Democratic Party

Finally! A Democrat in Congress Calls Out Hillary Clinton's Hawkishness

Iraq veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) quits DNC leadership to protest Hillary Clinton's foreign policy failures.

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Hillary Clinton's Super Tuesday thumping

An Officer and a Congresswoman
Wikipedia

of her only rival for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination has revivied the perception of inevitability that she will be the party's nominee. However, one sitting Democratic member of Congress decided to put her career on the line, days before the slew of primaries, to raise awareness of Clinton's career-long track record of supporting failed military interventions and general unrepentant hawkishness

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) resigned her leadership post on the Democratic National Committee this past weekend, saying she had tired of the requirement to maintain "neutral ground" during the primary process, and endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Unlike the conscientious objector she supports for president, Gabbard can't be painted as a naive peacenik. She is an Iraq War veteran and still serves as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard. It is her familiarity with the horrors of war, as well as the big government-gobbling waste produced by it, that informed her decision to split from the party leadership.

During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this past Monday, Gabbard said, "There has not been a clear conversation about the contrast between our two candidates when it comes to questions of war and peace. So this is why I resigned from the DNC."

Speaking with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC last night, Gabbard added, "Secretary Clinton has a record and positions that will take us into a future that will include more interventionist wars of regime change."

Gabbard expressed frustration that so little media coverage has focused on the costs of war, saying that Clinton's continued support of military interventionism should be a central issue and not relegated to the fringes of the debate:

This is something that's deeply personal to me, I lost friends in that Iraq War in 2005 during my deployment there. I saw in my job in a medical unit, every day that high human cost, and now here in my job in Congress that economic toll that continues.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams asked Gabbard if she was worried about "how unpleasant life could be" in Congress if Clinton wins the presidency, to which she conceded that "a lot of people warned me" about the consequences of her decision but she remains resolute because "war is a very real thing. It's real to me. It's real to our service members, their families, those who have borne this heavy sacrifice of war."

To Democratic voters those who dismiss Clinton's foreign policy record as irrelevant or even a net positive, Gabbard pleaded for them to "think again":

Look at the heavy toll that these wars have taken. This isn't a question of the past, this is a question of today and tomorrow and what kind of commander-in-chief we as Americans…can be confident will not continue to take us down this failed path of costly regime change wars that do nothing to strengthen our national security and simply serve to strengthen our enemies, groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and other. 

Given Sanders' frequent belly-flops on foreign policy during the debates, it remains unlikely that Clinton's war-mongering will ever become an issue that causes her any discomfort in winning the nomination. Worse, it will probably help her "run toward the center" in the general election. 

Still, kudos to Gabbard, a brave woman who put her conscience and demonstrable (as opposed to ceremonial) support of members of the U.S. Armed Services ahead of her political ambitions. Advocating for fewer military interventions is hardly a career-booster in either major party, stepping on the toes of the presumptive nominee is even less so.

Gabbard's denunciation of Clinton's constant lurching toward war deserves to be more than a footnote in this campaign. The likeliness that it won't indicates the Democratic Party's electorate hasn't learned the lessons of the past decade-and-a-half of American military misadventures any more than Clinton has.

NEXT: The Sad, Embarrassing Spectacle of Chris Christie's Donald Trump Endorsement

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  1. Williams asked Gabbard if she was worried about “how unpleasant life could be” in Congress if Clinton wins the presidency, to which she conceded that “a lot of people warned me” about the consequences of her decision

    Not to mention the “special place in hell”.

    Seriously, Gabbard should say “bring it on” and document, document, document.

    1. SOMEBODY’S name just got added to a List.

      1. Everybody is saying ‘Gabbard this’ and ‘Gabbard that’ but nobody is saying ‘Worship this’ and ‘Jericho that’.

        1. +1 little SOBs

      2. she’ll be found dead within a month.

        1. “Yeah, it’s a real shame. Suicide, you know? Shot herself in the back of the head twice.”

