Friday, June 09, 2017

Tulsi Gabbard vs The Progressive Caucus


For more than a quarter-century, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been doggedly working to advance liberal policy and opinion in Washington, with success even in times of conservative leadership.

The largest House Democratic caucus, the Progressive Caucus has repeatedly been able to block right-leaning legislation, while working to improve Democrats’ bills and positively influence public discourse.

The 1991 founding of the Congressional Progressive Caucus was a partnership of Bernie Sanders (I-VT), then his first term in the House; Patsy Mink (D-HI), the first woman of color elected to Congress; and several other liberal Members of Congress, including some who still serve in the House, such as Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Meanwhile, the Gabbard family of Hawaii spent the ‘90s moving in another direction, in a tenacious but ultimately unsuccessful fight against marriage equality.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the Gabbards' marriage battle in a 1994 story:
"I think that the whole issue of same-sex marriage comes down to examining the values of family, and society has an interest in keeping families strong. The bedrock of family is marriage," said Mike Gabbard, president of the two main local groups opposing same-sex marriage, Common Sense Now and Stop Promoting Homosexuality Hawaii.

"To me, the whole thing is about acceptance," Gabbard said. "They want homosexual behavior to be accepted on a par with heterosexual behavior."
Mike Gabbard’s daughter Tulsi caught the political bug in early adulthood and was elected to the state legislature in 2002. Mike was also elected to the Honolulu City Council that year. Carol Gabbard (Mike’s wife and Tulsi’s mom) was already an elected member of the state Board of Education. All three Gabbards won their seats with anti-LGBTQ campaign messages. Even in tolerant Hawaii, those kinds of campaigns were effective in those days.

Tulsi’s unremarkable tenure as a young, inexperienced state legislator is remembered mostly for her crusade against anti-bullying efforts:
State Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo, D-42nd (Waipahu, Honouliuli, 'Ewa), Gabbard's daughter, said the figures released by her mother contradict a claim in the House resolution that gay and lesbian students are three times as likely as other students to face harassment.

Tamayo said a study that asks students questions about their sexuality would be a violation of student privacy. She also said many parents would see the study as an indirect attempt by government to encourage young people to question their sexual orientation.

Gabbard Tamayo said the harassment figures "show that our schools are not rampant with anti-gay harassment."
Tulsi Gabbard (after dropping "Tamayo" following a divorce) won her own seat on the Honolulu City Council, with the endorsement of the Hawaii Rifle Association, in 2010.

But by 2012, she said had shifted leftward and announced she was running for Congress as the progressive alternative to then-frontrunner Mufi Hannemann, whose conservative social views were out of step with the district. Hawaii’s Second Congressional District has never come close to electing a Republican and has previously been represented by Mink and Progressive Caucus member Mazie Hirono, who left the seat in a successful 2012 run for Senate.

Tulsi Gabbard had helped run her Republican father’s vociferously anti-LGBTQ campaign for the seat in 2004. But with newly minted support for marriage equality, reproductive freedom and expanding Social Security and Medicare, the younger Gabbard gave every indication that she would follow in the footsteps of Mink and Hirono and join the Progressive Caucus if she were elected.

With near-universal backing of Hawaii’s progressive community, the new Tulsi was welcomed with open arms, as she trounced Hannemann in the primary and the no-name GOP candidate in the general election.

But Gabbard betrayed her liberal supporters. She never joined the Progressive Caucus. Instead, she formed the ageist Congressional Future Caucus with now-disgraced Republican Aaron Schock. And she’s compiled an F grade on Progressive Punch's rating system. She’s been a favorite guest on Fox News throughout her tenure, most frequently bashing fellow Democrats for not being sufficiently xenophobic.

Some liberals give her a pass on her record just because she backed Sanders. But Gabbard's left-leaning detractors increasingly see that endorsement as opportunistic, and they are becoming more and more vocal, from the Progress AAPI group on Facebook to journalist Sonali Kolhatkar.

Gabbard reportedly has been disinvited from this month’s People Summit, with organizers facing pressure from those who support Syrian refugees and from other activists. Critics noted she spoke at the summit last year just days after receiving >an award from GOP uber donor Sheldon Adelson. The prior summer she was the only Democrat to speak at the annual conference of the apocalyptic, Adelson-funded Christians United for Israel.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has unveiled its most recent version of the People's Budget, its formal budget proposal, just this week. The People’s Budget has for years been regarded as a thorough, significant and coherent example of smart, compassionate public policy. And it's only gotten stronger and more popular over the years, with a majority of House Democrats voting for it in 2015.

So, it’s a good time to remember that not only has Gabbard refused to join the Progressive Caucus, she’s voted against the People’s Budget all three times it was presented to her, putting her outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

The founding and nurturing of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is a huge part of Bernie Sanders’ legacy. The Senate doesn’t have caucuses, but Sanders has been allowed to remain a Progressive Caucus member even after becoming a senator because it’s so important to him.

Will Gabbard have another well-timed leftward epiphany and, for the first time, support the budget put forward by Sanders’ Progressive Caucus?

Or will Gabbard maintain her perfect record of resistance to the Congressional Progressive Caucus and vote against the People’s Budget for a fourth time?

