‘Putin puppet’ vs ‘Assad shill’: Dems & Reps unite in panic over Gabbard challenging Trump in 2020


12-01-19 01:55:00,

With Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) entering the 2020 presidential fray, establishment figures on both Right and Left are scrambling to smear the anti-war congresswoman with impeccable identity-politics bona fides.

Ever since her 2017 visit to Syria, Gabbard has been condemned for daring to seek firsthand accounts rather than blindly trusting the MSM narrative, so on Friday the pundits were again off to the races, with fresh accusations of Assad-sympathizing.

Tulsi Gabbard’s disturbing and singular denialism of Assad’s role in the brutal butchering of his own people, obliging a meeting with him and spreading his propaganda should be disqualifying. pic.twitter.com/EI3UiEvLuu

— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) January 12, 2019

Gabbard’s association with Hindu nationalists is odd, but her track record as an Assad apologist strikes me as being way more disturbing and likely disqualifying if she tried to run in 2020. https://t.co/bj4XoHvrEq by @shankarmya

— Zach Basu (@zacharybasu) January 5, 2019

Assad apologist” seems to be the Tulsi equivalent of “Putin puppet,” judging from the early tweets, though she was accused of being one of those too.

My support for every other Democratic 2020 candidate still stands. But Tulsi Gabbard? Hell no. She should have been banned from the party a long time ago. Fucking monster. She’ll use her campaign to try to destroy the Democratic Party during the primary. I won’t allow it.

— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) January 12, 2019

The funny part is, looking through all the tweets mentioning “Tulsi Gabbard” right now, the only ones saying positive things about her are Trump supporters and alt-right. Their deranged fantasy is that she turns the Democratic Party into a right wing puppet of the Kremlin.

— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) January 12, 2019

Gabbard certainly poses a thorny problem for the neocon-neoliberal axis, as she checks all the identity politics boxes – the first Hindu member of Congress, a woman, a veteran – and she has undeniable populist appeal, given her anti-establishment record. While Gabbard is a Democrat, she was emphatically not a Clinton supporter, resigning as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in February 2016 to endorse Bernie Sanders in the primary.

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