Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard Sympathizes With Amash, Says the Two-Party System Sucks

"The outsized power that the political parties hold can often be used in the wrong way to squelch our democracy and dissenting voices even within our own parties," says Gabbard.


As something of an outsider in her own political party, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) seems to understand what drove Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) to leave the Republican Party—though she does not have plans to break with the Democrats.

"He's had a lot of challenges within his own party. And, frankly, I wasn't surprised by his announcement," Gabbard told The NPR Politics Podcast this week, referring to Amash's announcement on July 4 that he was becoming a political independent. In announcing that move, Amash decried the "partisan death spiral" of American politics, writing in The Washington Post that "the two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions."

The squelching of different opinions and ideas within political parties is harmful, Gabbard told NPR.

"The outsized power that the political parties hold can often be used in the wrong way to squelch our democracy and dissenting voices even within our own parties," she says.

It's not the first time Gabbard has spoken out against the problems created by the United States' hyper-partisan, binary political system. And, like Amash, she has earned a reputation as a rare freethinker within Congress. She's publicly split with the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—in 2016, she resigned her post as vice chairwoman of the DNC over what she saw as efforts by the committee to favor Hillary Clinton's candidacy over that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.). She later endorsed Sanders.

That's not quite the same as leaving the party altogether, of course, but in a different world—one where Clinton is president instead of Donald Trump, perhaps—it's not difficult to imagine Gabbard playing a role equivalent to Amash's: as a principled voice shouting over the partisan tumult.

But Gabbard says she has not seriously considered leaving the Democratic Party. Instead, she's focused on making changes within the DNC. She wants to abolish the use of so-called "superdelegates"—party luminaries who get to vote at the nominating convention regardless of the results of the primaries. "Taking that power away from the very few and making sure that every single person's voice is heard," she says, will improve the party and American democracy as a whole.

Amash sounded a similar note during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, saying that political party power structures prevent members of Congress from actively participating in the lawmaking process.

"It's pretty rigid. It's top-down. It comes down from leadership to the bottom," Amash told Tapper. "And over the years it's gotten more rigid. It's more difficult now to change the process than it was a few years ago."

It's also possible that Gabbard and Amash are misdiagnosing the problem—or at least part of it. There's a good argument to be made for the view that today's political parties aren't too strong, but actually too weak. The GOP establishment was unable to stop Roy Moore from running for Senate in Alabama—not once, but twice!—or, for that matter, to derail Trump's march to the presidency in 2016, despite a cornucopia of more qualified alternatives. In that view, the Republican Party has so easily become defined by populist Trumpism because the party is now too weak to maintain any other unifying identity. By extension, Amash's split with the Republican Party is probably best explained by his break with Trump himself.

If so, one might worry that further breaking down party power by, for example, eliminating the DNC's super-delegates may continue the trend of weakening the parties—and, by extension, hand more political opportunities to populist insurgents like Trump, but on the left.

Regardless, Gabbard's willingness to buck the two-party system is likely one of two major reasons—the other being her equally principled stance opposing regime-change wars—why the congresswoman has attracted an eclectic mix of fans. Former Republican congressman and Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul has called Gabbard "the very best" Democrat in the 2020 field, and paleoconservative icon Pat Buchanan has called for Trump to hire Gabbard to replace John Bolton as national security adviser. On the NPR podcast, New Hampshire–based reporter Josh Rogers notes that the largest political sign in his town calls for Gabbard's election. It stands on the property of a self-identified libertarian, he says.

Gabbard is attracting interest from those corners of American politics despite the fact that she's pretty far to the left on economic issues. Her campaign is also advocating for "breaking up the big banks" and "healthcare for all." Without her foreign policy views, Gabbard would likely have a hard time finding much agreement with Paul, Buchanan, or Amash.

"We can have differences, sometimes big differences, on many issues," says Gabbard. "But people are coming together because they are recognizing the need to end these wasteful regime-change wars that our country's been waging for far too long—that have proven to be so costly."

