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What is Tulsi Gabbard up to?

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I watched a Tulsi Gabbard town hall in New Hampshire over the weekend, on C-SPAN, and was shocked, I must say, at the endless stream of clichés she strung together, in what she imagined was a speech.

If you enabled a computer to artificially create a speech by randomly stringing together stock phrases from pre-existing speeches, you’d get the nonsense Gabbard spouted. Useless, pointless junk speechifying. Content-wise, it was a bust; creatively, even more so.

The most disturbing part of her remarks, though, came in questions and answers. Someone in the audience asked her this question: “You voted ‘Present’ for the House impeachment. If you had had overwhelming evidence that Trump actually did break the law, would you have voted to impeach?”

“Yes,” Gabbard said. She went on to explain that, in her mind, the evidence just isn’t there. That’s when I had to mute my T.V. I don’t mind Republicans (and I consider Gabbard a crypto-Republican) talking sensibly about things I disagree with, but it rankles me to hear someone lie with such impunity. Here is the fact: The evidence that Trump blackmailed or extorted or bribed Zelensky is over-fucking-whelming. Period, end of story. It would be nice, of course, if Trump permitted his greaseballs—Pompeo, Mulvaney, Giuliani, Pence et al.—to testify under oath, but even though he continues to cover up his crimes by muzzling them and ignoring lawful subpoenas, we still have a catalog of evidence that is more than enough to convict Trump of the two impeachment charges the House has crafted against him. More than enough, I say—so why is Tulsi Gabbard out there on the hustings every day, exonerating Trump?

To begin to answer this, we have to revert to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion, many months ago, that Gabbard is being groomed by Russia’s Putin. That charge was pretty shocking when Hillary made it. Now, it’s not so shocking. Tulsi Gabbard, for all her fine talk, is running interference for Trump—while she’s running for the Democratic nomination for president! What the hell is going on here?

Well, we don’t exactly know, and we may never; but if it walks like a duck…and Gabbard is walking like a duck or, more precisely, like someone who’s trying to sow confusion over our political process, and thus make Trump’s impeachment ambiguous. From this we must draw certain inferences. She may say she doesn’t favor Trump’s re-election, but she consistently undermines the process by which we are attempting to prevent him from being re-elected.

And isn’t sowing confusion the essence of how Russia interferes with our elections? The fake Facebook and Twitter accounts—the lies issued in the name of truth—the phony identities and spammy organizations—saying one thing and meaning the exact opposite–that’s how Putin, the ex-KGB chief, rolls. (That’s how Trump rolls, too.) Try this thought experiment: Putin wants to insert an operative into the Democratic campaign. That person must be authentic enough to possess credibility. Well, Gabbard’s already in the U.S. Congress, so she has credibility. That person also must indulge in the usual liberal talking points: healthcare for everyone, the vision of the Founding Fathers, limiting the power of corporations. This is standard Democratic Party rhetoric; Gabbard espouses just enough from the playbook to get by.

But here’s Putin’s supreme stroke: amidst the usual Democratic platform points, have the candidate pepper her remarks with statements that there’s not enough evidence to convict Trump, and that indeed he should not have been impeached to begin with. Have that candidate say these things, in various forms, over and over and over, before every audience she addresses: working people from New Hampshire, farmers from Iowa, union workers from Nevada, college students from South Carolina. Have that candidate plant the seed of doubt in their minds: Maybe Trump didn’t do it. Maybe impeachment really is the most partisan political thing we’ve seen in years, launched by Pelosi and her Democrats who hate Trump and have been trying to get rid of him since Day One. Maybe Tulsi Gabbard is right…

That’s exactly what Putin wants people to think. He desires them to doubt…to be skeptical…to mistrust the facts that have been laid out before their ears and eyes…because a doubting, skeptical public is a public that will not have the strength to rid ourselves of Trump. A doubting public is a tired, effete public, willing to lay itself prostrate while Trump tramples them underfoot. A doubting public cannot muster the outrage to do what has to be done, because outrage means perceiving wrongdoing; and if it’s impossible to perceive wrongdoing, it’s equally impossible to oppose it, to summon the collective will to end it.

This is what Tulsi Gabbard is up to. I can’t tell you her motive, though. In this era of quid pro quo, what’s in it for her? She’s not going to get the nomination. She won’t even get close. I would imagine she knows that—if she doesn’t, she’s delusional. So if it’s not the nomination, what is it? Money? Fame? A cushy job down the road? What can Putin give her? Will she eventually expatriate herself to Russia? It’s not so strange to imagine. Tulsi Gabbard is doing something very disturbing, and we can only begin to fathom it if we allow ourselves to entertain some very bizarre possibilities.

  1. tim fleming says:

    Tulsi is exposing Israel’s constant need for the US taxpayers to fight their wars for them. American Zionists have been doing Israel’s bidding within the US since 1948. Let Israel solve its own problems. They have zero allegiance to Americ.

  2. This comment seems needlessly hostile to Israel, which is the only democracy in the Middle East and a longtime U.S. ally. I’m not fond of Likud’s policy regarding settlements, but that is no reason to throw Israel under the bus!

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