Tulsi Gabbard Is Invisible!

The Invisible Woman

W.J. Astore

Last night, I caught a snippet of MSNBC as the panelists talked about the upcoming debates between two white men in their late seventies.  Nobody mentioned that a woman of color in her late thirties had also qualified for these debates, and an Iraq war veteran to boot: Tulsi Gabbard.

Today, I saw an article at the New York Times with the plaintive title: “Was It Always Going to Be the Last Men Standing?”  Here’s the online summary of the article:

A two-man race? Women aren’t surprised

“One of the hardest parts of this,” Elizabeth Warren said as she withdrew from the presidential race on Thursday, “is all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years.”
The senator’s exit essentially winnows what had been a diverse Democratic field to two white men, and the debate over an enduring question — can a woman win the presidency? — remains unresolved, our politics reporter Lisa Lerer writes in a news analysis.

I like that little caveat of “essentially winnows.”  Because Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race, has qualified for the debates (under the old rules), and is being treated like a non-person by the cynical, corporate, manipulative, and dishonest Democratic National Committee.

People are still telling me to “vote blue no matter who,” even as Tulsi is denied her right to be heard, and even as the DNC conspired to eliminate all moderate challengers to Joe Biden so that they could block Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden, to put it gently, has shown serious signs of decline and will be 82 years of age in 2024.  He has called for cuts to social security and has been a water boy for decades for credit card companies and their usurious interest rates.  He voted for the Iraq War, supported job-eliminating trade agreements, and is a servant of Big Pharma and the health insurance industry. among other faults.  And has everyone suddenly forgot his creepy tendency to touch women, to sniff their hair, and otherwise to invade their personal space?

If only we had a woman of substance to challenge these two ageing white men, Biden and Sanders.  If only she was principled, perhaps even a different religion (Hindu?), perhaps even a woman of color, perhaps even a war veteran, perhaps even principled in her stance against wasteful, regime-change wars.

But where are we to find such a woman?  Because I’m sure the DNC would embrace such a paragon of diversity committed to truth-telling.  Wouldn’t they?

Update (5:05 PM EST): Tulsi eliminated from the final two debates with a new DNC rule:


For what it’s worth, I posted this personal note on social media:

I know politics is divisive or boring to many. But here’s the story. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has changed its rules to muzzle Tulsi Gabbard, eliminating her from future debates. Remember when the DNC rewrote its rules to allow billionaire Mike Bloomberg to debate?
We’re left with two old white guys, aged 78 and 77, to represent Democratic diversity and “wokeness.” Meanwhile, Tulsi, a woman, an Iraq war veteran, and a Hindu, is cast into the darkness. And while I like Bernie Sanders, I would love to hear a young woman speak against the stupidity and wastefulness of America’s wars, which is the core of Tulsi’s message.
And, of course, look when the DNC announces this rule change: late on a Friday afternoon, when they assume it will go unnoticed. It’s all so cynical and sad.
When the Democrats lose to Trump again in November, remember this moment, among so many other cynical decisions by the DNC.

34 thoughts on “Tulsi Gabbard Is Invisible!

  1. “Tulsi Gabbard’s Nine Supporters Urge Her To Drop Out Of Race”

    That was in The New Yorker a few days ago, written by someone named Andy Borowitz. “Satire,” supposedly, but it seems to be the general take on her: she’s not someone you can take seriously. The reasons – such as they are – are as obvious as they are wrong-headed:

