Long before the Internet, Sydney Harris wrote a newspaper column called, “Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things.” It was a great read because the items were always wide-ranging and surprising. This writer had a similar experience while trying to find Tulsi Gabbard’s response to Israel’s recent banning of two female US Representatives. So we googled, simply, “Gabbard Israel.” What came up was, indeed, surprising.

We did find an article that suggested that Gabbard was totally mum on the woes of Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Otherwise, many of the articles were about the fact that Gabbard is the darling of white supremacists. What?

Newsweek notes that Gabbard has been endorsed by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

Duke, who was head of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, posted a set of tweets endorsing Gabbard’s 2020 presidential run and changed the background of his Twitter account Monday, which boasts more than 50,000 followers. [featuring] A “Tulsi Gabbard for President” banner . . .Duke also endorsed Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Washington Examiner when she appeared on ABC’s The View, Gabbard was asked directly about Duke’s endorsement. Gabbard pivoted to other endorsements she has received and stated that Duke shouldn’t be given any further air time.

The New York Post discusses Duke but notes that Gabbard denounced him.

In November 2016, Duke tweeted that Gabbard was a representative of a “political realignment” he hoped to see in the US — and called for Donald Trump to appoint her secretary of state. . .

“I have strongly denounced David Duke’s hateful views and his so-called ‘support’ multiple times in the past, and reject his support,” she told The Post in a statement Tuesday.

But it’s not just Duke. Some white supremacists are actually claiming that they got her into the Democratic debates by pushing her over the donor threshold:

some of America’s most prominent white nationalists have taken credit for her improved fortunes.

The neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer took credit in April for Gabbard reaching the 65,000 donor threshold to qualify for the debates, Jewish Insider reported. The website said they supported the anti-war candidate to “make the Jews go nuts.”. . .

Gabbard’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Jewish Insider about what they knew about The Daily Stormer’s donation efforts and whether they planned to return any donations.

Gabbard is not the only candidate to have had to distance themselves from white nationalist supporters.

Regarding foreign policy, there was the meeting with Assad, as noted by the Israeli publication, Haaretz.

The most unique – and controversial – step Gabbard has taken when it comes to the Middle East was her January 2017 trip to Syria, during which she met with President Bashar Assad, who has emerged victorious from the country’s devastating civil war. Gabbard didn’t inform her party’s congressional leadership about the meeting with Assad, which she claimed was part of an attempt to “bring peace” to Syria. She was harshly criticized by politicians from both parties for taking the meeting.

The Jewish News Service made the same connection.

Serving in Congress since 2013, Gabbard’s record on Israel is, at best, mixed, though she has known to defend Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin, both associated with using chemical weapons on the Syrian people, and for aligning themselves with Iran and its proxies, such as the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hezbollah.

Haaretz also writes about Gabbard’s connections to rightwing and GOP leaders.

In 2015, she spoke at a conference of Christians United for Israel – an organization whose leader and founder, Pastor John Hagee. . . an outspoken supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump. . .

In 2016, Gabbard received an award from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a New Jersey-based rabbi with close ties to casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson (the largest donor to the Republican Party). . . A picture from the 2016 gala dinner, which Boteach uploaded to his Twitter account, shows him and Gabbard together with Miriam Adelson, the Israeli-born wife of Sheldon Adelson and a partner to his political donations to many GOP politicians. . .

A year later, Gabbard’s primary challenger in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Shay Chan Hodges, attacked Gabbard for supporting a bill against online gambling that Adelson and other casino operators were promoting. In an article headlined “Who Does Tulsi Gabbard Represent?” Hodges asked: “Why is Tulsi Gabbard so friendly with a Republican billionaire?”

The Spectator argues that Gabbard gets a pass because she’s physically attractive.

Sneering centrists might put Gabbard’s appeal on the Right down to a very simple fact: she’s a looker. That’s not lost on anyone. ‘Big ratings,’ a former senior Trump administration official noted to me earlier this year, remarking on the fact that CNN devoted a whole Sunday show to a candidate outside the top tier in her party.

