The Democrats have started going absolutely bonkers over Tulsi Gabbard. Back in February, I noted how NBC News had essentially come out of nowhere and accused Gabbard of being a Russian stooge. At the time, going after Gabbard made sense because the Democrats were trying to clear the field for the media’s favorite, Kamala Harris, who was the preferred candidate of the radical social justice warriors who have taken control of much of the Democrat Party.
Gabbard seemed like a credible threat to Harris at the time because she is young, charismatic, attractive, has a military background, and most importantly was making serious outreach attempts to more moderate democrats, something which the social justice warrior wing disliked.
However, since then, it’s been clear that Gabbard was no real threat to the social justice warriors. Her polling has been in the tank for months, donations were fairly low compared to the race’s leaders, and she seemed destined to be a campaign footnote. While she did some damage to Kamala Harris in a debate, Harris’ campaign mostly imploded because she is a charmless, unlikable candidate who couldn’t do anything to keep her poll numbers up. Biden notably recovered after a debate defeat, but Harris could not.
Needless to say, I was very surprised when CNN and the New York Times suddenly began launching major attacks on her on October 12 and October 15, claiming she was a Russian spy:
The New York Times and CNN may have been moderating the Democrats’ 2020 primary debate Tuesday night, but that didn’t stop Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, from accusing them of “smearing” her reputation.
“The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime-change war,” she said, apparently gesturing toward the moderators. She had been asked about Syria, where President Trump recently ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country’s north.
She added: “Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears. This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia — completely despicable.”
Gabbard appeared to refer to CNN analyst Bakari Sellers’ comments describing the congresswoman as a “puppet for the Russian government.”
Hillary Clinton then attacked her on October 18, claiming she was a Russian “favorite”:
“I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said. “She’s the favorite of the Russians.”
Clinton also added she believed Jill Stein, the likely Green Party nominee for president, is a “Russian asset.”
Naturally, this has led to a backlash:
On Saturday, Gabbard found fans among the many Clinton skeptics across Iowa, where Clinton barely won the 2016 Democratic caucuses against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“What is this horrible thing that Hillary said about you?” one person asked Gabbard at a house party in West Branch.
Gabbard responded that “it revealed the truth that I have been experiencing for a long time now — which is that, because I have been trying to bring about an end to our country’s long-held foreign policy of waging one regime-change war after the next. I am labeled as a traitor.”
“This is a message that is being sent to every single American. who speaks out for peace,” she said.
I just cannot understand what the Democrats were thinking about going after Tulsi Gabbard in this manner.
The Democrats are already having problems with the narrative because of impeachment. Despite what Fox News would have you believe, impeachment is not very popular and ranks rock bottom on the list of voter concerns. The voters want to hear about how the Democrats are going to improve their lives, and the only one talking seriously about that is Trump.
The Democrats are running on lunatic conspiracy theories about Russian spies, transgender bathrooms, bans of red meat and plastic straws, and social justice. Trump is running on jobs, the economy, and prosperity.
Distractions like impeachment suck the air out of the room and make most of the media conversation about Trump. Most of the other Democrat candidates are having a hard time getting noticed, because the media devotes so many hundreds of hours to covering Trump. The last thing the Democrats need is ANOTHER major distraction over whether Tulsi Gabbard is or isn’t a secret Russian spy.
Now the Democrats are at serious risk of driving Gabbard to run a third party candidacy after her mistreatment. All they had to do was ignore her and she’d have flamed out like all the other vanity candidates such as Yang and O’Rourke, and they can’t even manage that. The attacks on Gabbard have been an “own goal.” They lend credence to Trump’s claim that the “Russian spy” stuff is conspiracy theory nonsense.
If the attacks had just been from Hillary, I could have written it off as a bitter old woman lashing angrily out at candidates more attractive and popular than her. But these attacks are clearly coordinated, and have been going on for a week now. Hillary is just the highest profile attacker.
What are the Democrats thinking? What do they hope to accomplish by committing substantial resources to attacking a nobody vanity candidate? I honestly can’t figure it out.
Addendum from Spartan Hero:
As this post was going to wire, some pertinent news hit the web regarding Tulsi. Naturally, this mini civil war between Tulsi and Hillary has caused many on the right to begin siding with Gabbard. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is how the saying goes, but I think that’s also very premature for conservatives to be doing. Her policies are just as nutty as anything else that her Democratic opponents have been saying (Regulate cow farts & ban cars with the Green New Deal, keep the borders wide open and shower illegals with rewards, abort the babies, Impeach Trump over a phone call, $15/hr min wage, full socialized medicine, reparations, etc. etc.). Enter this tweet that shows Tulsi paling it up with the leader of Portland Antifa and Occupy ICE. I seem to recall that such cozying up to terrorists was one great reason to not elect Obama to office:
Antifa Fascist Fangirl Tulsi Gabbard posing with Evan Duke, leader of Portland Antifa and Occupy ICE pic.twitter.com/XIBJg62qed
— badluck (@badluck_jones) October 20, 2019