I do find it strange that Tulsi Gabbard hasn’t used her candidacy to more explicitly hold Joe Biden accountable for his vote and support for the war in Iraq.
Exactly. She's instead gone out of her way to defend him -- her media appearances after the July debate. She's lied for him.
She's a fake ass. I'd call her a coward for her performance in the July debate -- we'll come back to that -- but her lies in the media after the debate? Joe never apologized for voting for the Iraq War. He went out of his way in April to say he was not sorry about anything he had ever done.
Tulsi got raves for going after Kamala. Has anyone paid attention to that? She stumbles, she's inarticulate, she has to look down and so much more. This wasn't strength. This was a pathetic and scared child.
But while she attacks like a coward, for Joe she lies. She really does need to drop out. Most of her support -- granted it's not a big number -- could then go over to a real candidate who stands a chance at the nomination.
I've had an e-mail to the public account saying I'm harder on Tulsi than I am on Marianne Williamson (true) and that's because I know Marianne (no, it's not). I do know Marianne and I do like her. But I'm not easier on her because of that.
If I know you and you're doing something wrong, I'm going to call you out even louder. I know Joe Biden and I like Joe Biden. If he would get honest about Iraq, a lot of my criticism would be a lot less.
In 2008, I knew all the candidates running except Barack. I had met Barack briefly when he was running for the US Senate. Elaine and I met him at a private fundraiser. We exchanged very few words before Elaine and I walked away from him and out of the fundraiser -- without donating. He was supposed to be against the Iraq War and there he was saying that US troops were there so end of story. Why the hell would we support that?
Of that field, Joe was probably the person I liked best. That didn't help him here, look at the coverage I provided. My biggest regret about 2008 has been Joe. A week before he dropped out of that race -- I've written about this before -- he made a truthful speech about Iraq and I wanted to note that here but it was a busy time and I thought I had time to wait. Instead, he dropped out of the race before the end of the next week.
Dennis Kucinich? I was accused of being a huge supporter of his. Those people don't know me and don't know anything about me clearly. I loathe Dennis. I was at the 2004 Boston convention when Dennis sold out his supporters. And I was very clear to this crying young woman, that is Dennis. That is always Dennis. He never stands for anything.
I loathed Dennis but he got treated fairly until he 'released' his supporter in Iowa. That's why Barack won. If it had been a primary, he wouldn't have won because you can only vote once. But Dennis gave Barack his supporters. When he did that? He proved he wasn't a real candidate and we were no longer obligated to cover him.
I've said already that Marianne's not going to win the nomination.
Let's talk about that for a second.
This is early in the campaign.
Joe Biden may rise or sink when others start paying attention. The same is true of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Cory Booker or Kamala Harris could increase or fade.
But those are viable candidates. If you're below five percent now, I don't see how you get the nomination unless you dramatically restructure your message -- and political campaigns move about as quickly as a glacier.
If you're above 5% at this point, when those not really paying attention currently start to pay attention you could seriously increase. And if you do, the momentum could strip some weak supporters away from other candidates.
But if you've been getting publicity and press for most of the year and you're still polling at 1% -- or even at 2% -- I don't see how you continue to kid yourself.
Whatever it is -- you, your reputation, your positions -- whatever it is, people don't like it.
At the start of the campaign, you can argue you poll low because people don't know who you are so they need to get to know you.
Tulsi has now been on CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS, TMZ, Joe Rogan's podcast, covered by every press outlet, done HILL TV, you name it.
This is not a question of people not knowing who she is.
They know who she is, they just don't want to support her for president.
For some, she'll never overcome her earlier public homophobia. Too bad, Tulsi. This is the 21st century. We've never discussed that issue here before but we'll mention it now. She was an adult and she damn well should have known better. Someone who came of age in the 1940s? Being gay was seen as a sickness -- 'enlightened' then meant seeing it as a mental illness. Someone born then was taught -- by the education system, by the press -- that being gay was wrong. Tulsi did not grow up in that time. She is post-Ellen. (Or AFTERELLEN, to give a nod to a website.) There is no real excuse for her homophobia. It's in the past. Well I'm glad. I'm sad it took her running for president this year to make such an announcement. Seems to me that if it were in the past, she would have made the statement a long time ago.
Many LGBTQ members and supporters of the LGBTQ community do not trust Tulsi and that is on her. Her homophobia was public knowledge when she entered the campaign. Only when it became an issue earlier this year did she really have any sort of statement. After her statement? When has Tulsi ever again mentioned LGBTQ? I've heard, for example, Kirsten and Amy and Elizabeth speak of the African-American transgender women that have been killed this year, but I've heard nothing from Tulsi on any LGBTQ issue.