That's going to be the central message of her campaign—however long it lasts. Gabbard "won" the first primary debate last month and enjoyed a brief uptick in Google search results, after obliterating Rep. Tim Ryan (D–Ohio) and the case for war with Iran. Still, she's polling at less than 2 percent.

But she's clearly putting in the effort to play retail politics in New Hampshire—the early primary state where she might have the best shot at a breakthrough next year. Gabbard walked in four Fourth of July parades as she spent a long, hot weekend campaigning across the state, NPR notes.

Her central message about the need for a more humble foreign policy is impossible to disconnect from her criticisms of Democratic leadership. Gabbard's candidacy is best understood as an attempt to break the bipartisan agreement on interventionist foreign policy and to restore the Democratic Party's anti-war wing.

"This has been the problem with our foreign policy for so long: leaders in this country, from both political parties, looking around the world and picking and choosing which bad dictators to overthrow, sending our military into harm's way," she told NPR. "It's proven to have been a failure."

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  1. Hey another article by “MARKETS IMPLODING!!!” Boehm.

    1. The economic devastation caused by the Drumpf regime must not be ignored.


      1. #KrugmanWasRight once, a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

    2. “Stock market jumps to new highs as Fed’s Powell signals rate cut ahead”
      “…The S&P 500 topped 3,000 for the first time in its history and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 150 points in the first hour of trading after Mr. Powell’s prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee was made public. His comments, saying the Fed will “act as appropriate” to preserve the nation’s longest economic expansion, bolstered the market’s expectations of a coming rate cut….”

      1. When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009, the U.S. stock market was in free fall. The financial crisis was in full swing following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, a popular measure of the U.S. stock market, closed at 805 points on Inauguration Day.

        Eight years later, the S&P 500 index has risen to 2,274 points after one of the great bull runs in stock market history. With Obama as president, the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, returned 235%, or 16.4% annualized.


        1. So we’re back to the stock market being the economy?

        2. Good work. Obama doesn’t get enough credit for personally creating the strongest economy in US history. People tend to focus on his other triumphs, like Obamacare and his Nobel Peace Prize.

          1. Don’t forget turning Libya into an ISIS training ground and slave market!

        3. Sarah Palin’s Buttplug
          July.10.2019 at 12:17 pm

          “When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009, the U.S. stock market was in free fall….”

          Note that turd here cherry-picks such as to pick the lowest starting point and then brag that Obo didn’t quite manage to screw the pooch entirely.
          And expects those of us here to be as stupid or dishonest (or both) as he is.
          Fuck off and die, turd.

          1. “Fuck off and die, turd.”

            I think he comes here hoping to hear that Sevo; someone should do a valid scientific study of trolls; on second thought, that would be a complete and utter waste of time and money.

            “Contention is better than loneliness” Irish Proverb

        4. It’s easy to improve when you’re starting at rock bottom. Fortunately, political gridlock kept him from taking actions that would have made things worse. Unfortunately, the recovery was dragged out longer than it needed to be by bad policies passed under both Bush and Obama. Also, nobody was really punished for causing the crash, so we’re set up to repeat it. Yay?

          1. Recession ended just a few months into Obama’s tenure before he passed or signed a single bill. For some reason Democrats call this a free fall.

            Obama then took credit for TARP which he had nonpartisan of.

            Obama then took credit for energy exploration which was over a third of the economic growth on his first 6 years in office. He did this despite limiting exploration and permits on federal land.

            This is what idiots like palin dont bother with, actual facts.

            1. “Recession ended just a few months into Obama’s tenure before he passed or signed a single bill. For some reason Democrats call this a free fall.” — recession ended? what universe of the “New Normal” are you living in?

        5. 2 words: QUANTATIVE EASING….That is what drove the markets under Obummy!

          1. Given that the Fed is about to cut rates again, it’s driving it a lot under Trump as well.

        6. Hey Kiddie Raper, we’ve been through this with you before. Just stop and go back to your child porn.

      2. What goes up must come down.

  2. >>>willingness to buck the two-party system

    got in the door, can’t get past the umbrella bucket.

