By Eric Zuesse
For a few days, active Democrats were stunned by — and America’s political news-media were focusing heavily upon — this string of tweets from Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard:
https://twitter.com/tulsigabbard/status/1185289626409406464?lang=enTulsi Gabbard✔@TulsiGabbardGreat! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a …4:20 PM – Oct 18, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard✔@TulsiGabbardReplying to @TulsiGabbard… concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and …
4:20 PM – Oct 18, 2019Tulsi Gabbard✔@TulsiGabbardReplying to @TulsiGabbard… powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.4:20 PM – Oct 18, 2019
She was challenging there the top-down-imposed ‘historical’ narrative of her own Party (‘Russiagate’ included), regarding not only that Party’s latest Presidential nominee Clinton, but the Party’s entire leadership ever since at least 9/11 (along with the leadership of the Republican Party) and the resulting transformation of this nation into a permanent-warfare state, one invasion after another — what she has referred to, throughout her entire campaign, as “regime-change wars.”
It backfired against Gabbard.
There is no indication, in any of the polling since that happened, which shows that this attack against Clinton helped Gabbard’s campaign, and there is even one poll which seems to indicate that it instead sharply turned many Democratic Party voters, in the first of all of the contested states, Iowa, firmly and decisively against her.
On October 24th, was headlined from Iowa State University “Buttigieg jumps to second in Iowa State University/Civiqs poll”, reporting that, “The online poll of 598 likely caucus-goers also asked voters to list the candidate they do not want to win the nomination. Biden and Sanders topped this list. Peterson says Tulsi Gabbard was third, moving from nearly 7% in September to 17%.”
This poll was taken during October 18-22, which is precisely the period when the suddenly now-personal war between Gabbard and Clinton, about the goodness or badness of post-9/11 permanent-warfare America, was the focus of this nation’s political news. A full 10% of Iowa’s registered and active Democrats (17%-7%) had suddenly switched to placing Gabbard onto their “DO NOT want to be the nominee” list. And the percentage who were saying that they were intending to vote for her declined down 67%, to 2%, from its previous 6%. So: she had lost two-thirds of her Party’s voters, while she had more than doubled (17/7) the number of Democratic Party voters who are outright hostile against her. That’s a stunning change since their September poll.
Gabbard has been interviewed hostilely on Democratic Party ‘news’-media (because she has been challenging her Party’s neoconservatism), but supportively interviewed on Republican Party ‘news’-media (as if that Party weren’t actually just as neocon as the Democratic Party), and she has consistently said that she will not run as a third-party candidate even if one of her Party’s neocons (such as Biden, Buttigieg, or Warren) wins its nomination. But candidates have said this sort of thing before and subsequently reversed their position on the matter, and she might do that; so, she still remains a factor to consider in the 2020 contest.
Right now, Republican ‘news’-media, such as Fox News, are continuing to give her air-time, such as Fox’s Hannity did on October 24th, in a good summary-presentation of the Clinton-Gabbard conflict about the future of the Democratic Party regarding international relations, which was titled “Tulsi Gabbard: This is what’s so dangerous about Hillary Clinton”.
Apparently, Gabbard’s strategy now is to continue to present to voters, both in the Democratic and in the Republican Parties as well as to independents, her vision of the type of country that America ought to be (not the type of country — for example — that invaded Iraq on the basis of lies in 2003); and, if she becomes rejected by her own Democratic Party, then, at that time, she might be able, with her now-established name-recognition and clearly articulated policy-views, to become the Green Party’s 2020 candidate and to present an appeal designed in order to draw enough independents, plus both Democrats and Republicans who have come to reject their former Parties, so as to stand a realistic chance of winning in 2020, in essentially the same way that Abraham Lincoln did in 1860, when the Republican Party replaced the previous Whig Party.
If the Democratic Party nominates Bernie Sanders, then she wouldn’t do that, but, otherwise, she might. Consequently, any intelligent Democrat whose main concern is to win the Presidency in 2020 (so as to have a Democrat as President starting in 2021) will be voting for Sanders, because, otherwise, Tulsi Gabbard could well throw a monkey wrench into the Presidential campaign machinery for both of the existing Parties — and that might produce a replacement of the Democratic Party by the Green Party, in the same way that the Republicans replaced the Whigs in 1860. It could happen again — but this time to the Democratic Party.