    1. Military service matters as it once did. Even though we’ve been involved in military actions around the world for as long as anyone can remember, there hasn’t been a “real” war since Vietnam, by which I mean one with memorable battlefields and “operations.” Everyone knew what the Tet Offensive was, but nobody knows what’s been going on in Afghanistan. What happened to all those embedded reporters? And this: it’s a volunteer army. She didn’t have to enlist. And while to some, that’s a sign of character and true patriotism (as opposed to, say, hugging and kissing the flag), to other’s it’s a bad career move with no real upside.
    2. She’s Hindu.
    3. She’s a vegetarian.
    4. She may be “a woman of color,” but she’s not one of the three recognized colors: black, white, brown (as in Latino).
    5. She’s too young.
    6. She’s too attractive (yes, I’m serious).
    7. She has no “coveted” & “meaningful” endorsements, not even from veterans’ groups (so much for the value of military service).
    8. She has no political patron, wasn’t part of a popular administration.
    9. Nobody knew who she was a year ago, and pretty much nobody knows who she is now because doing your job and having principles is not enough. My Dutch sweetheart came back from visiting friends in Texas last year with a “Beto” t-shirt and a “Beto” bumper sticker. But she has no idea who Tulsi Gabbard is. The moral: you have to have some clown and/or a media whore in you if you’re going to run for President. Which doesn’t sound like Tulsi at all.


    1. butsudanbill — I frankly still don’t grasp just where on the political spectrum Tulsi Gabbard really falls. This is partially the fault of the MSM, of course, for making her the Invisible Candidate. As a firmly anti-war veteran myself, I HATE it when politicians wrap themselves in military service and the flag–hello, Pete Buttigieg! So Tulsi wins zero points from me for being in uniform from time to time. But to the extent that she speaks sincerely in opposition to our country’s endless Wars of Choice…ah, that GUARANTEES she will feel no love from the traditional flag-waving veterans’ organizations, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. We can count on that!


  2. I don’t follow the day to day machinations of the DNC, but I very strongly SUSPECT Tulsi Gabbard will not be invited to any remaining “debates.” As for Biden’s age, I note there have been many intellectuals and artists–not suggesting Joey B. fits either of those categories, unless we speak of “BS artists”!–who have remained clear-minded and eloquently spoken well up into their 80s or 90s. So we have to look at the former VP as an individual case. Perhaps he’s on some kind of medications that help cloud his mind? (Many folks his age have been bamboozled by the medical establishment into believing they “must” take multiple prescription drugs daily.) Then again, he has reached an age where some decline in mental functioning is considered normal. I confess my own short-term memory ain’t what it used to be! I believe Biden will continue to hammer at Bernie over Medicare for All, demanding Sanders state exactly, down to the whole penny, how much the program will cost. And griping that it would throw out of their plans employees who supposedly love their existing corporate coverage. Biden will end up the name on the ballot come November regardless of how he performs in any remaining “debates.” The only unanswered question is who will the DNC put up as his running mate? Certainly NOT anyone perceived as “a radical”!! I won’t rule out Elizabeth Warren being chosen. I think she will be perceived as sufficiently “practical” to make the cut, provided she doesn’t push for anything resembling “socialized medicine.”


    1. Liz will be sold as “the adult in the room.” Jeeze, seems I’ve heard that plenty of times these past 3 years ….
      I would imagine she’ll get the The Promise: “Play ball for 4 years, and in 2024 the nomination will be yours.” She’ll be, what … 74? And her VP … Amy K.? That could be touted as the historic all-female ticket.


    1. Bernie’s next …. you know they’ve got someone who is “looking into ways to tighten up the debate format,” the most obvious of which is “lose one of the contestants.” If there’s a way to do it ….


      1. Ha-ha!! They’d have to “induce” a fresh cardiac “incident” in Bernie to keep him away! Dylan wrote some lyrics about “strapping on the heart-attack machine”! Look out, Bernie!!


        1. Addendum: Former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld is still an alleged challenger to Trump for GOP nomination. Will The Donald condescend to meet him on a “debate” stage??


  3. After Elizabeth Warren, and Saunders, I would have voted for Tulsi Gabard. Nobody else seems to know much about foreign policy and nuclear weapons,


    1. I see no reason that Biden would campaign with a platform calling for reduction in national stockpiles of nuclear weapons, except maybe as one plank in a “generally liberal” approach to the threat of nuclear war erupting. Quite frankly, I view the Global Climate Catastrophe as by far the greater threat to humanity’s future than a nuclear exchange. It should be noted, though, that there are new tensions between India and Pakistan, both possessing nuclear arsenals.