  3. “Gabbard’s candidacy is best understood as an attempt to break the bipartisan agreement on interventionist foreign policy and to restore the Democratic Party’s anti-war wing.”

    We Koch / Reason libertarians shouldn’t be fooled by Gabbard’s “anti-war” posturing. Fundamentally, she only wants what’s best for Russia — which is a weakened United States. After all, she’s Putin’s favorite Democrat.

    In a just world Gabbard, not Swalwell, would have dropped out already.


    1. Hey OBL – I saw you in one of those chick fights on YouTube!
      You pounded that 10- year old Amish girl though she messed up your Vera Wang jumper. Tough victory.

    2. In a just world, Gabbard swallows well after dropping to her knees.

  4. FYI, a good friend of mine made a decision. He did not vote for Trump in 2016, but the last three years of caterwauling in the media has driven him to want to vote for Trump in 2020.

    He has announced that in 2020, he will vote for one Democrat and one Democrat only in the general election: Tulsi Gabbard. If Gabbard doesn’t win the Democratic nomination, he’ll be voting for Trump.

    I’m inclined to do the exact same thing. Thoughts?

    1. He’s a thin-skinned blow-hard….
      Who has done more good than any POTUS since Silent Cal.
      But I live in CA, so my vote means nothing.

      1. So does mine, but it’s still a fun experiment. And I think it’ll be fun to tell people that. When my friend sent the announcement to all of us in WhatsApp, he ended his message with “Your move, DNC, your move…” which I thought was hilarious.

    2. So your “friend” will only consider voting for the most Russia-approved candidates?

      Sounds like a Russian bot to me.


      1. Putin can’t be our president soon enough.

      2. Too bad yer fave, HildaBeast isn;t running too…..Then we can also add a “Most Ukraine-approved” candidate to the list!..Remember, we got a “Most China-Approved” one in Uncle Joe!

    3. Trump vs Gabbard would be an interesting campaign and the one I would like to see the most. I’d have to get a better feel for what the Gabbard admin might look like once she got the nomination. But either way I’ll most likely vote for whatever idiot the libertarian party nominates because Maryland.

    4. I’d consider voting for Gabbard, just based on her war stance. For me, I’d want to see some disavowment of Medicare for All, GND, etc to actually vote for her though.

      For what it’s worth, there isn’t another Democrat that I would even consider as it stands now.

    5. Do it.
      It’s fun

    6. There are a very tiny handful of Democrats in that primary clown car that I might hold my nose for if the LP nominates a crazy loon. But no way in hell am I voting Drumpf.

      1. “… a very tiny handful”

        Please, elaborate. And then let us review where any of the one or two actually stand on the issues. And how they are somehow better than Trump, for all his many many faults.

        1. I’ll bite. In all the Democratic polls, just above Jay Inslee there’s a category called “someone else”. That’s the tiny handful (other than Gabbard) that I could vote for.

      2. They’re all wackos, or crooks who like Biden who will go along with the wackos to gain power.

    7. Gabbard is utterly atrocious on gun rights. F- from the NRA if I remember correctly. Not surprising, coming from Hawaii, but still.

      If that’s important to you, she’s the wrong candidate.

      Guess her polling numbers look like Amash’s.

    8. I wish she were as good as Reason wants her to be. I like her anti-interventionist stance. I like it a LOT and I was in the boat with your friend until I looked at her stance on other issues.

      However, she is pro:
      * Medicare for All and Obamacare
      * Banning “assault weapons.”
      * 100% tax-funded community college for all
      * 100% tax-funded 4-year higher education for many
      * Banning fossil fuels by 2050′
      * Banning fracking.
      * Increased $ for import-export bank
      * Increased national minimum wage
      * Income tax increases

      These make her, IMHO, untenable. But I do like that she is anti drug war and anti-interventionist there are too many negatives as well.

      1. Being anti-interventionist is the only thing that makes her stand out from most of the rest of the crowd, other than Bernie. Otherwise, she’s just a bog-standard progressive.

