’m a Bernie fan myself, but I’ll take Tulsi over all those phony “centrists” like Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Harris, and Biden.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t speak to the RSS/BJP connection; I’ve read about it, but I admit to ignorance on the matter.

      Of course, every candidate has multiple connections, positions, donors, etc. All politicians carry baggage. So far, from what I’ve read, Tulsi is more principled and more courageous than most of her peers.

      I’m still a Bernie fan — his long record of helping the poor and vulnerable speaks for itself. Of course, he once went to Moscow … oh no! Run away! 🙂


  4. We should bear in mind that when Hillary Rodham Clinton (she would’ve been simply Hillary Rodham at the time) was of an age, and (hypothetical stuff here!) presumably more physically fit, that might have opened the door to active military service…she was a “Goldwater Girl” at Wellesley College! And the GOP attack on Lt. Col. Vindman, suggesting he may be a “Ukrainian asset,” is even more ludicrous and distasteful than the smear on Representative Gabbard. One may vote for Gabbard in a Primary, IF she appears on the ballot, as a protest vote but she sure as hell won’t be on the ticket in November of next year! In essence, she signed her own death warrant re: her future in Dem. Party with her on-target criticism of the Clintons and their ilk. As a person of principle myself, I find that admirable. In spades. But it ain’t “pragmatic,” you see!


  5. butsudanbill — I’m confident you are aware of this fact, but I’ll bring it in for anyone who may not know this: there is absolutely NOTHING in the US Constitution that “requires” the presence of the Judaeo-Christian Bible at the oath-taking of a POTUS or any other federal official. Nothing!! This is just another stupid, dust-gathering tradition that dribbled into our lives and should be discarded! As for Ms. Gabbard belonging to any cult, or favoring Hindu extremists, I personally have seen nothing in the media about this. Unless it comes from Fox “News,” which I do not patronize.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tulsi has now done four courageous, unusual, and very positive things while merely a candidate:
    1) Tulsi effectively took down a leading contender and DNC favorite, by demonstrating that Senator Harris had been a corrupt prosecutor.
    2) Tulsi defended democracy as she sued Google for at least $50 million, for playing favorites in search-routing of candidates.
    3) Tulsi called out Hillary Clinton for the monster she is.
    4) Tulsi supported a process toward 911 truth by supporting 911-victims’ families’ right to see FBI documents that have been denied to them.

    Tulsi is the anti-war candidate. Tulsi Gabbard should be Commander-in-Chief. Yang should be VP and in charge of the economy. Read his book. UBI is the way to go. Tulsi needs someone she can trust as VP.


    1. To your list of courageous Tulsi Gabbard positions, I would add the following, Joseph:

      Tulsi Gabbard Says She Would Drop Julian Assange Charges and Pardon Edward Snowden, by Jason Murdock, Newsweek (5/15/19 at 5:22 AM EDT).

      I consider the vicious persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning — both languishing in prison for having committed no crime whatsoever — along with the exile of Edward Snowden, among the greatest travesties of justice ever committed by the U.S. and U.K. (dishonorable mention goes to Sweden and the latest Ecuadorian government, as well). I had hoped for this subject to come up in the “debates,” giving Tulsi yet another opportunity to shine relative to her competitors, most of whom would soil their undergarments in panic at the thought of “crossing” the absurdly named “intelligence community” and its entirely co-opted corporate media outlets.

      If Tulsi Gabbard had done no other principled thing than this, I would have considered her heads and shoulders above anyone else campaigning for a position in the U.S. government today.


      1. I ought to dedicate this one to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her principled defense of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden (and no-doubt Chelsea Manning, as well):

        Star Chamber, Incorporated

        Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
        Jailed as twin examples for the proles:
        “Look what happens if you publish secrets:
        More totalitarian controls.”

        In Chinese: “Kill the Chicken scare the Monkey.”
        Rat-out your colleagues. Do not Power tempt.
        Or otherwise the judges and grand juries
        Will hold you in what lawyers call “contempt.”

        A strange word-choice, indeed, by Power’s minions
        Who spend careers perfecting rank abuse.
        For them I’d have to feel respect much greater
        Before that is the word that I would use.

        I’ve nothing good to say for prosecutors.
        Some say I wish to “damn them with faint praise.”
        But I reply: “You praise with faint damnation.
        So which of us has coined the the better phrase?”

        Despicable, the treatment of these heroes.
        The US and UK have sunk so low.
        Still, Julian and Chelsea have together
        More balls than these two governments can grow.