  4. The DNC may have rendered Tulsi Gabbard invisible by keeping her off the debate stage, but unfortunately for Joe Biden, the tactic has left “Senior Moment Joe” all too visible and naked in the spotlight. If Bernie can’t take out “Assisted Living” Joe, the champion of Usurious Payday Loans and Insurance Company Tax Avoidance, not to mention the several stupid imperial wars still grinding on after decades, then Bernie Sanders does not deserve further consideration as a presidential candidate.

    Simplified Debate Drinking Game Rules:

    1. Take a shot every time Bernie says: “I like Joe Biden. Joe Biden is a friend of mine.”

    2. Take a double shot every time Bernie shakes his fist at Vladimir Putin and tries to Red-bait Donald Trump even while the entire DNC party apparatus — in the confused person of Joe Biden — cynically Red-baits him using his own, tediously repeated Russia-gate canards that She’s-With-Her wrote for him and the Democratic Party back in 2016.

    Bernie and his “advisors” simply do not know how this “leading question” thing works and how “Russia-gate” has doomed the Democratic Party to looking terminally stupid for another generation.

    What a sight Tulsi would have made on stage with those two geriatric gentlemen (and I say this as a 72-year-old geezer myself). She would have made mincemeat out of them both, just by (1) debunking “Russia-gate” and the New Cold War, (2) expressing herself lucidly while sidestepping typically “loaded” questions, and (3) looking good while doing it and avoiding Joe Biden’s grasping hands at the same time. (full disclosure: My wife has given me permission to fantasize. She knows better than anyone that nothing will come of it, electorally or otherwise.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Before I read that “gerontocrats,” Mike, I thought of the Soviet example — the leaders who succeeded Brezhnev before Gorbachev arrived on the scene. Exciting names like Andropov and Chernenko. But a quick check of Wikipedia shows they were 68 and 72 when they took office, both apparently with health problems. They didn’t last long.

        Biden would be 78 if he takes office in January. He’s had brain aneurysms and his mental faculties are visibly declining. If he is elected, it’s likely he wouldn’t finish one term.

        As you say, Mike, his VP would need to be ready. I’m still banking on a black female (Kamala Harris or Stacy Abrams) for “diversity.” (Not diversity of views, of course.)


    1. Yes, they are “pushing 80,” Mike.

      I fondly remember when my niece said I was “pushing 40.” Oh for those good (young) days!


  5. Tulsi never really had a chance. Tulsi, was the “Wrong Woman” she could not speak Corporate. I should not be surprised. I marveled though at how quickly the triangulated Democratic Base grasped at and held tight onto, Mayor Wine Cellar. Bloomberg who epitomizes the 1% also got his share of votes from the Democratic Base.

    There is a segment of the Democratic Base that are for all intents and purposes are Jerry Ford Republicans. They can be “Liberal” on cultural issues. Where the rubber hits the road, they are deluded into thinking and believing that somehow with small tweaks, the Neo-Liberal Capitalist System will be our salvation.

    If I were Bernie at the next debate, I would take the approach of Hannibal at Cannae. I would let Corporate Joe go on the attack, and let him bumble with his usual rattling and loss of a thoughtful pattern of speech. Bernie’s instincts would be to make an all out assault, let Corporate Joe demonstrate on his own what an incompetent fool he is. The Democrats would then have to ask themselves does Corporate really stand a chance on the debate stage with The Trumpet???

    The McMega-Media will excuse a poor debate performance by Corporate Joe as “gaffes”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are only two debates left. I bet no new ones will be added. The debates will focus on these issues/false claims:

      1. Bernie is a socialist who praises communists.
      2. Bernie’s radical programs will bankrupt America.
      3. Bernie’s supporters (“Bernie Bros”) are mean and attack women.
      4. Blacks don’t trust Bernie.
      5. Bernie is going to take your health care away as we face a global pandemic.
      6. Bernie is going to raise your taxes.
      7. Bernie had a heart attack.