  2. “”Brian Williams asked Gabbard if she was worried about “how unpleasant life could be” in Congress if Clinton wins the presidency,””

    What does it say that everyone in the media is so super-comfortable with the idea that “Crossing Clinton means you should fear for your life and career?”

    1. Principals, not principles?

      Hitler?

    2. That the media is full authority fluffing shitheads who are pining for a dictatorship.

      1. They just want security and are trying to do what camp followers have always done: Give a strong man reason to spend some of his resources on them.

      2. Well, I certainly hope you’re not including Brian Williams with your slander. He risked his life in the D-Day invasion, and he deserves respect.

        1. An unconfirmed source within Allied Command says that Brian killed two Nazi’s with his bare hands and a shot a whole roll of film before he took that shrapnel in the back and had to retreat from the front.

  3. “Look at the heavy toll that these wars have taken. This isn’t a question of the past, this is a question of today and tomorrow and what kind of commander-in-chief we as Americans…can be confident will not continue to take us down this failed path of costly regime change wars that do nothing to strengthen our national security and simply serve to strengthen our enemies, groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and other. ”

    This is a common sentiment amongst my peers.

    Get some Major, but don’t be surprised when the military political apparatus puts a halt to your career for crossing that line.

    1. I think she’s too high profile for them to harm her in any meaningful way.

      1. They don’t actually have to harm her for her to get passed over for promotion and stovepiped into some shit job so that her career quietly fades away. It’s fairly easy to do in the military. Not sure how that would work for the Guard.

        1. +1 shoveling shit in Louisiana

      2. Did that apply to Ron Brown and Vince Foster?

    2. So, what happens when a sitting congressperson is a reserve component member, and gets activated to be sent to somewhere in bumfukistan?

      I think the good Major might find out.

      1. War on womyn?!

      2. They end up in Kabul…see Mark Kirk, et al.

  4. MSNBC anchor Brian Williams asked Gabbard if she was worried about “how unpleasant life could be” in Congress if Clinton wins the presidency, to which she conceded that “a lot of people warned me” about the consequences of her decision but she remains resolute because “war is a very real thing. It’s real to me. It’s real to our service members, their families, those who have borne this heavy sacrifice of war.”

    Wow… was Williams asking out of genuine curiosity, or was that a veiled threat?

    And call me naive, but this tacit, public knowledge that “life gets very difficult for you” if you don’t support Hillary should give everyone pause.

    1. “this tacit, public knowledge that “life gets very difficult for you” if you don’t support Hillary should give everyone pause.”

      Yeah, my thoughts exactly.

    2. Hillary detractor: “I lost everything!”

      Hillary supporter: “but did you die?”

    3. “Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him, and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage… Oh hey, didn’t see ya there! Ready for your performance evaluation, Representative Whoever?”

      1. Heller’s work is easily recognizable. I knew it was from Catch-22, Susan, but I had to look up the quote to determine which scene (now I regret setting aside and not finishing the book).

        1. Actually, it’s Heller by way of SF Debris. Particularly, his parody of Janeway as a mad tyrant.

          1. Ah, layers.

    4. It used to be that people who said that out loud about Clinton were mocked as tinfoil hat types. Now it is spoken of openly by the press, with obvious approval.

  5. She has been great. Lots of courage a few times in her life.

    1. It’s just too bad that now Herself must break her, eh?

      1. I’m on the tarmac in Hawaii right now. Until this plane takes off I think she’s my congresswoman.

      2. She won’t get her hands that dirty. She’ll leave it to Wasserman Schultz to do it.

  6. “…Gabbard expressed frustration that so little media coverage has focused on the costs of war, saying that Clinton’s continued support of military interventionism should be a central issue and not relegated to the fringes of the debate:…”

    It’d be nice if they focused a bit on her corruption and felonies, too.

    1. Not to mention her history of vengefulness and backroom dealings, with maybe a sidebar for her apparent health problems.

      1. And her crass, revisionist flip-flopping.

      2. Yes, hardly a peep out of the fact that she won’t allow herself to be filmed going up the steps to get on a plane. Sadly enough, video of an elderly woman hobbling up steps into an airplane could sink her shot at a presidency while committing multiple felonies to cover up other felonies would not.