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At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Gabbard lied about her intentions to get elected? Now THAT is unique!!!

We should be far more concerned about the actions of those who claim to be progressive and ARE actual members of the "Progressive Caucus."

Who among the "Progressive Caucus" (about 80 reps, by definition also unpledged, "super delegates") voted for Sanders at the nominating convention, much less endorsed him and campaigned for him in the primaries?

When I compare the number of pre-convention pledged delegates, (HRC 2205 v. Sanders 1846) with the final (one ballot) tally (HRC 2842 v. Sanders 1865), it appears that the title "progressive," in the exceptionally hypocritical USofA, is as empty as the terms "person" and "representative government."

John Puma

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing "Democrats" know about leftish voters is that we are suckers for image. We believed all the crap the Clintons foisted upon us, at least for the first Bill Administration. We fell for "Hope and Change" and didn't notice the subtle shift Obama made in his politics, to again run as a liberal in 2012 despite ruling up to then like "a moderate, 1985 Reagan Republican". And think of how much image was involved in HER! campaign despite the clear lack of any substance to back the campaign.

So an ambitious person like Tulsi Gabbard should be EXPECTED to use that same strategy, because that is allowed by the DNC. They don't care how you present yourself as a candidate as long as they are certain that you are truly a corporatist underneath. It works.

Right now, Gabbard is exactly what the DNC wants in a candidate - someone who can pose as a liberal progressive well enough to fool a significant percentage of Democratic voters into not looking into her record. She is the model the DNC will hold up as the standard for those seeking political careers as Democrats.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Bob In Pacifica said...

Unfortunately, Gabbard is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Alan Gregory Wonderwheel said...

I'd vote for Gabbard over you any day. Tulsi speaks more truth than this silly attempt at smearing her.

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this entry is packed full of lies.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Alan Gregory Wonderwheel said...

For example, what has the misnamed "Progressive Caucus" ever done for people. Tulsi supported Bernie Sanders when the Progressive Caucus wouldn't. When has the Progressive Caucus ever made a stand for universal healthcare and why didn't they tell Obama they would not vote for Obamacare unless it had at least a pubic option? When has the fake "Progressive" caucus ever opposed a USA invasion like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or Syria? When have the faux "Progressive" Caucus opposed the arms sales to the Saudis instead of supporting Obama and Clinton selling them arms? The phony "Progressive" Caucus is there to mislead progressives into thinking there is a caucus within the Democratic Party that cares about progressive issues when they don't really.,

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabbard is all bark at this point. If she holds her House seat, I'll wait and see what she does when a Democrat is in the White House...even better a progressive. Until she puts her seat on the line voting for universal healthcare, tax increases on the rich, strong bank regulation, and strong alternative energy I will take her full history as a sign that she will not be a champion of the 99%.

I would never vote for her in a primary at this point and would likely vote 3rd party again in 2020 is she somehow managed the nomination. She has 4 years to improve her voting record, but with a Republican president and congressional majority, voting for the right causes is largely symbolic. Obama voted against the Iraq war, knowing his vote wasn't going to stop the bloodshed and then he kept the bloodshed going in the Middle East when he had full power to end it. Gabbard has too much baggage for me to trust her.

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JP nails it again. The "progressive caucus" is a label worn for show only. When the rubber hits the road, all the tires are flat and bald down to the fabric.

Yes, 5:02, their STATED positions when numerically irrelevant mean NOTHING. That they are stating so few actual progressive positions means they are terrified that they might inherit a majority by default and be forced to do shit or make more excuses why then didn't (remember the obamanation admin?).
Their voters do tend to remember. Unlike the drumpfsterfire voters who vote out of religious fervor and don't pay attention to betrayals. Their gawd does work in mysterious (read: misanthropic) ways.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Worshipers of state power do not tolerate well the likes of Tulsi Gabbard. Truth is holy water to these vampires.

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's look at a good example of the lack of good judgement Gabbard uses. Recall her dating Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm, whom the New York Post labelled "The Gambino Congressman"?

"Before getting married in 2015, she was dating GOP Mafia thug Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm, before he was arrested, tried and imprisoned in a case that didn't even touch on over 90% of his criminal life. Even worse, she often worked across the aisle to further the GOP agenda, joining the widely discredited Republican front organization for dummy-Dems, No Labels. And then she was righteously outraged by Debbie Wasserman Schultz's DNC cheating on behalf of Hillary and everything changed for Tulsi. She denounced Wasserman Schultz, quit the DNC and endorsed Bernie, with whom she shared almost no policy goals, other than some anti-war stands."
Sunday, July 31, 2016 To Label Tulsi Gabbard A "Progressive" Is To Eviscerate The Very Meaning Of The Word And Stand It On Its Head by DownWithTyranny

Since she ditched Grimm as he was being indicted and convicted, she's reportedly gotten married to Abraham Williams.

And, Liz Warren doesn't like her. But then, how can anyone like a candidate who sways with the political winds and makes false claims and promises in a failed attempt to gain progressive financial support?

If Gabbard manages to convince enough "Democrats" that she's a progressive and get their votes, we'd only be electing another Joe Manchin DINO who votes Republican reliably. Hillary might as well plan on running again, because it would be clear that HER! followers remain clueless.


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