      Biden will get a few softball questions about his past, for which he’ll issue vague and nice-sounding apologies.


      1. Yes, this looks about right for Biden’s upcoming talking points. (And for whomever came up with the phrase “Bernie bros,” I recommend…the guillotine!!) The essential point about Medicare for All, of course, is that though we know we can’t put an exact figure on its future cost, we DO know that all the “leading, advanced” nations in the world offer something like it to their citizens and, ASTOUNDINGLY, they continue to be Capitali$t societies generating profits for their corporations!! For some of us, the following need not be demonstrated yet again, but–if nothing else, Bernie being scuttled by the DNC will underline that “The System” is light years beyond the point where it will tolerate real reforms.


    2. The one sort-of positive thing I can say about Biden is that he WILL “get his dander up.” Since a toe to toe “debate” with Trump will quickly devolve into insult-hurling, Joe might do reasonably well. But will Joe, who claims to be loved by labor and African-Americans, hit Trump for being the (seedy, to be sure!) mouthpiece for the privileges of “the 1%” or is that territory he’ll hesitate to cross into? Since he, too, will continue to serve their interests in any public office he attains.


  6. Of course, Trump is already attacking Biden as “damaged” and gaffe-prone and willing to cut Medicare and Social Security. But I don’t think the DNC cares. The priority is to block Bernie at all costs.


    1. And now Kamala Harris has hopped on the Biden caboose. I’m on record predicting Eliz. Warren will do likewise. Would be pleasant surprise to me if she endorsed Bernie!


      1. Warren made a funny appearance on Saturday Night Live where she quipped, Maybe I’ll endorse them both. A good diss of the brave people at the New York Times who endorsed Warren and Klobuchar.

        Those New York Times endorsements: they sure are powerful!


        1. Does anyone care any longer who Elizabeth Warren will or will not endorse? She has already revealed herself as the fraud that she is. And even Bernie will soon be endorsing Biden. Bernie has TDS, bought completely into Russiagate, and believes that it’s possible to reform the Democratic party. Once he betrays his own “revolution”, yet again (as he has promised to do, believing this to be noble), his whole laudable effort will be reduced to utter uselessness.


          1. Sen. Sanders is, technically, an Independent. But I have to believe that, yes, once he caves to reality that the DNC has done him in again, he’ll back Biden. Encouraging an independent run by anyone would be viewed as a boon to Trump.


          2. Sadly, Greg, Bernie has said he will fully back Biden, “my friend” who “can beat Trump.”

            I like Bernie — I respect Bernie — but he’s far too kind to the DNC and to Biden.


  7. The hypocrisy of “feminist” liberals supposedly aching for a woman in the White House is breathtaking — not one voice has been raised against the isolation and marginalisation of Tulsi Gabbard by the DNC and the media – a woman of color Who Is STILL IN THE RACE, but who Is systematically excluded from appearing before the voters and whose name has been expunged from the Democratic memory. The voices of Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren — supposed champions of women — are conspicuously missing, as is the voice of Bernie Sanders, who has been supported by Tulsi since 2016.

    The point is not whether these people support Tulsi. The capacity of supposedly sensible people to reject integrity and intelligence (above all else) is astounding and so they of course don’t want Tulsi; we’ll simply have to ignore that. The question is whether or not they are all just a bunch of phonies. And the answer to that seems pretty clear.

    See: https://www.tulsigabbard.org


    1. The DNC won’t tolerate Tulsi OR Bernie. They viewed Biden as “the actually electable one” all along. We shall see how much “galvanizing” of younger voters ol’ Joe can actually generate. And if black folk really “love” him to extent Joe and DNC would have us believe!!


    2. Tulsi is much too independent for them. Not the kind of “diversity” they want.

      Plus she hasn’t sold out to Big Money, and that’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re “serious.”


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