Thursday, December 22, 2016

Will The Real Tulsi Gabbard Please Stand Up... Please Stand Up


Long before her sudden transformation into a Berniecrat, Tulsi Gabbard called me to ask for a Blue America endorsement. She didn't really try to paint herself as a progressive and she came across as a garden variety careerist Democrat, not especially bad and not especially good. At the end of the interview, I asked her about the process by which she had come to change her position on LGBT equality. She immediately said she'd call back and then hung up abruptly and... never called back.

She's extremely popular in Hawaii, where people have largely bought into her self-promoting brand of vaguely anti-establishment nationalism. These days she likes to claim she's a progressive and it is widely thought she will primary Senator Mazie Hirono from the left. ProgressivePunch rates Mazie a high "A," the third best of any U.S. Senator 96.39, fractionally behind Elizabeth Warren's 96.97 and a bit ahead of Bernie's 94.99. There isn't any room to the left of Mazie-- especially not from the sleazy Tulsi Gabbard who's lifetime crucial vote score has earned her score of 73.75 and an "F" rating. Many Democrats with F ratings use their district's conservatism as the excuse. Problem with that is that Tulsi represents one of the most progressive districts in the whole country, with a PVI of D+21. Obama beat Romney there, 71-27%. The only grief Tulsi Gabbard would get if she had a progressive voting record would be from her ultra-conservative family, her Republican financial backers and her enablers at Fox News-- oh, and her pal Steve Bannon.

To help explain the Tulsi Gabbard phenomenon, I reached out to an old friend on the Big Island-- part of Tulsi's district-- who follows politics closely and has a very long memory. This is his report on one aspect of Tulsi's record, her long-running homophobia:
We need to flee from the hollow wooden statue of a Progressive in which Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has concealed herself to enter Washington. One can get whiplash following Tulsi Gabbard as she darts to and fro from far Left and far Right. She continues to confuse Bernie devotees, aggressive in her lack of sympathy toward Syrian refugees and then bold in her support of the Lakota Sioux against Big Oil. There is nothing inherently wrong about being an effective national politician determined to break free of political genre. A survey of Tulsi’s political record makes clear, however, that she is a populist without principle.

To make sense of Tulsi’s pendular politics, it is time that we look to the locals intimate with the Woman of Hawaii. The most informative criticisms of late come from Hawaii residents who have dredged into Tulsi’s past and brought up more filth than gold.

In Hawaii, Tulsi earned a reputation among her former colleagues in the State Legislature as one of their most bigoted contemporaries. She defined her local career as an outspoken anti-gay and anti-reproductive rights politician. Volumes of official records from the Hawaii State Legislative Reference Bureau tell Tulsi’s story in her own words. Here, Tulsi, then Representative Tamayo, presents a floor speech against a measure supported by local hospitals that resolved to study the needs of LGBTQ students, who continue to suffer the highest rates of suicide in the state:

In this same speech, Tulsi is also recorded as describing gay rights advocates as “homosexual extremists.” Tulsi is no grassroots phenom. She represents the state’s main conservative political dynasty, which successfully campaigned to ban same-sex marriage through constitutional amendment. Her father, Senator Mike Gabbard, led the anti-gay movement in the state and also founded Stand Up For America, a non- profit that promoted nationalism through “the concept of how we are one nation under God.”

Tulsi was also defined by her consistent opposition to basic rights for women. Here, Tulsi joins a Republican bloc to oppose emergency contraceptives for rape victims. This was one of several instances where she attempted to restrict reproductive rights for women on the grounds of religious freedom.

Tulsi has since distanced herself from this unsavory record with a heroic tale of transformation. According to Tulsi’s website, in 2004 she volunteered to fight in the Iraq War, which triggered a libertarian awakening. The facts deviate from the straight and narrow narrative. Nearly seven years later, Tulsi still opposed equal rights for LGBTQ people. Evidence such as this newly discovered constituent email prove that for over a decade in and out of public office, and long after her purported “transformation,” Tulsi was still anti-gay.

Labels: , , , ,


At 3:26 PM, Blogger Gadfly said...

Besides all this on domestic policy, she's a whore to Modi and the BJP on foreign policy. Do not trust her.

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Tulsi is a closet lesbian!?

At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton came around later than that.

Tulsi Gabbard fully supports marriage equality and LGBT rights.

Tulsi has advocated for LGBT Housing/Privacy rights, to end bullying and harassment in schools and has co-sponsored numerous bills including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Respect for Marriage Act, the Healthy Families Act, the Equality Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act. She has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign (View endorsements).

Standing Up for LGBT Rights and Marriage Equality

"I believe that equal treatment and opportunity are fundamental rights for all Americans. Discrimination on the basis of national origin, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, gender, or race undermines core American principles of respect and individual freedom. We have an obligation to fight against discrimination, whatever the form. I will continue to work with partners at the federal, state, and local level to ensure all individuals are treated equally under the law regardless of race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

The government should not deny those in same-sex relationships the right to marry and enjoy the same benefits, rights, and responsibilities as opposite-sex married couples. Government and political leaders like myself should have no place in determining the most personal aspects of our lives. Government officials should not have the power to declare one relationship ‘morally’ superior to another. As long as the government administers marriages and its benefits, it must remain neutral and treat all Americans as equal."

She co-sponsored the repeal of DOMA and signed the Amicus Brief on SC DOMA case:
212 Members of Congress File Amicus Brief on Supreme Court DOMA Case


At 4:44 AM, Anonymous dameocrat said...

She wasn't a leader on gay rights, but she is not threat either. She is a leader on the much more important issue of defunding jihadists groups such as Isis aka "moderate Syrian Muslims." They kill people. Her opponent ignores foreign policy and lets neocons govern things like most other demoquacks. We need leaders, not just people who meet some arbitrary litmus, but don't change a thing.

You continue to be confused by candidates that make progressive statements but do nothing, like Barnie Frank and Barack Obama.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

As for Gabbard not being a leader of gay rights, that's completely incorrect. In the Hawaii legislature she was THE leader against gay equality and prevented passage of the country's first civil unions bill. She even admits it and claims so had a Paul/Saul experience on the road to Damascus (Baghdad) which turns out two be a lie, the point of this post.

As for continued confusion about Obama and Barney Frank, maybe you should try reading the blog more carefully. I voted for Obama with my eyes open in 2008-- my last ever "lesser of two evils vote-- having carefully gone over his record of mediocrity in the Illinois state legislature and the US Senate. In 2012, I voted for Jill Stein. As for Barney, I have seen no record that anyone denounced him as a crook and self-server before I did (while he was still chairman of the House Financial Services Committee).

At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So never mind that Tulsi's turned out to be fully supportive of marriage equality and LGBT rights with her actions and words, and just damn her to hell for her past? As a gay man, should I have to remind you that we need people like her who has been on the other side and who can bring over those who are balking as to why people should support marriage equality and stand up for LGBT rights?? People like you have no qualms using your bully pulpit to drag down our advocate in Congress, and that makes me beyond angry. Grow the F up, Howie Klein.

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Alfredo said...

I this the real one has been standing all


Post a Comment

<< Home