        No matter, they have passed into the ages.
        Already they have earned a fair renown.
        Each day they live defiant, undefeated,
        They rise as jailers try to put them down.

        As JFK once said of his elite class:
        “The ship of state leaks mainly from the top.”
        But if some lowly, powerless, poor person
        Tries that, they’ll feel the lash. No truth. Now stop!

        To scare a monkey, kill another monkey.
        If not, the monkeys learn impunity.
        While eating KFC they ask, obtusely:
        “What has a chicken got to do with me?”

        And so the Corporation-State must silence
        Reports of its incompetence and crime.
        If citizens knew what it did they’d order
        Its dissolution. Now. And just in time.

        Historically, they called it the Star Chamber
        A secret court designed to thwart the king.
        But power then perverted it to serve him.
        Grand juries in the US, same damn thing.

        They now indict ham sandwiches routinely
        With no protection for the innocents.
        Presumed as guilty, evidence not needed.
        Conviction guaranteed. No court repents.

        A judge may do whatever he determines
        He can. So levy fines. Coerce. Demand
        On penalty of prison, testimony
        Against oneself, alone upon the stand.

        “Democracy” is just a euphemism
        If citizens allow this to proceed.
        Orwellian: first Hate then Fear of Goldstein.
        Two Minutes, daily. Really, all you need.

        Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2019


    1. Lost it JM. Very aggravating! But you’re absolutely right; Bernie is nowhere. btw, your link the EU claims is “illegal” – “Law # Blah, blah, blah”.
      Not as well written as the 1st, in brief, as a member of Democrats Abroad in Nice, France, noticed things strange after Sander’s victory. These “new members”. Unlike us over the years, who had dinners & day trips together. We knew personal phone #’s. I got the giggles one night on the train back from a “meeting”: “Are these people CIA?” Then reprimanded myself: “Bruce! You’re paranoid!” Went home to sleep. Yet after the disastrous Billary fail (none of us liked her), I’d get old friends saying: “Do you think so&so was CIA? They moved out of town! Never had parties like we did! Shared personal information!” So I wasn’t out of my mind after all.
      The same group is doing the same to Tulsi, but she’s a hell of a lot smarter than Bernie: especially when that old jerk asked us to transfer his votes to Billary. Many didn’t. Yeah, you know the rest…


      1. PS Tried again; no go. I’m always a bureaucrat JM, it’s #451 in EU law book. I’m a taxpayer here, but I can’t remember voting on that particular bill….or what it says! LOL


      1. Take a mild-mannered Constitutional Law professor, wave a magic wand and utter “Abracadabra!” and…you get a full-blown apologist for US Imperialism! “We are the Indispensable Nation…We are the Indispensable Nation…We are the Indispensable Nation…” Stop the world, I want to get off!


      2. Who’s for starting a pool to guess the month and week Barack Obama announces – with reluctance – that for “the good of the Nation and Party” he would accept the nomination, were it to be offered?
        Barack vs Hillary, Round 2: Better than “The Thrilla in Manilla” or “The Rumble in the Jungle.”
        Follow-up: Will the Democratic Party survive the campaign and convention?


        1. I’ll claim the winnings in your betting pool right now, butsudanbill. The winning answer is: the Dem. Party Establishment absolutely won’t tolerate a contest between Obama and Clinton! They will settle on one or the other to “ride to the rescue on a white horse.” To run Obama again would only rile up the Trump base to unprecedented hysteria. “A black man–THAT black man!–in the White House AGAIN?!? No way!!” That said, the Dem. Party committing suicide, in effect, cannot be ruled out! Methinks permanent rule by the GOP is NOT what the country or the world need.


  7. This is a good commentary. military experience is a good thing especially when we are dealing with the fact that over half of the national budget is devoted to the military.


    1. Happy Thanksgiving to all above. ‘Nothing Burger’ here in France, but I had to explain what “Black Friday” means. All the stores here use it as a promotion for sales! Many thought it was a commemoration to solving America’s racial problems! “Hah! No, you idiots! People camp out in parking lots all night! To be the 1st to get a something-or-other 57” flat screen -cheap! Or Martha Stewart egg beater! (“Whose she?”)”. We had our laughs!
      Spent some time researching your excellent post. Hmm. With the traffic going on outside, of “Buy me! Buy me!” stores, got to thinking about Tulsi’s wardrobe: looks pretty Dept. Store off the rack to me. Then I got to think about her brain over it all: Ahah!
      The ermine coats & diamond crowns go to the MIC! GO! TULSI GO! You’re our only hope!
      PS As a white man always for civil rights, I think that black woman should be ashamed of herself: she’s degrading a true antiwar candidate, forgetting about the horror & crime of US inter cities, my concerns….