  5. ““However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
    ― George Washington”

    My point is simply that this windmill has been leaned upon for a very long time, and it seems that democracy, requiring majorities, will generate political parties.
    Amash and Gabbard may well dislike them and be in good company in doing so, but until we come up with a system preferable to democracy, let me saddle up Rocinante for you.

    1. I’ve thought of a few things which *might* help weaken political parties without falling into the parliament swamps.

      One, change the way bills are processed into laws. Any legislator can introduce any bill. It then undergoes a 30 day public review period. Only the author can make changes, and any changes restart the 30 day review period. At the end of that review period, if 2/3 of other legislators in each chamber have signed up for approval, it becomes law. No Presidential signature or veto.

      If at any time, a majority of legislators from any chamber have signed up for repeal, that law is instantly repealed.

      Legislators proxy the votes they received in the last election. Each election elects the top three vote-winners. All remaining votes are proxied by a random volunteer; every voter can submit their name as a volunteer, and one is chosen. (I don’t care whether the volunteers form their own chamber, or mix in with the regular winners. I can see advantages either way.)

      Elections are by contract, not by candidate. Candidates could even submit multiple contracts, but that would just dilute the vote. The point being that these contracts are binding, and district voters can sue them for contract violations. Probably most contracts would be pablum (I will work for the good of the people) or boring (I will abide by the Quirkocratic Party decisions), but a few would be honest, and a few legislator would be thrown out of office every session for violations. It would at least put them on record.

      Parties would still exist, and they would still try to control things by listing bills which members should or should not approve, restrict cooperation with other parties, etc. But they would no longer have seniority control over committee assignments; heck, committees wouldn’t even have any official role any more in shaping legislation.

      1. I’ve often wondered what the 2/3 requirement for passing laws would do to the legislative process. Would there be fewer provisions in bills because the bar of approval is higher? Or would there be more junk because you’d have to do more horse-trading and backroom deals to get anything through?

        Making things easier to repeal than to pass is a no-brainer. The default position of government should be to do nothing. Automatic sunset clauses for all bills should be added to this as well.

        Another thing I’ve thought about is eliminating geographic districts for the House and moving to something else. I like your contract idea. I also think electing candidates from a statewide pool might work.

        1. I should have added that all laws expire after one year, and any law found defective is voided in its entirety (no severability) because otherwise clever legislators would put all last year’s laws in one single new bill to reduce their work.

          I thought of having people sign up — choose who proxies their vote. But I like secret ballots.

          Another small aspect would be to allow property owners on the edge of a district to switch districts, if the new district had fewer total votes last election. That would slowly equalize district size. But that’s not a very meaningful goal when legislators proxy the votes they won.

          I also thought of how votes are so damned collectivist in spirit and in practice. One person, one vote. You can’t sell it, improve it by wise voting or devalue it by getting arrested. But then I figure that’s what legislators do — they turn collectivist votes into something more free market. Legislators in effect make votes more or less valuable. Sort of.

          1. Why not let any politician run in any district they want and let any voter vote in any district they want? The politicians sign up for a district when they do their paperwork. The voters can get a ballot for whatever district they want when they arrive at the polling place. (Or maybe they have to identify their preferred district in advance to keep the logistics easy.)

    2. The Greeks, who invented Democracy, didn’t have political parties.

      1. I’m sure they had cliques. The anti-Sparta clique vs the pro-Sparta clique. Pro-Sicily vs pro-Black Sea.

        People always form groups and take sides.

        1. “I’m sure they had cliques.”

          They may have had cliques. But elevation to the legislature was not contingent on membership in one of two institutional parties which go on and outlive any issue that may divide the legislators. The Greeks chose their legislators by lot, bypassing the corrupt, expensive and rigged elections we take for granted today.

          1. You don’t have to be in either party to get to the legislature here. You just have to have enough signatures to get on the ballot and then win most of the votes.

            1. “You don’t have to be in either party to get to the legislature here.”

              It certainly helps. Independents or party switchers are surprisingly rare.