But The Spectator also wonders why she doesn’t become a Republican, pointing out that Donald Trump considered her for his administration.

it’s Gabbard: a Democrat, but one whose foreign policy is actually in tune with the base of President Donald J. Trump, not President George W. Bush. Indeed, Gabbard appeared more open to the president-elect’s advances than most Democrats in late 2016. Some Trump advisers wanted her in the cabinet, perhaps in the commanding heights. . .

Team Gabbard will doubtless be displeased with the headline of this article, as their candidate pursues the nomination – for president of the United States – of the party opposite. But her row with Google is just the latest example of common interest with the Right. . .

So let’s invert the question: how does Gabbard not become a Republican? Should she seek a future in politics, she’s effectively locked out of the House Speaker’s race, scorned by her party’s leadership. Should she run for Hawaii governor and be exiled in Honolulu? What Democratic president would have her in their administration? She dissents on the need to pummel Russia.

For Gabbard, a right turn might be the only way forward.

Gabbard is certainly aggressive and ambitious. Considering the dearth of women in power in the GOP, will Gabbard be able to resist the opportunity to rise quickly in the Republican Party?

29 COMMENTS

    • They seem to become obsessed with politicians who they believe **secretly** support some form of their agenda.

    • That’s some chart. It shows almost all the Democrats as rightwingers. It shows Inslee as being to the right of Trump. The site only considers Sanders, Gabbard, Gravel, and Hawkins to be left of center. Even Warren and de Blasio are seen as rightists.

      Also, Arvin Vohra, who is running for the Libertarian Party nomination–is not considered a Libertarian! Of all candidates of all parties, only Williamson is considered a Libertarian.

      • The chart has, as far as I can tell, been arrived at by plugging the candidates’ policy positions into a model that automatically positions them on a gal-tan scale. This is obviously not a perfect model, but it can be useful to separate actual policy from public perceptions.

        It’s not surprising or controversial that almost all Democratic candidates are situated right of center, when analyzed in a universal perspective. Liberalism is the right wing opposition to social democracy, and the third way or neo-liberal approach favored by Dems in the last 30 years was presented as a middle of the road alternative between right wing liberalism and extreme right wing conservatism. It would be impossible to place neo-liberal policies left of center in a chart like this, as it would force us to position actual mainstream politicians from the developed world as way off the chart to the left.

        Of course it can be surprising for an American who doesn’t follow politics outside the US border to see a chart like this one, but it only really captures how skewed the national political window is. Republicans and other hard right voices have successfully made people believe that the right is the left, and that Nazis are normal. Our Overton window has been so radically shifted to the right that when we look out at the neighboring world we can’t relate to any of it.

        As a side note, it’s also difficult for any tool that tries to plot political positions on a spectrum to deal with actual denialism and insanity. These tools would to some extent require politicians to have some kind of vision and idea for what they want society to be like. It’s not built for analyzing a political party whose policy can make a 180 turn from one month to the next, or a president who, due to dementia, is incapable of stringing together a coherent sentence. For example, we can analyze responses to the climate crisis in terms of left and right policy, and I obviously believe that the Republican denialism on environmental issues is a cover for further enriching themselves and their friends. But when someone honestly does not believe or understand that there is a crisis going on, that in itself doesn’t make them right or left. It just makes them clueless.

  1. Tulsi Gabbard is a Hare Krishna cult member totally indebted to her guru Chris Butler. Educate yourself about this dingbat. She will never win another election here in Hawaii!

    • More sicko propaganda – She has won election in Hawaii repeatedly:

      1 Hawaii House of Representatives elections (2002)
      2 Honolulu City Council elections (2010)
      3 United States House of Representatives elections

      3.1 2012
      3.2 2014
      3.3 2016
      3.4 2018

        • First you said “she will never win another election here in Hawaii” though she got over 84% in last year’s primary and 76% in the general election. What cult do you belong to?

        • Tulsi’s family practice yoga (oh the shame) she and her father are both Catholics that also follow the non-religious fundamentals of Hinduism – and as her father explained, in 2004, about his connection to the former leader of the movement: ”
          , .he acknowledged his ties to
          Butler: “Although I’m not a member of the Science of Identity
          Foundation, I’m eternally thankful to Chris Butler … whose teachings of
          karma yoga (selfless service) and bhakti yoga (devotion to God) have
          brought me back to my Catholic roots and the fundamental teachings of
          Christ.” I am an atheist but practice Vipassana Meditation, many I meet there are devout members of mainstream religions such as Christian denominations, including at least one Catholic priest I’ve met. Please don’t let your knee-jerk reaction to “hare krishna” taint the careful analysis of your “education”. I am glad to hear she has evolved from dismissal of gay rights – thoroughly or I’d not consider her at all – one of my knee-jerk things.