      1. I assume you refer to Senator Kamala Harris here. She has been criticized in some circles for over-aggressive prosecution of black folks when CA State Attorney General. But in today’s political circus, such attacks could well have been the work of GOP operatives. Anything goes, baby!


        1. Yeah! She fits the bill! Dreadful person, and I loved TG’s attack on her a few weeks ago. But then again, it could be the FSB! You’re right! “Anything goes, baby!”


  8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a thoughtful article on playing it safe, running out the clock, prevent defense, etc., on your opponent as it would apply to politics.

    Jabbar writes: Almost every poll showed her with a respectable lead over Trump just days before the election. So, the Clinton campaign tried to run out the clock by not campaigning much in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota, all of which turned much redder than in the previous presidential election.

    The tactic of trying to pick a “safe” candidate who can beat Trump by appealing to their ideas about Middle America sends the wrong message to all of America. No team devise a game strategy based on fear: they emphasize their strengths and exploit their opponents’ weaknesses. The Democratic candidate shouldn’t be the least objectionable, but the one who boldly forges ahead with clear and detailed plans for Making America America Again.

    Democrats can’t pander to voters by denigrating Trump but then promising them Trump-lite with a wink. Promote progressive policies and plans worthy of a party that wants to lead this country without fear of being called “socialists” or “the radical left” or whatever else your opposing team chants.
    Jabbar is correct. The Corporate Democrats among them Biden, Buttigieg and Bloomberg are fighting desperately to preserve a perceived lead aided and abetted by the McMega-Media.

    Chicago Alderman, Paddy Bauler (1890-1977) said in 1955 on the election of Daley the Elder, “Chicago ain’t ready for reform yet”, or “Chicago ain’t ready for a reform mayor”.

    Today, the pundits employed by Corporate America, along with various Democratic Party stooges for Wall Street tell us America ain’t ready for Reform.


  9. Yes, ML, so goes American ‘Exceptionalism’, after WW2 Victory. Today, so goes a Great American City in violence, all so shortsighted. I’m still confused with our never-ending wars overseas, as our cities rot in crime & violence, my main concern. I didn’t grow up – or party! -later on in today’s disaster areas of Baltimore or Philadelphia, etc.It was GREAT!
    But somethings going on I don’t know about, when the WORST cities have black Congresspeople (Maxime Waters?) living in 6.5$Mil mansions as their “districts” die.
    I have NO PROBLEM with black people! Such a smear an insult. But it’s worth investigating why these characters who have ruined their cities are supporters of Dems, & Billary! Oh! They spend & vote lavishly on more money for our wars, but nothing for their own cities!
    Finally starting to figure it out: They’re traitors to their own race, for their personal benefit. They make Dems “look proud”, vs “REP’s!” Yes, they too re dreadful…maybe that’s why I feel: TULCI GO! She’s neither dreadful party!


  10. ML: Good citation of KA-J —- although I’ve seen the same-sort of criticism of the Dems elsewhere, Kareem’s sports analogy is very helpful in understanding the concept.

    (I have to say that I got sick of the Dems milquetoast approach to politics. Maybe it was an understandable response to a frustrating right-wing zeitgeist, but DAMN, did they have to be SO passive against the Reps?? Even when they briefly held majorities in Congress under Obama, the wouldn’t introduce/push bills that weren’t ‘filibuster-proof’!?!? I for one might still be voting Dem POTUS IF they had pushed those progressive bills., then let the Reps filibuster for weeks or months, meantime the Dems & Obama could’ve gone in front of the public daily and said something like “We’re trying to help you by passing Bill X, but the Reps are filibustering and stopping Congress from getting any work done!” Let the government shut-down for a few weeks because of it and keep hammering away at the Reps for being the BLOCKERS, etc. Call their bluff, and use it against them during elections. Instead they tried to be overly accommodating & conciliatory BEFORE debate had even begun!)


    1. Yes. Eddie. The Democratic Party not only gets its ass kicked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it seems to have developed something of a masochistic taste for the Republican abuse. Hence two of my verse compositions essentially agreeing with your observations:

      (1) From eight years ago. From “Hope” and “Change” to despair and the status quo. And with a Nobel Peace Prize for Endless War, too.

      Congenital Stockholm Syndrome

      He started by giving up quickly,
      Surrendering early his case.
      He offered to kiss their asses.
      Replying, they pissed in his face.

      Their urine, he thought, tasted strangely;
      Yet not at all bad to his taste.
      He’d gotten so used to it, plainly.
      Why let such a drink go to waste?

      The people who voted in favor
      Of him and his promise of “change”
      Now see in his many betrayals
      A poodle afflicted with mange.

      Each time that the surly and crazy
      Republicans out for his skin
      Condemn him for living and breathing,
      He graciously helps them to win.

      He’ll turn on his base in an instant
      With threats and disdain and neglect
      While bombing some Muslims so Cheney
      Might thrill to the lives that he’s wrecked.

      A black man in love with apartheid
      He offers his stalwart support
      To Zionists and their extortion
      With “More, please!” his only retort.

      A masochist begging for beatings
      Obama takes joy in abuse
      Receiving just what he has asked for
      Which makes him of no earthly use

      The little brown men that he’s murdered
      In homes far away from our land
      Bring profits obscene to his backers
      Who give him the back of their hand.

      Obama seeks praise from the vicious
      Republicans, no matter what.
      He suffers, apparently, nothing
      So much as his need to kiss butt.

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2011

      (2) From twelve years ago and on the Congressional side of the Surrender Monkey Syndrome:

      Nancy the Negotiator

      Nancy the Negotiator
      Gives up first; surrenders later;
      Takes her cards from off the table,
      Then recites her loser fable:

      “We don’t have the votes we need,”
      Nancy says, in tones that bleed:
      “Mean Republicans will whine
      If we do not toe their line.”

      Nancy bows to George and Dick
      While her skinny ass they kick;
      Writes them checks both blank and rubber,
      Then proceeds to lamely blubber:

      “We don’t like what Dubya’s doing.
      Still, we quite enjoy the screwing.
      Masochism’s what we offer,
      Helping crooks to loot the coffer”

      “Sure, the squandered blood and treasure
      Goes to those we will not measure.
      Still, we promise you’ll adore us
      If you mark your ballot for us.”

      “Choices you don’t have assail you,
      Leaving only us who fail you.
      Nonetheless, we’ve gotten fatter.
      Why, then, should we think you matter?”

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2007

      After six years in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club (the last eighteen months of that in the now-defunct Republic of South Vietnam) it didn’t take me long to realize that the Republicans get paid a lavish salary to do what the fabulously wealthy demand, while the Democrats get a comparatively meager allowance to do what the Republicans tell them to do, also on behalf of the fabulously wealthy: namely, betray their own working-class anti-war base so that the Republicans will not have anything even remotely “leftist” to worry about. In truth, the Democratic party crawled up its own ass and died so many years ago that I think I’ve lost count.


    2. In my opinion, Speaker Pelosi’s foot-dragging on launching impeachment was nauseating. “It’s so divisive an issue!” she babbled almost daily. Earth calling Speaker Pelosi: Guess who has succeeded splendidly in dividing us? Yeah, it’s “the other guys,” and they launched their offensive offensive (get it?) a half-century ago, when pro-Nixon thugs donned hard hats and attacked anti-war/anti-racist demonstrators. On the other hand, I suppose the Dems deserve a modicum of “credit” for finally launching proceedings which we know will lead to failure to convict and remove in the GOP-dominated Senate. As I see it, there’s no way enough GOP Senators would defect to change that outcome. So much for USA’s great respect for The Rule of Law!


      1. Well, she took impeachment “off the table” for a President who shredded the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, tortured people – often to death – and lied to commit the act of aggressive war “the supreme war crime” so why should we expect better from her now?


        1. RMO–Well, I am grateful that Pelosi finally signed off on impeachment, though it took Trump’s attempt to dig up dirt on Biden to spur her. Now that the process is underway the Dems can’t possibly back down and say “Just kidding!” I’ve said all along that, as a matter of principle (because I’m dreadfully old-fashioned, you see), these proceedings should have been launched a long time ago. It’s looking like a trip to SCOTUS is going to end up being required to advance the case on every critical issue, allowing the incumbent to stall and stall and stall.


  11. Great poetic treatment of this low-ebb of the Democratic Party, ML! I especially liked the line about “Gives up first; surrenders later”, which pretty much captures the essence!


  12. Just what we don’t need: two bought-and-paid-for political parties in the service of the wealthiest and the corporations. But at least the Republicans are (mostly) honest about their priorities …


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