          2. If you are talking about Athens, they didn’t have elected legislators. The assembly was all eligible citizens. People did emerge as leaders, but only because enough of the rest of the voters decided to follow.

            1. The assembly was all eligible citizens.

              Which was a total of about 30k people.

          3. “They may have had cliques. But elevation to the legislature was not contingent on membership in one of two institutional parties which go on and outlive any issue that may divide the legislators. The Greeks chose their legislators by lot, bypassing the corrupt, expensive and rigged elections we take for granted today.”

            So they didn’t have parties and they didn’t have democracy (by vote), and you are still claiming there is some validity to the issue at hand?
            Were you born this stupid, or did you have to practice?

            1. “and you are still claiming there is some validity to the issue at hand?”

              Keep an open mind, is all. You can be a democracy without parties. The Greeks proved it. No need to take it so personally,

              1. mtrueman
                July.10.2019 at 8:36 pm
                “Keep an open mind, is all. You can be a democracy without parties. The Greeks proved it. No need to take it so personally,”

                We have a thread concerning political parties and elective democracies. You make the claim that the Greeks had no parties, and then point out that they also did not have an elective democracy, for both of which, in your egomaniac manner, you provide no cites.
                And when called on your obvious bullshit, you try shame me for not ‘keeping an open mind’ and ‘taking it personally’?
                My mind is open to comments regarding the issue, and particularly those backed with evidence (both of which you failed to offer), and I certainly don’t take your stupidity personally, but, again:
                Were you born this stupid, or did you have to practice?

      2. we segregate colleges w/their letters now.

        1. i don’t count toga parties.

          1. You don’t count at all.

        1. ewe

    3. I’m not sure that political parties are the problem. It’s good to know that member of a political party tend toward some common ideology because it’s nearly impossible to know every position of every candidate. To me it’s more about 2 parties having a monopoly on elections.

      There are plenty of examples of governments like ours, Presidential with bi-cameral legislatures, where multiple parties hold seats. Mexico comes to mind. 8 parties hold multiple seats in their Senate, and there are 3 distinct alliances. Similar story in their other house.

    4. There are democratic republican systems that don’t inevitably lead to two party rule. First past the post isn’t the only way. I really don’t know if any of them would be preferable, though.

      1. ” I really don’t know if any of them would be preferable, though.”

        Commenters here fear that any changes to the present system would be advantageous to non republican candidates.

      2. A winner-take-nothing approach would probably help.

        1. I’m still holding out for the day when the third place finisher in popular vote rakes in the most electoral college votes.

          1. Even if that were mathematically possible, and even then it would require a very close three way split on the popular vote, a three way split in the popular vote likely leads to a three way split in the electors.

            Election to the Presidency requires an outright majority in the electoral college. If’ there is no majority, the election goes to Congress with the House selecting the President and IIRC, the Senate selecting the VP.

            This is why Gore’s attempt to keep the recounts going all the way to the deadline for the EC to vote and submit their ballots to Congress were ultimately self defeating and the SCOTUS decision did not genuinely affect the outcome. Without a clear and uncontested slate of electors for Florida, there would be no majority in the EC, so the then Republican Controlled House would get to select the next president. Bush Wins.

            By the time SCOTUS heard oral arguments in Bush v Gore, the deadline was only a few weeks away and at the rate they were going, there would be no way for Florida to finish in time. Had Gore won the SCOTUS appeal, the best possible out come for him at that point was throwing the election to the House, where again, the odds were deeply against him.

            1. I never understood why the vote can be counted over the course of election night, while it takes weeks or months to recount the same vote. Is it because lawyers getting involved?

        2. Anyone who seeks power/authority is unworthy of it.

          Anyone who registers as a candidate and/or makes any effort to campaign for elected office is automatically disqualified.

    5. Some variation of ranked voting can work. Keeps the democratic republic (we’re not a democracy) but dilutes the straight ticket mindset voters are obsessed with.

      Heck, I might even repeal the Twelfth Amendment, and replace it with a modification that has the Electoral College vote separately for President and Vice President, with the result that voters get a ballot that has electors for President distinct from electors for Vice President.