          • Sorry pal, I worked with Tulsi at Down to Earth. I know how these folks work. Tulsi went to a cult school run by Butler in the Philippines, then home schooled by her mother, a total Butler devotee. She dodges questions constantly. Her two marriages have been to Butler devotees. Has she “evolved”? Extremely doubtful. She does not identify as a Catholic. If you want to know more about the true Tulsi read this:

            https://medium.com/@lalitamann/an-insiders-perspective-on-tulsi-gabbard-and-her-guru-e2650f0d09

            She is not even remotely qualified for the job she has much less POTUS!

  2. Gabbard is also endorsed by Ron Paul, because she is an anti-interventionist Some may take that as Libertarian, as Ron is. But she is clearly a Democratic Socialist – period. Making assumptions due to endorsements, that have been repeatedly rebuked by her (which is all this article is) especially by those so extreme as to require sanity tests….this is a pure smear tactic. Probably because she believes in s two-state solution in the middle east. Heaven forbid a people should be allowed to live and control, their own homeland. Not very Trump like, but of course, the article didn’t mention any of that. Who the heck is Goethe Behr? And why does google have nothing on him but a repeat of Election Central’s blurb, as seen above? Could it be some past endorsements that we shouldn’t know about for fear of uncovering his biases. There is no place for smear or bias at this sort of site, but then, it has not been rated YET, by https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/real-clear-politics/ but this isn’t a left/right thing, it’s an Israel thing. I’m afraid (hope I’m wrong) that Election Central may be so nicely providing election info, for one reason – to influence it.

    • Actually, I have a cat named “Google,” if you want to stalk him, too.

      The article is exactly as it says:
      I was curious if Tulsi had a response to the Netanyahu/Trump banning of the two Reps. I just quoted what came up. Nothing added. Nothing changed. Try it, yourself. Google “Gabbard” and “Israel” together, and see what happens.

  3. From the Democratic primary debates I have seen, so far Gabbard is the only adult in the field. As noted she is very aggressive and I am certain made points for herself when she mopped up the debate stage in Detroit with Kamala Harris. Tulsi very well may fit in with the GOP instead of the Dims but she does have some views which would be unacceptable to the GOP faithful.

    • Ha! Tulsi’s about as much a Republican as George W. Bush is a Democrat — the George W who lied us into the Iraq War that Tulsi volunteered to serve in and where she saw so many of her brother and sister soldiers killed, maimed, and psychologically traumatized.

      The reason Tulsi’s being subjected to all these smears is that she stood up against Hillary Clinton by endorsing Bernie in 2016 — Hillary Clinton, who’s made a career out of blowing up other peoples’ countries and who chortled like a homicidal psychopath after the lynching of Muammar Ghaddafi (who was sodomized with a bayonet).

      The attacks that are directed at Tulsi really shouldn’t be unexpected, considering the power of her enemies, who control much of the entertainment and mainstream “journalists” through a couple of highly oligarchic “talent” agencies. And don’t forget Chelsea Clinton’s presence on the corporate board of the media conglomerate IAC, which owns one of Tulsi’s major online opponents The Daily Beast.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t expect the Republican Party to be very receptive to Tulsi — who supports Medicare-for-All, strong measures against climate change, free college education, the legalization of marijuana and treatment-not-incarceration of users of other drugs, criminal justice reform, the breakup of oligopolistic industries and re-enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act (to combat “too big to fail” banks like Wells Fargo). I could go on and on.

      And incidentally, why wouldn’t Tulsi want to be governor? She’d be a darned good one; she’d break up the self-centered Democratic machine in Hawai’i; and she’d be in a position to implement many issues like criminal justice reform, environmental protection (including the fragile Hawai’an coral reefs), low-income housing, and other progressive policies that she’s long supported.

