By Selywn Duke
On the surface, Hillary Clinton’s “Russian asset” attack last week on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared the rambling of a bitter, perhaps unhinged woman. One observer suggested that Clinton was holding a grudge because the Hawaii Democrat supported Bernie Sanders and opposed her rigging of the 2016 primary process against him. Perhaps so. Or maybe, exhibiting typical leftist intolerance of dissent, Gabbard’s anti-war stance really does make her our time’s Leon Trotsky.
But what if Clinton’s attack is actually part of a plan to defeat President Trump in 2020? What if Clinton’s theory that Gabbard may run third-party is, aside from a deep Democrat fear, precisely what more Machiavellian Dems want?
Consider: The NOQ Report’s J.D. Rucker correctly points out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Gabbard would draw far more votes from Trump than the Dems. As he explains:
If Gabbard ran, she’d do so by positioning herself as the common sense choice against an “extremist” on the right in President Trump and a “radical” on the left in Elizabeth Warren or whoever wins the nomination.
Sad reality: There are more Democrats in this country than Republicans. The electoral college [sic] degrades this advantage a bit, but if there were no Independents, Democrats would win most elections. If we assume Gabbard will pull mostly from Libertarians and Independents, then that’s an advantage for Democrats. There is no way for the President to win if he doesn’t get the votes of a majority of Independents.
Rucker nails it. Gabbard could appeal to many “undecideds” in the confused middle.
Moreover, the Democrats and their PR team, the mainstream media, would facilitate this by painting Gabbard not only as of a kind with Trump in “doing Putin’s bidding” and retreating from Syria, but as a closet conservative “never really at home in the Democrat Party.” This wouldn’t be hard given the congresswoman’s past positions and the media’s ability to shape narratives. They’d simply pick up on Jacobin magazine’s 2017 warning to “progressives” that “Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Your Friend.”
Note: This wouldn’t serve to convince most people that she’s actually a “conservative,” but that the “truth” lies between the Democrat and GOP claims — she’s a centrist. Besides, she’d appear another “outsider” alternative to Trump.
Rucker adds that since Gabbard has little money and would need a party behind her, a likely choice is the Libertarians, the country’s third largest party. With a little “tweaking” of her policies she could pass muster, Rucker says, and with a current or former Republican such as ex-congressman Justin Amash for balance, the ticket would appeal to many.
Is Gabbard Already Signaling a Third Party Run?
So what if Clinton & Co.’s goal is to attack Gabbard and alienate and anger her to the point where she does leave the Democrats and run third party? Oh, I’m not saying Clinton is smart enough to have planned this on her own, but that Bill and other crafty figures in her orbit are. But then there’s the kicker:
What if Gabbard is aware of this plot and is either an explicit or, more likely, a wink-and-nod participant?
Either way, the congresswoman may be signaling third-party intent. It’s not just her stated disgust with the Democrats but this: “I’m fully committed to my offer to serve you, the people of Hawaii & America, as your President & Commander-in-Chief,” she tweeted last week. “So I will not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2020.”
In other words, she’s going “all in.” But why? Does she seriously believe she can win the nomination in today’s far-left, “woke” Democrat Party? Or does she have another agenda?
Whatever the truth, if Gabbard altered her views — in this case to facilitate third-party ambitions — it wouldn’t be the first time. The congresswoman used to be pro-life, pro-marriage (meaning, one man/one woman) and opposed the special privileges some people call “gay rights.” What changed?
Gabbard says her two Mideast tours of duty caused an epiphany. “I began to realize that the positions I had held previously regarding the issues of choice and gay marriage were rooted in the same premise held by those in power in the oppressive Middle East regimes I saw,” she wrote — “that it is government’s role to define and enforce our personal morality.”
Uh, okay. But this flash of insight just so happened to coincide with her desire to win a congressional seat in über-liberal Hawaii. And her transformation suggests three possibilities:
- Gabbard is hardly a thinker and never had principles, only preferences. Her comment’s conclusion is the equivalent of, and is as relativistically nonsensical, as speaking of “personal truth.” If it’s personal, it’s not morality. It then has a different name: taste. (Moreover, all just law reflects morality and is thus “religious,” as I explain here and here.)
- Gabbard’s power style, never had principles and will say anything to get elected (conservative suckers for pretty faces, take note).
- Both of the above.
All this said and in accordance with Occam’s razor, I freely admit that my third-party-plot theory isn’t the most likely explanation here. Leftists are emotion-driven creatures, and Hell hath no fury like a Hillary scorned. So maybe Clinton’s bitterness was again showing. It’s also true that Gabbard claims to have dismissed running third party.
But she has flip-flopped before. Moreover, all the attention such an effort would bring — the media could want to maximize this “centrist’s” exposure — may appeal to Gabbard’s vanity. And, oh, harking back to Rucker’s Libertarian Party theory, note that the congresswoman’s not-“government’s role to define and enforce our personal morality” line is right out of libertarians’ playbook. She’s not exactly an odd fit.
What I am quite convinced of is that a Gabbard third-party run would hurt Trump and that, as the Russia and Ukraine cons evidence, such a scheme would not be an odd fit for the Democrats.