      1. #Repeal19

        1. definitely 16 and 17

          1. Aamendment 28: Amendment 1 shall be altered by the addition of a full stop (period) after the fifth word.

            1. Amendment 29, the practice of Marxism shall be expressly forbidden and a capital offense.

    6. OK, there are some proposed methods of reducing the powers of parties, but for all the efforts at elective democracy, none have yet to do so. (Outside of the one Repubs who rallied to the abolitionist issue in the mid 19th century. In all my reading, that is the sole example). And I don’t know how any could be implemented any time soon.
      By now, it seems any changes are going to have to originate by log-rolling within an existing party, as the scumbags on the left are attempting by Fabianism within the D party.
      I propose the following:
      Trump has done more for libertarian goals than any POTUS since Silent Cal. It is time to groom a replacement now, to keep the tilt going away from the left.
      Amash could have been that person, but he’d rather *sniff* remain pure regarding his perfection than do anything to aid the cause; goody for you, pal. Hope you pay your groomer well for those eyebrows.
      Fuck him; who’s next? I want *RESULTS*!

  6. she’s pretty far to the left on economic issues. Her campaign is also advocating for “breaking up the big banks”

    But too-big-to-fail banks ARE leftist. Opposing them is not.

    1. “But too-big-to-fail banks ARE leftist. Opposing them is not.”

      No. Calling them ‘too-big-to-fail’ and bailing them out is lefty, as is using the government to break them up.
      Let them fail, period.

      1. Letting markets and contract law handle things is usually both the best and easiest solution. Unless you’re a control freak.

        1. >>>control freak

          (D) … (R) too now I guess

          1. (R)s have been control freaks for a long time.

    2. The core problem is the proliferation of progressives. something has to be done. Picking them apart doesn’t do it. Elecions clearly don’t do it even when they lose everything. They don’t okay by rules unless it benefits them.

      Things are going to have to get ugly and people better be prepared to get their hands dirty to stop them. If anyone actually cares to continue living in a constitutional republic.

  7. “Tulsi has a consistent record of advocating for sensible gun control. She has long called for reinstating a federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, requiring comprehensive pre-purchase background checks, closing the gun-show loophole, and making sure that terrorists are not allowed to buy guns. Tulsi has an F-rating from the NRA, a 0% rating by the Hawaii Rifle Association, and a 100% rating by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.” https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25028

    Gun rights are, for me, a litmus test; and she fucking fails it.

    1. She does indeed, but 100% of the Democrats do from my reading. And look what Trump has signed into law, so I’m none too happy about that. I think that gun restrictions are mostly a talking point between elections. Notice how it’s quieted down quite a bit and the the parkland kids have been utterly forgotten by the media like so much boy band?

      1. Has been a very quiet year for school shootings; there have been several instances but nothing of such a scale that it captured national attention. Cynically, I imagine Hogg has been disappointed.

        1. “Cynically, I imagine Hogg has been disappointed.”

          If you make your living off bloody shirts and none are available, it’s Mikey D for your lunch, pal.

        2. Hopefully that punk gets hepatitis off a rough trick and dies very young. Little piece of shit.

      2. “look what Trump has signed into law”

        Ok, I’ll bite.

        1. Bump stock ban, I’m guessing.

          1. That’s it?

            1. He’s a long ways from perfect, just the best we’ve had in a while.

    2. Yup. Plus, “She later endorsed Sanders” sounds like one step forward, two steps back.

  8. Huh? Your solution to Trump using the power of the rep party to squelch critics is to STRENGTHEN the rep party so, like the dems, the primaries are straight up rigged in advance? Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know Reason anymore.

    1. I think he’s suggesting we should go back in time and rig the republican 2016 primary so that Trump doesn’t become the nominee.

  9. Too bad Gabbard is a lefty. But Buchanan asking she take over from Bolton is excellent. She’s definitely a sane Democrat.

