Tulsi Gabbard Bolts Democratic Party
WASHINGTON — Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard bolted the Democratic Party on Tuesday, denouncing it in a lengthy Substack screed as an “elitist cabal of warmongers.”
“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoke anti-White racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, demonize the police and protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,” Gabbard wrote, expanding on each complaint — a few of which go back to the Obama administration — in the multiple paragraphs that follow.
The response, in the Twittersphere at least, ran from indifference to snark.
Bill Kristol, director of Defending Democracy Together and editor at large of The Bulwark, was the most even-keeled, tweeting that her departure from the Democratic party made absolute sense.
“If you’re pro-Assad and pro-Putin, you join today’s Republican Party,” one wrote.
Others were a little more vociferous in their response:
“Hallelujah! Putin ass-kisser Tulsi Gabbard is finally leaving the Democratic Party. With luck, she’ll move to Russia. Good riddance, traitor!!!,” wrote one commenter.
Still others, went for the one-liners:
“Tulsi Gabbard announcing she’s not a Democrat is like Trump announcing he doesn’t have a library card,” wrote one of those in this category; said another, “Tulsi Gabbard was a Democrat like Lauren Boebert was a MENSA President.”
Most shrugged off the announcement as a “rebranding,” especially as it coincided with the launch of her new YouTube podcast series, “The Tulsi Gabbard Show.”
The first upload is a 28-minute episode entitled “Why I’m leaving the Democratic Party.”
Gabbard represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021 as a Democrat and Capitol Hill’s first Samoan-American voting member.
In 2020 she mounted an unsuccessful bid for the party’s presidential nomination.
But she never really was an exact fit for the Democratic Party’s mainstream.
For Instance, in 2016 she announced she was leaving the Democratic National Committee to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for president.
In 2013, Gabbard was criticized for voting against a bipartisan House resolution condemning anti-Muslim violence in the state of Gujarat, where riots left more than 1,000 dead.
Instead, she dismissed widely circulated claims that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stoked the sectarian unrest, and even spoke at a fundraising event for his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.
In 2017, Gabbard paid an initially secret visit to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and later expressed skepticism about the atrocities carried out under Assad’s leadership.
During a debate during the 2020 presidential primaries, Gabbard’s embrace of Assad drew the ire of another candidate, Kamala Harris, who assailed the congresswoman for not condemning the Syrian leader as a war criminal.
Even the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona took note, saying Gabbard’s visit to Syria “legitimizes a guy who butchered 400,000 of his own people.”
Most recently, in August the former representative filled in for Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson.