Senator Kamala Harris Emhoff (D-CA) is just really, really annoyed that that upstart, Representative Tulsi Gabbard Williams (D-HI 2nd) got in a real body-slam attack on her during the debates Wednesday evening.¹ After a discussion of criminal justice reform between Mrs Emhoff and former Vice President Joe Biden, Mrs Williams got her point in:
Senator Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she’ll be a prosecutor president.
“But I’m deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.
“She blocked evidence — she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California.
In an interview after the debate, Mrs Emhoff got in her parting shot:
This is going to sound immodest, but obviously I’m a top-tier candidate and so I did expect that I’d be on the stage and take some hits tonight. When people are at 0 or 1% or whatever she might be at, so I did expect to take some hits tonight.
Mrs Emhoff is hoping that Mrs Williams gets booted from the debate stages as the candidate fora are reduced in size, but as Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal noted, it’s time to dump people like the candidates making no splash at all, like former Representative Beta O’Rourke (D-TX), New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and a couple of others. Trouble is, Mrs Williams might not qualify for the September debates either; the threshold is a minimum of 2% support in four polls, and she has crossed that line in only one so far.
But, The New York Times is helping her, by publishing this non-fluff piece:
Or we will be if America doesn’t leave the rest of the world alone. That’s why the 38-year-old congresswoman from Hawaii is running for president.
By Nellie Bowles | August 2, 2019
STANDING ROCK, N.D. — Tulsi Gabbard is running for president of a country that she believes has wrought horror on the world, and she wants its citizens to remember that.
She is from Hawaii, and she spends each morning surfing. But that is not what she talks about in this unlikely campaign. She talks about the horror.
She lists countries: Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq. Failure after failure, she says. To drive the point home, she wants to meet on a Sioux tribe reservation in North Dakota, where, she explains, the United States government committed its original atrocity.
“These Indigenous people have been disrespected, mistreated with broken promises and desecrated lands,” Ms. Gabbard says.
How shocking that Mrs Williams believes that the United States’ original atrocity was pushing out the Indians rather than slavery; how horribly politically incorrect!
Ms. Gabbard, 38, was a soldier in Iraq and currently serves as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, which she cites to temper her message: Get out of foreign wars. Leave other countries alone. Not everyone wants democracy.
The method she has chosen to get this message to a wide audience, however, is through democracy — campaigning for president as a Democrat.
As the article notes, Mrs Williams is picking up some surprising support, which the paper describes as being from “Howard Zinn fans, anti-drug-war libertarians, Russia-gate skeptics, and conservatives suspicious of Big Tech,” certainly a very wide range. If you follow the libertarian (as opposed to Libertarian, meaning Libertarian Party) sites, you’ll see that Mrs Williams is somewhat of a darling to some of them.
But make no mistake about it: Mrs Williams is no libertarian. Her campaign website gives us platitudes about supporting the Second Amendment, but her actions speak differently:
- I love our freedom…The freedom that is enshrined in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. The freedoms we fight to protect [including] the right to bear arms (Fourth of July email 2019)
- “The time for action is now. We cannot allow partisan politics to get in the way of taking meaningful action in areas where both parties agree and that have the support of most Americans across this country. Here are a few examples: Both Democrats and Republicans support legislation I have co-sponsored to ban bump stocks. Both Democrats and Republicans support legislation to uphold Second Amendment rights and strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Now is the time for us to come together and to take meaningful action towards responsible, common sense gun safety reform.” (Link)
- “We don’t have to wait for answers to these questions for Congress to pass legislation already supported by a majority of Americans, like universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole and reinstating a federal ban on military-style assault weapons.” (Link)
Certainly sounds to me that the second and third bullet points do not match what she said in the first.
- H.R. 3947 Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act and H.R. 3999 to ban devices that speed up gunfire from semi-automatic weapons
- H.R. 2670 Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act ensuring domestic violence perps can’t buy firearms
- NO vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
- H.R.8 — Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019- To require a background check for every firearm sale
And her actions as a Congresswoman back up her hostility toward our rights to keep and bear arms. Everything she has actually done is to restrict our rights under the Second Amendment.
