| Guide to:|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
Tulsi Gabbard (b. 1981) is one of two Congressional Representatives from Hawaii, whose recent reputation as a left winger is wholly undeserved. She is of European and Samoan ancestry, as well as an Iraq War veteran.
But don't take that to mean she's anywhere near as progressive as the man she endorsed. She's a conservative Democrat in a super left-wing district. Supporting Bernie was her way of de-fanging a primary challenger from the left. It would be nice if she'd focus on Hawaii, you know, her job.
On the issues
“”"To try to act as if there is a difference between 'civil unions' and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii who have already made overwhelmingly clear our position on this issue... As Democrats we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists."
|—The "progressive" darling herself.|
Her record on LGBT rights is… spotty for a politician this green, from a state as liberal as Hawaii. A news site asked her directly if she supported same sex marriage; she immediately said yes on Twitter. Yet the Hawaii Democratic Party's LGBT Caucus does not like her. Ten years earlier, Gabbard was a pro-life opponent of same-same marriage, just like her Republican father, Mike Gabbard. She opposed Hawaii House Bill 1024, which would have established legal parity between gay couples in civil unions and married straight couples, and led a protest against the bill outside the room where the House Judiciary Committee held the hearing. 
Nowadays, she has a 100% rating from the Human Rights Watch, but rebuffed a 2013 offer for a meeting with the LGBT Caucus. Gabbard herself once cited her time in the military, seeing the dangers of theocratic rule, that made her change her mind on her public position on marriage equality. It's fair to say that she still personally opposes same-sex marriage, but won't do anything about it.
She's also on the Foreign Affairs Committee and supports U.S.-India ties.
To her credit, Gabbard opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, called for a restoration of Glass-Steagall, wants to repeal the PATRIOT Act, worked to raise the minimum wage, and eventually came around to Single Payer.
Gabbard voted to add extra investigation on Syrian refugees coming into into the US, even though the current process can last up to three years. She went to Damascus, got wined and dined by the regime, returned and dedicated herself to supporting Assad (the man who used poison gas in civilian areas). Neither Pelosi nor Paul Ryan knew about this. Tulsi decided to drink tea with him just because Trump told her to. Now that Tulsi is up for reelection (and a possible run for the Presidency in 2020), she doesn't want to be associated with Trump.
Her opposition to "regime change" is even more of a hollow sham than Hillary Clinton's. Gabbard voted for the Iran deal, albeit while still talking up anti-Iran propaganda. She also said the US has to stand up for Israel because they're our biggest ally.
The Gabbards started in politics as homophobic activists. Her father, Mike, hired her as his "campaign manager" to convert campaign funds into family funds. Despite being followers of Hare Krishna cult (within Chris Butler's, a.k.a. Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, subsect), he publicly claims to be Catholic while Tulsi identifies as Hindu.
He and Tulsi have been running a string of "nonprofits" for a while. Tulsi claims to have distanced herself from her father's politics, but her staff and supporters are straight out of the original anti-gay group. Just what we need, more grifter politicians.
Suffice to say, Tulsi's base of support comes from Indian expatriates, many of whom are BJP sympathizers or supporters. She's networked with plenty of them. The signals she's thrown out over the years, whether it's doing a Ted Cruz impression while trying to chastise Obama for not saying "Islamist" enough, or saying some pretty revealing things about Islam, can be spun however you want, but she is totally onboard with the crazy ideology coming from Hindutva. It's as if Bill Clinton supported Israel by quoting Old Testament verses about the Chosen Ones smashing the skulls of infants.
- Higgins, Eoin, "Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Who You Think She Is", Paste (11/22/16 at 9:12am).
- Pignataro, Anthony, "Maui Democratic Party activist Shay Chan Hodges says she’s running against U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard", Maui Time 7.7.16.
- Adrienne LaFrance, Tulsi Gabbard's Leftward Journey", Civil Beat
- Pignataro, Anthony, "UPDATED: Here’s why the Hawaii LGBT Caucus doesn’t support Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s reelection campaign", Maui Time 7.25.16.
- Ashe, Ivy, "Gabbard supports GOP bill on Syrian refugees", Hawaii Tribune-Herald (11/21/15 at 1:30am).
- Heather Caygle and Josh Bresnahan, "Gabbard won't disclose who's paying for secret trip to Syria", Politico (Updated 01/18/17 05:24 PM EST).
- Cribb, Esmi, "Tulsi Gabbard Confirms She Met With Assad During Secret Trip To Syria" TPM (1/25/17 at 4:34 PM EDT).
- Rowell, Alex, "Tulsi Gabbard’s Fascist Escorts to Syria", Daily Beast (1/26/17 at 4:25 PM ET).
- "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill To Halt U.S. Arms Supplies To Syrian Allies", NPR (12/10/16 at 8:27 AM ET).
- Siddiqui, Sabrina, "Tulsi Gabbard reveals she met Assad in Syria, without informing top Democrats", Guardian (1/26/17 at 12:58 PM EST).
- Swan, Jonathan, "Bannon set up Trump-Gabbard meeting", The Hill (11/21/16 04:35 PM EST).
- Pignataro, Anthony, "Why didn’t Rep. Tulsi Gabbard join 169 of her colleagues in denouncing Trump appointee Stephen Bannon?", Maui Time 11.18.16.
- Shahid Ahmen, Ackbar, "Tulsi Gabbard Denies New Report Of Trump’s Role In Her Syria Trip", HuffPo 4.3.17.
- Grube, Nick, "Gabbard Skeptical That Syria Was Behind Chemical Attack", Civil Beat 4.7.17.
- Press Release: "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes in Support of Iran Deal Over Alternatives", 9.11.14.
- Press Release: "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Reacts To Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Address To Congress", 3.4.15.
- Bolante, Ronna, "Who is Mike Gabbard?", Honolulu Magazine (8/1/04).
- Q&A with Tulsi Gabbard. Yoga, Peace, and the Aloha Spirit, Yoga Hawaii Magazine 03.08.18.
- Tulsi Gabbard Still Dogged By Krishna Cult Rumors by Rui Kaneya (03/16/2015 02:26 pm ET) The Huffington Post.
- Essoyan, Susan, "Rivals protest endorsement of Tamayo by her nonprofit", Star Advertiser 1.4.17.
- DePledge, Derrick, "Few gays report harassment at school", Honolulu Advertiser 4.18.04.
- Y.K. Pang, Gordon, "Bill to allow civil unions may be stalled in House", Honolulu Advertiser 2.20.04.
- LaFrance, Adrianne, "Tulsi Gabbard’s Leftward Journey", Honolulu Civil Beat 1.16.14.
- "Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Needs to Answer Questions About Chief of Staff", Honolulu Civil Beat 3.2.15.
- Balachandran, Manu, "Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu in the US Congress, on Modi, Hinduism, and linking Islam to terror", Quartz India 3.2.16.
- Schwartz, Ian, "Dem Rep. Gabbard: Use Term Radical Islamic Terrorism, 'Important That You Identify Your Enemy'", RCP 7.18.16.