    1. That is a low bar to hurdle.

      1. So low you have to f’n dig it up. With an oil drilling rig.

  10. Amash/Gabbard 2020

    1. If he’s at the top of the ticket, I’d consider it.

      1. I would agree if I didn’t think the most likely way to achieve that end (I think pretty obv. not for 2020), as indicated by everyone’s own preferences, would be an Amash(D) / Gabbard (D) ticket.

    2. Ick. Non interventionist or not, she’s still a communist. And I’m not that thrilled with him lately.

  11. “The outsized power that the political parties hold can often be used in the wrong way to squelch our democracy

    I don’t know why, but I get the feeling this part is really what she has a problem with.

  12. She no doubt prefers the one-party system like they have in her buddy Assad’s Syria.

  13. Simple solution, prohibit the government from initiating force.

  14. Ummm…I hate to say the obvious, but I guess I must.
    No one that’s sane cares what Tulsi Gabbard says or thinks.

  15. Amash wouldn’t win in a multi-party system either. He can’t get along with anyone well enough to form a coalition and he doesn’t get anything accomplished.

    1. Which is exactly what I’m looking for in a president. Too bad that person is unelectable.

      1. Thanks, but 28 years of terrible Presidents and an inept Congress means that a good one has a lot of damage to undo that requires getting legislation passed. We don’t need Amash’s impression of an empty chair when it comes to leadership.

        1. You’re exactly right. Gridlock and inaction aren’t enough anymore.

          The real solution will come with the destruction of the democrat party, and rendering progressives ineligible to run for elected office, or work in government anymore. Without the threat of a horrible progressive candidate as an alternative to a RINO, the RINOs will rapidly become unelectable. Thereby causing a far better crop of candidates to get elected. Then e can fix things.

          So really, it all comes down to getting rid of the progressives.

  16. Here is the thing about representative government, you need allies who are at least willing to be talked into advancing your agenda and will meet TV he 50% plus one threshold. If you cannot get close to that,that is your problem, not the system’s imperfections. Gabbard’s and Amash’s issue is with the voting public, who have not put enough people agreeable to their ideas in office.

    1. If you cannot get close to that,that is your problem, not the system’s imperfections. Gabbard’s and Amash’s issue is with the voting public, who have not put enough people agreeable to their ideas in office.

      Not a full-throated defense of them because I don’t think they’re right and you’re wrong, but you’re taking an idyllic view of representative democracy. Especially one where voter turnout approaches 50% (and only recently) and congress and POTUS’s popularity are at or have recently been around historic lows.

      1. Actually, I think I take the more cynical view of representative democracy. If 50% are not participating in voting, that is their right, but they have forfeited their voice on the results of elections willingly. If they do not like the results,though, they had their chance to have a say in the process.

        If Trump has taken over the GOP, it is because his voters will do as he asks them. Which is how you take power in a democracy. It is not any more elegant or eloquent than that.

        1. If 50% are not participating in voting, that is their right, but they have forfeited their voice on the results of elections willingly. If they do not like the results,though, they had their chance to have a say in the process.

          That sounds nice, and is true as far as it goes, but you really don’t get any more of a voice if you do vote than if you don’t.

          1. He didn’t watch the video. 50+% aren’t participating because they have no opinion. They aren’t participating because the cost of enacting their will through the representative electoral process is too great for any given outcome. Even more, through the layer cake there’s no guarantee that even if the results of their expenditure are successful they will be in any way permanent. Both sides, IMO one to a greater degree than the other, have figured this out and realized that on most any issue you can wait out the will of the American voter.

            The founders recognized they were building a collectivist system and put in safe guards to prevent the obliteration of individual liberty. Even then, many openly recognized that you would likely have to tear the system down, in part or in whole, to perceive anything representing individual liberty. Acting like ‘50% aren’t participating because they don’t know how democracy/liberty/federalism/republicanism works.’ ignores the fact that, when it comes to liberty, democracy/federalism/republicanism doesn’t work. Amash may (IMO, pretty clearly does) have selfish motivations for taking the stance he takes and he may not be offering a better or even viable alternative. That doesn’t make him wrong.