        1. No upskirts!

          1. GAH?! What the heck, man?! I am trying to have lunch here!

          2. No one wants to see her Cthulhu-dick, Tonio.

            1. You know, people throw around words like “squamous” and “rugose” and “ichor”…

  7. There is a requirement to maintain “neutral ground” during the primary?

    Someone seems to have forgotten to tell Debbie Clintonshillerman Schulz.

    1. Yeah think of the scandal it would be if she resigned her post in order to endorse Hillary.

  8. I am impressed with Representative Gabbard’s decision and her high standards which led to her making that decision. I hope she gets to continue to publicly express her concerns and thoughts more often so that many more of her countrypersons can hear what she has to say.

    Also – another good article by Fisher.

    1. Yep. And also good that MSNBC has twice let her speek, which she does quite eloquently.

      1. Yep. And also good that MSNBC has twice let her speek, which she does quite eloquently.

        Indeed.

        From the second interview I found: “? because he [Senator Sanders] understands as I do how much is at stake for our country and how much is at stake for our next generation and future?.

        It’s important for this message to get out there that’s focused on these critical issues? the impact of these issues of war and peace and how about very little the American people, many in the media and others, are even talking about the cost.”

        Continued below

        1. “This is a very serious issue, and what I did speaks to the high stakes that exist. War is a very real thing, it’s real to me it’s real to our service members, their families, those who have borne this heavy sacrifice of war so long and over many different generations. So for those who simply dismiss this idea that, you know, well they’re, they’re not really going to pay attention to Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy record as it relates to these interventionist regime change wars that have cost us so much, I respectfully ask them to think again and really look at this heavy toll that these wars have taken, and that this isn’t a question of the past and what happened in Iraq, this is a question of today and tomorrow and what kind of Commander in Chief we as Americans and myself and other service members can be confident will not continue to take us down this failed path of more costly regime change wars that do nothing to strengthen our national security and simply serve to strengthen our enemy, groups like ISIS and Al Quaeda and others, that’s, it’s very serious.”

          Emphasis mine.

          Eloquent indeed, Jack.

          1. If I’m Sanders, she is at as many rallies as I can get her to participate.

            1. That may be a problem because she’s still in the military, and I understand that there are specific rules around political expression at public political events.

              1. National Guard. Which is different from active duty military. Remember that she’s a sitting congresswoman so she’s already involved in politics.

                1. I was hoping someone could clarify the rules for me, as they seem contradictory: “DOD Directive 1344.10 applies to members of the armed forces, whether they serve on active duty, as members of the reserve components not on active duty, as National Guard members in a nonfederal status and military retirees.”

                  “… They’re not permitted to make public political speeches, serve in any official capacity in partisan groups or participate in partisan political campaigns or conventions.”

                  Source

                  I just now looked that up, and wasn’t aware of the “serve in any official capacity in partisan groups” portion, which seems to me to imply that Representative Gabbard was already in violation of DOD Directive 1344.10 by being part of the DNC.

                  I am more unclear than when I started.
                  Any suggestions?

                  1. I’ll type to you at another time, as I must be away.

  9. It’s odd that Democrats have been painted as the “weak on the military” party. The Democrats over the past century have a rich record of supporting military adventurism pretty much everywhere.

    1. The difference is that Democrat’s eagerness to use the military is in inverse proportion to the national interest involved. I have liberal friends who were upset that we didn’t jump into Rwanda during the genocide.

      1. Generally, if there’s a purely humanitarian case to be made, the Democrats are usually full-on, pro-war. Yes, I remember the Rwanda genocide and how angry the ‘liberals’ were when we didn’t bomb the country into submission.

        Sudan and Darfur were the next big ones.

        1. Don’t forget Kony 2012.

      2. The left are pretty much just a bizarro-far-right.

      3. Yeah. Iraq II had so much national interest.

        1. Yet Hillary voted for it.

          About the same level of national interest as WWI (which was close to zero).