It's my problem with Hillary on Iraq.
In 2007, I didn't lean towards any Dem candidate. In 2008, I ended up supporting Hillary. I've written about that here many times. But we were in New Hampshire and she was campaigning there. We were speaking on campuses. A friend who was a professor asked me to help him out. He had a forum where the campaigns were sending people in to speak and the Hillary person had to drop out. Could I do him a favor and speak for Hillary's campaign? No, I couldn't because I didn't know her campaign well enough. I do know Hillary. I could speak to her strengths if that's what he wanted but I needed him to note in his introductions of us that I was not with Hillary's campaign and I was asked to advocate for her.
Which he did and then I spoke of Hillary, the good things about Hillary. I was clear that I did not support her vote for Iraq. On Iraq, I spoke of her strengths. She had become a serious critic at times in the Senate. The vote was wrong, the support was wrong. If she was willing to address that, I said, I could file it under we all make mistakes and if we learn from them maybe we become better people.
After I spoke, I went outside to think because I really wasn't thinking of who I would be voting for. I was covering the campaigns here. Speaking of her strengths -- and she does have many -- I realized that I probably would lean towards her. Then came the attacks on her for her eyes welling up in New Hampshire.
Then came Iowa and people dropping out.
Hillary was now the clear choice. Barack had made position clear on Iraq to my face. He was not great critic of Iraq -- not the war, not the US created government there. He was a fake ass.
The Cult of St. Barack -- as I noted in 2008 here -- would never hold Barack accountable if he was elected but you could be sure that Medea Benjamin, Norman Solomon, Keith Olbermann, and all of the other Hillary haters would never stop demanding accountability -- which is okay because we need accountability from our public servants.
So that was another reason I could support Hillary.
In 2016? No way. Hillary lost my support. Probably her being Secretary of State was never going to help. She's pragmatic and Barack was a deceiver. Their styles did not mesh and he did not help her brand. She was saying she regretted voting for the Iraq War but, as Secretary of State, she was in the position to make amends and did nothing.
Now in April of 2008, Hillary publicly called Nouri al-Maliki a "thug" in a public hearing. She was exactly right. But because of that, Barack would not put her over Iraq. Her dealings on Iraq were solely with Hoshyar al-Zabari (the Foreign Minister). So she did have limitations, I know. But she was asked by a friend -- one of her closest friends -- to shine a light on Iraqi women. She was asked to do this days before she was to deliver a major speech on human rights. She gave that speech, she mentioned tons of countries, she never once mentioned Iraq.
If she regretted her actions, she needed to make amends. She refused to do so.
Tulsi says she was wrong to have been a homophobe.
I think we all agree that was wrong, Tulsi, but what are you going to do about it now? Now that you're not a homophobe, how are you going to make amends?
She hasn't and that's why people don't believe that she's not a homophobe. That's on her.
Marianne, let me wrap up quickly. Marianne doesn't have a chance of winning and I'm sorry about that. I think she'd be a wonderful president. Does Marianne realize where she stands? I would guess that she does.
So why stay in?
I think (I've not spoken to her about this) that she remains in the race because she has a compulsion, a duty, to raise issues. Marianne in her campaign speeches is Marianne at the debates. (Unlike Tulsi who clams up on the debate stage and forgets that she's supposed to be the anti-war candidate.) She's raising issues of a sickness in our country and how we need to heal ourselves. It's important message and you could consider her a Jeffersonian. She's there for the issues and the big one to her is that we need to find our better nature, we need to believe in the democracy we claim we have.
I have no problem with anyone staying in if they fight for their big issue.
But Tulsi has yet to take on War Hawks in any debate and, in July, she was on stage with the only Dem candidate who voted for the Iraq War and she refused to challenge him. (Joe did much more than just vote for the war.) Worse, she went on to apologize for him in media interview after the debate. Tulsi has betrayed her big issue and she needs to bow out, she's a fake ass and I don't have time for fakery.
One more thing before we close down on this topic.
Bigger proof that I didn't use my personal feeling to shape the coverage here. In 2007 and 2008, not only did I treat Dennis like a serious candidate until Iowa (Jan of 2008), I also treated John Edwards as a serious candidate.
Mr. Grabby Hands. I met him face to face after the VANITY FAIR article. His wife was in the other room. I was there to see if he was a candidate I could support. That's why I went. For him, I was there for another reason. With his wife in the other room, Mr. Grabby Hands made what we'll kindly understate as "a pass." I didn't let that effect my coverage of him here. When he dropped out, I went after him constantly as he tried to interject himself in the race and influence its outcome.
But while he was a candidate, I treated him as fairly as anyone else.
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