      In fact, I think she ought to run for governor of Hawai’i — in 2030, after she leaves the presidency in 2029. Gosh, at age 49 someone as active, energetic, and engaging as Tulsi will be way too young just to retire.

      • Lol. President Tulsi??? She has zero chance of being president. Well, maybe president of the Lions Club.

        GW a Republican???? Well, he called himself a Republican.

        • @Goethe

          As you can see here, Republicans in 2019 often don’t even view Bush Jr. as a right wing politician, even though he’s one of the most conservative presidents in US history. This is how rapidly the Overton window has shifted, such that conservatives no longer see any kinship with the man who, only 15 years ago, was their hero and who paved the way for the current wave of conservatism in the country.

          At this rate, come 2028 we might see President Richard Spencer, and the same conservatives who licked Trump’s boots will condemn him as a radical leftist. This is how the game works.

          • As far as I’m concerned what Bushes philosophy was is irrelevant. It was what he did in office, and out of office, that allowed me to get a complete picture of the person.

            1st: Out of office he and Hillary watched Trump be sworn in as president. Bush remarked ” What kind of crap is this.” That not so bad you say. Typical talk. Who cares. 2nd: Bush and Obama filed a law suit against Trump. This is well documented. 3rd: Bush and his Wall Street buddies bet for the housing crash. See, just idle gossip. Nope.

            The 2nd statement is varifiable. Which brings one to suspect that the others are true.

            In other words Bush was just an extension of Clinton and Obama. Which means, to me, that his conservative credentials were phony.

            • @Goethe

              As you can see, it only took 10 or so years for Bush to go from Republican idol to “an extension of Obama and Clinton.” By this commenter’s own words, policies don’t matter as long as we have stretches of logic and conspiracy theories. This is how deranged Republicans have become. I rest my case.

            • Yes, GW screwed everything up.

              It was GW and Hillary sitting together, and degrading Trump, that showed us how phony he was. GW went along with Obama and sued Trump. Why he did this I don’t know. But this showed me that GW was merely an extension of the Clinton’s and Obama, right?

            • We’ve obviously long left the realm of logic and reason here, but I might as well apply your standards to Trump just for the fun of it.

              Bill and Hillary Clinton attended Trump’s wedding, so I guess Trump is also just an extension of the Clintons? Or maybe he’s an extension of Joe Biden, since he has donated money to Biden in the past? Or maybe Trump is an extension of Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand or Cory Booker, all of whom he has also donated to?

            • It’s hard to blame W for not being friendly toward Trump. After all, Trump pretty much ran against W in 2016, and has never had a good thing to say about him.

        • cia installed bush at his daddy’;s behest.. no way a cocaine snorting drunk driving wartime deserter could have been president without MASSIVE cia involvement .. (electronic voting machine fraud fake news etc)

      • Tulsi’s education is a joke. Hare Krishna cult school in the Philippines, home-schooled by her cult member Mother, then HPU on Oahu. Not very impressive! She’s not qualified for the job she has much less POTUS. She will not win another election again here in Hawaii!

  4. I’m not at all surprised that Tulsi Gabbard hasn’t reacted publicly to the Omar/Tlaib banning from Israel. Tulsi’s currently on active duty with her National Guard unit on a training exercise in Indonesia on terrorism response and disaster relief — two areas, interestingly, where Tulsi has some special expertise since in 2009 she served in the military police as a Second Lieutenant in a yearlong deployment to Kuwait and in 2005 served in an enlisted rank in a combat medic unit in Iraq’s deadly Sunni Triangle.

    This whole Omar/Tlaib issue with Israel blew up while Tulsi was already on active duty (or at least getting her gear packed and ready) for her current Indonesia deployment, from which she won’t be returning until, I believe, this Sunday. Under Department of Defense regulations, she’s not permitted to engage in any political activity during this period of active-duty deployment.

    Of course, you may just be an incompetent Internet “researcher” to have missed this — or maybe a dishonest commentator.

    • The article was not really about Tulsi’s response at all. It was about the surprising results when one Googled “Gabbard + Israel.”

      I am always surprised by the hysteria of zealots.

  5. cia, MSM, establishment shuns and activly destroys any candidate who would restore the govt to the american people. Hijacked in the JFK coup. articles like this show how corrupt our system is.

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