            1. to perceive anything representing individual liberty

              *Preserve* dang it!

          2. Tell that to the people who were supporting Amash’s GOP challenger. They ran Amash out of the party.

            1. Who IS challenging Amash in his district?

              1. It’s like five people right now. The primary’s not till next year. Plus the blue team will run someone and see if they can eke out a win.

  17. The anti-war wing of the Democrat Party only exists when there is a Republican President making war. Otherwise, it is whatever their Leader wants to do.

    1. The anti-spending wing of the Republican Party only exists when there is a Democrat President spending money. Otherwise, it is whatever their Leader wants to do.

      1. *Draws ‘Tulsi’ from back sheath*

        Because spending money on principle and whimsically killing people is objectively the same as whimsically spending money and killing people on principle.

      2. Because democrats are the alternative and always worse. If we got rid of the democrats, it wouldn’t be that way. No more threat of communist traitors taking over to force us into supporting a shitbag RINO, or some open borders subversive.

        Now where’s my fucking rent Pedo Jeffy?

  18. These Reason articles; “Butt-gigg is not for free college!” “Gabbard is an anti-war mostly Democratic maverick!” Bullshit; there’s not a nickle’s worth a difference among them. They are invariably for more and increasingly intrusive government and restriction of the rights we supposedly value. There is no “hold your nose” candidate; you either vote Trump, Libertarian [protest vote] or for a socialist commissar. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

  19. But Gabbard says she has not seriously considered leaving the Democratic Party. Instead, she’s focused on making changes within the DNC.

    I have a sudden urge to wrap a bat in barbed wire, name it Tulsi, and use it to bash in the skulls of people who say things like ‘both sides’.

  20. The superdelegate system employed by the (D)’s is designed to prevent exactly what Gabbard bemoans. It helps mitigate extremists, undesirables, and nutjobs from obtaining the nominations. See nutty Uncle Bern-Bern in 2016. If only the (R)’s had employed the system as well, we might be living under the tranquil administration of President Rubio.

    Of course, when the entire party shifts to nutty Uncle Bern-Bern’s side, not even superdelegates can solve that problem.

    1. IMO the actual purpose is to ensure perpetual control of the party by the establishment. Ostensibly – ‘to protect against nutjobs’. But of course the establishment defines nutjob as ‘anyone who might challenge me for power’.

      The effect is that the Dems are a de facto gerontocracy. Which goes very well with the Reps who are the party of perpetual hair dye.

  21. When will Reason mag get off the idiotic idea that someone on the left can be trusted if they are “anti-war”?

    Every single position taken by Gabbard is virulently anti-individual. Free medical, free college, Green New Deal…and on and on.

    Tulsi Gabbard is literally just another pretty face, a face with nothing behind it but malice for individual achievement.

    1. So much deliciousness wrapped up in the phrase “individual achievement.” The only question is the proportions. How much is plutocratic, how much is racist, how much is the economic wisdom of Fox & Friends…

  22. I love Tulsi, donated to her campaign to make sure she made the debates. Trump should replace Bolton with her. She’s an idiot socialist of course, but I love how the neolib Democrat establishment hates her and has been attacking her ever since she announced.

  23. That’s just what an Agent of Putin would say.

    We need the party to be better at ridding themselves of menaces like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders.

    As for Republicans, well they can fuck off and die. It is a death cult after all, so why is it overstaying its welcome so?

  24. Tusi or even Bernie announce Justin Amash as your future VP

    I was kicked off of Daily Kos for what they called third party advocacy but not before posting this

    Incidentally Daily Kos gave a large donation to Tusi’s primary opponent in Hawaii

  25. usli Gabbard will not win but at least if she gets in the next set of debates the idiotic never ending wars will get some TV time . That subject will not get any tv time from the MSM. Almost 5 trillion spent on war from 2000. The Warmongers are making a few very rich and the rest of us poorer or dead. The DNC requires 130,000 donors so even a $1 donation gets here in the next debate.https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=tulsi%20gabbard%20for%20president%202020&epa=SERP_TAB

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