It’s more than just that. Mrs Williams would treat Americans differently based on race, as exemplified by her support of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-TX 18th) H.R.40 – Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. She would pass the cockamamie Medicare for All act. She has supported H.Res.124, which expresses opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals — something which would impose greater costs on the government to pay for the sexual ‘reassignment’ of ‘transgender’ individuals, concomitantly rendering them unfit for deployment for long periods of time — and HR 2119, which bans conversion therapy for those homosexual individuals who would like to change their orientation. And, of course, she supports abortion; that’s a litmus test for every Democrat.
There are a couple of conservative, libertarian positions held by Mrs Williams, just enough to pique the interest of some libertarians, but make no mistake about it: under her presidency, she would subjugate the American people to some of the same onerous rules as most of the other Democrats.
On the far left, her supporters appreciate how she talks about respecting Native cultures. On the right, as liberal democracies see authoritarian strongmen rise, Ms. Gabbard’s allies like that she would not meddle with dictators.
The threat from Russia is severely exaggerated, Ms. Gabbard says. Do not beat the drums of war with Iran. Make nice with North Korea.
She flew to Syria in 2017 and had what seemed to be a friendly meeting with Bashar al-Assad, shocking her colleagues in Congress, and voted against a House resolution condemning the dictator’s war crimes. More recently, she said Mr. Assad was “not the enemy of the United States.”
Critics have called her actions un-American. After Ms. Gabbard tore into presidential candidate Kamala Harris for her prosecutorial record during the second Democratic debates on Wednesday, the California senator on CNN called Ms. Gabbard an “apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches.”
To Ms. Gabbard, it is the United States that has been the cruel and destabilizing force.
“We should be coming to other leaders in other countries with respect, building a relationship based on cooperation rather than with, you know, a police baton,” she says.
One thing is certain: we have not been successful in imposing Western-style democracy in places where Western civilization does not hold sway.² Mrs Williams’ positions here are at least sound. However, her notions that the United States has been the ‘cruel and destabilizing force’ in seeking to protect American interests is repugnant, as is her criticism of our European forebears who conquered this continent.
Ms. Gabbard’s coalition is a motley crew.
“Tulsi Gabbard by far is the very, very best,” former Republican congressman Ron Paul said in an interview with Russia Today.
I’m not sure just how honest the Times’ reporting is to list Mr Paul only as a “former Republican congressman” and not note that he was the Libertarian Party’s 1988 presidential nominee.
“Go Tulsi!” the right-wing commentator Ann Coulter said on Twitter.
“Tulsi Gabbard’s my girl, I’m voting for her I decided, I like her,” the popular podcaster Joe Rogan said on his show.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, donated the maximum he could to her.
But the Times cannot help but get one serious dig in, echoing the rumors that those evil Russians are somehow backing her candidacy:
As this fan base has risen around her, some who track Russian disinformation campaigns say they see troll activity pushing for Ms. Gabbard as well.
Mrs Williams is clearly the most physically attractive candidate the Democrats have, with her “long, thick dark hair accented with a shock of white gray that she sweeps back” — how fawning is that? — and, if elected, would certainly upset some apple carts in Washington, but, other than in a few, scattered ways, they would not be the apple carts conservatives or libertarians would want to see toppled. In some ways, it can be said that she’s the least bad among the Democrats, but even saying that reminds me of an old, no win question on the playground in elementary school: “If you were standing up to your neck in [insert slang term for feces here] and someone threw a bucket of [insert slang term for urine here] at your head, would you duck?”
¹ – In accordance with my website, The First Street Journal and its stylebook, I only use the appropriate honorifics for women, those being Miss, Mrs or Dr. While some married women do not have enough respect for their husbands to take their names, the Journal does not show that same lack of respect, and always refers to married women by their proper names as long as they are known.
² – An argument can be made that General of the Army Douglas MacArthur did successfully impose a Western-style democracy in Japan, but that came after Japan’s fighting aged men were mostly dead or wounded and the nation’s economy virtually destroyed. We do not appear to be willing to destroy any country as thoroughly as we devastated Japan just to impose democracy. Full disclosure: my parents met and served in the Army in Japan during the Korean War, and my mother worked in General MacArthur’s headquarters.
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