  10. Big deal,I’d be more impressed if she didn’t want a war hawk or a socialist. Color me unimpessed.

    1. She’s playing the cards we’ve been dealt. *Everyone* who even hopes to be a contender for president is a hawk, socialist, or both.

      1. ^This. Also, my impression is that Hawaii politics are machine politics.

    2. Plus she’s a woman dissenter from Team V, which is significant.

      Any division in their ranks is good.

    3. I’d be more impressed if she called Hillary out on her disregard for national security laws. As a Major, I assume she has a Secret Clearance and is well aware of how blatantly Clinton flouted the law.

      But that kind of criticism would really be remembered.

  11. Despite his absurd threats to carpet bomb entire countries, torture terrorists, and ban Muslims, I still believe Trump will be much less willing to intervene in foreign conflicts than Hillary, who has never seen a problem that can’t be fixed with brute military force.

  12. Not a single “Would.” ?? I am disappoint.

    1. I know. You guys are slipping.

      1. I thought that some things go without mentioning.

        If you find well articulated cogency at all attractive, I recommend watching any portion of the two videos for which I provided links, above.

        1. This is not ‘Nam, Chuck, there are rules.

    2. Wood.

      1. Thank you. I thought I was going to have to do that.

  13. I haven’t looked at her history, but she is quoted as having served in a medical unit and wears MP insignia in the photo. I wonder if she was misquoted or had some sort of detached assignment?
    –former enlisted MP (’83-’86)

    1. dantheserene,

      In 2004, Tulsi volunteered to deploy with her fellow soldiers, becoming the first state official to voluntarily step down from public office to serve in a war zone.

      Tulsi served two tours of duty in the Middle East… where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company [in Iraq]. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.

      In between her two tours, Tulsi served in the U.S. Senate as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), where she advised him on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veteran issues. While working for Senator Akaka in 2007, Tulsi graduated from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy, where she was the first woman to finish as the distinguished honor graduate in the Academy’s 50-year history. Tulsi was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and again assigned to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawai’i Army National Guard – this time to serve as the Military Police Platoon Leader.

  14. Iraq veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) quits DNC leadership to protest Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy failures.

    Hooray!

    and endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

    Awwwwww /Zoidberg

  15. Hooray! Some Democrat stopped supporting one Democratic Presidential candidate and started supporting the other Democratic Presidential candidate…………………………..and this is something Reason needs to cheer about?

    What?

    Who cares? She flipped from the criminal socialist bint to the cranky socialist prick. So fucking what?

    News would be if she saw the error of her entire worldview and flipped to the LP. Otherwise it’s a non-event.

    1. Not effing likely given all the blue in Hawaii’s congressional delegation. As noted above, one plays the cards one is dealt.

  16. In a sane world, Clinton’s enthusiasm for the Libya bombardment alone would be enough to disqualify her from even running for president.

    1. And her characterization of the Libyan adventure as “smart power at its best” would be sufficient to have her committed to a mental institution instead of being imprisoned or executed for war crimes.

      Seriously, after Qaddafi was captured, tortured, sodomized and murdered, Hillary cackled with approvingly glee, “we came, we saw, and he died.” The woman is utterly evil, and unfit for any position of responsibility.

  17. These guys just dont have a clue man. WOw.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

  18. The vast majority of those who vote for the White Witch could care less about these issues; she will be the third black president and Obama’s third term, take your pick.

  19. Mhmm. Battle tested warrior woman. A principled in the face of destruction politician. An eloquent speaker and total babe.

    Put her on the ticket and I’d vote for her over any of these ridiculous clowns vying for ultimate power.

  20. I love how the Democrats are all of a sudden being Anti-War again. Opportunistic fuckstains that they are, they apparently forgot that the last 7 years of Obamya has resulted in untold thousands of civilians being blown to kingdom come. I wonder why the Major hasn’t said fuck-all about Obama being unfit to be POTUS. What’s good for one chickenhawk should be good for the other…..

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