Reason Podcast

What's So Funny About Tulsi Gabbard?

The Reason Roundtable analyzes an establishment smear against a foreign policy heretic, and laments the bipartisan panic against online speech.

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Is there something kind of, I dunno, off about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii)? Certainly the can't-quit-us Clinton Machine thinks so, as do some supposedly skeptical news organizations. People a tad more serious, like former Reasoner Kerry Howley, have grappled honestly with Gabbard's unusual personality, life history, and issue set (including some off-putting enthusiasms for aggressive nationalists like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi). Check out John Stossel's full interview with Gabbard right here, and see for yourself.

Regardless of whether Gabbard floats their particular boats, the Reason Roundtable crew of Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and special guest star Stephanie Slade have some withering things to say about this latest Hillary World attempt to smear U.S. foreign policy dissenters (including two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein) as Rooskie "assets" or as the witting recipients of "grooming." The gang also gives some takeaways from last week's Democratic presidential debate, including the long, bad sections about regulating political speech and the companies providing platforms thereof. And there are the usual references to Nick Cave, Peter Criss, Norm MacDonald, the Adverts, and so on.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music credit: "The Gunfight" by Everet Almond

Relevant links from the show:

"Tulsi Gabbard Conspiracy Theories Go Mainstream as Hillary Clinton Accuses the Candidate of Being Groomed by Russia," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Hillary Clinton Says Donald Trump Is an Illegitimate President and Tulsi Gabbard Is a Russian Tool," by Robby Soave

"Tulsi Gabbard Called Out Mainstream Media, Both Parties, Democratic Candidates for Supporting Disastrous Regime Change in the Middle East," by Robby Soave

"The New York Times Wonders Aloud If Tulsi Gabbard's Anti-War, Anti-Establishment Message Makes Her a Stooge for Nazis and Russian Bots," by Christian Britschgi

"Stossel: Tulsi Gabbard Full Interview," by John Stossel and Maxim Lott

"Tulsi Gabbard Blames Both Sides for Waging 'These Wasteful Wars,'" by John Stossel

"Tulsi Gabbard Is Anti-War but Not Pro-Peace," by Shikha Dalmia

"No, Jill Stein Did Not Cost Hillary Clinton the White House," by Matt Welch

"Medicare for All Is All Democrats Want To Talk About," by Peter Suderman

"On Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren Is Fundamentally Dishonest," by Peter Suderman

"Kamala Harris Demands That Warren Promise To Ban Trump From Twitter," by Billy Binion

"The Big Tech Boogeyman Took Another Unfair Beating in the Democratic Debate," by Robby Soave

"Nick Cave Slams 'Woke' Culture as 'Self-Righteous' and Suppressive," by Nick Gillespie

"Review: Parasite," by Kurt Loder


NEXT: Florida Cops Went to Absurd Lengths to Entrap Man Who Showed No Interest in Underage Sex

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93 responses to “What's So Funny About Tulsi Gabbard?

  1. What’s So Funny About Tulsi Gabbard?
    The Reason Roundtable analyzes an establishment smear against a foreign policy heretic, and laments the bipartisan panic against online speech.

    Well, it sounds funnier in the original Russian.

  2. Hillary Clinton Asked To Leave Costco After Repeatedly Accusing Sample Lady Of Being A Russian Asset

    Poor Babylon Bee. No matter how hard they try, truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to sound plausible.

    1. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t know a Costco from a hole in the ground.

      She probably hasn’t entered a grocery store since she was a teen. If asked where here majordomo orders the victuals from, she’d probably guess Harrods or Selfridges.

    1. It’s disgusting, isn’t it? But that’s what happens when the President of the United States has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987.

      The silver lining is, the Democrats have something else to run on in 2020. Their nominee should promise to reverse Drumpf’s disastrous foreign policy decisions by strengthening American military presence abroad.

      #LibertariansForGlobalMilitaryPresence

      1. Nothing plays in Peoria like new and endless wars.

        1. I don’t live in Peoria but literally all my progressive friends are outraged by Drumpf’s cowardly “cut and run” strategy.

          1. Trump could cure cancer and those assholes would suddenly be pro cancer. Being outraged is all they have.

          2. But you have no answer as to how to stop 1000 illegal border crossers in Russian military uniform and armed.

            Goes with open borders .

            1. You’re arguing with a parody account.

            2. Because it would be impossible to close borders or do anything else about it if an army is threatening to invade.

    2. Syria has been a Russian client state for over 60 years. You can’t “win” something you already had.

      Your talking points are idiotic. Who would want Syria anyway? There is nothing there you fucking moron.

      1. They weren’t my talking points. Why don’t you read the article? If you were to read it you’d hear the perspective of Russian lawmakers, their media figures, and their military leaders. They think Trump is a joke who weakens American power and they are only too happy to help elect him to a second term.

        1. And what’s your view on obama and Kerry inviting Russia to be in control of Syria’s chemical weapons? What got larger cheers, Syria or the taking of Crimea. Or how about Hillarys deal to give Russia US tech to kick start skolkovo, Russias silicon valley, that now uses the tech in their weapons programs? Or delayed LNG shipments to eastern europe under Obama to make eastern europe dependent on russian exports. Need I go on dumbfuck?

          If you weren’t so fucking stupid this would be funny.

  3. There’s nothing funny about Tulsi Gabbard, or any other Russian asset. As Keith Olbermann explained, we are at war with Russia. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I take war very seriously. Especially when the enemy is controlling members of our government, including the President.

    #TrumpRussia
    #GabbardRussia
    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

    1. Keith who?

  4. No wonder you’re still #WithHer, she’s your age demographic, she must be, if you’re still paying attention to Keith Oldermann.

    1. Huh? I’ve said many times 2016 was the first Presidential election I was old enough to vote in.

      1. You’re part of a sting operation, aren’t you? Do you work for the Sarasota Police Department?

        1. Even if they are the lewds weren’t anything to write home about. Don’t bother.

  5. “What’s So Funny About Tulsi Gabbard?”

    She is still an Obama liberal on domestic policy.

    The funny part ?
    Non-interventionist on foreign policy but interventionist on domestic policy.

    @Reason would like to dismiss the latter on the basis they support the former

  6. There is only pain and hatred and misery.

  7. Her first name. Tulsi. It’s a funny name.

    1. It’s Russian for “comrade,” according to…

      …just give me a minute…

      …according to Wikipedia.

      1. Backwards, it’s “I slut.” Kinda makes you wonder.

        1. You’re on to something! Finish that thought:

          “I slut drab bag”

          She’s secretly wants to boff Hillary! Ew.

    2. “Gabbard” isn’t funny too?

  8. KISS Sucks!

    1. It can’t be said enough.

  9. People a tad more serious, like former Reasoner Kerry Howley, have grappled honestly with Gabbard’s unusual personality, life history, and issue set (including some off-putting enthusiasms for aggressive nationalists like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi).

    Everything I know about Tulsi I’ve seen from TV– from Tulsi herself. I know nothing of her… “unusual personality [or] life history.”

    She’s the only one that seems capable of having an conversation without spinning off into unhinged platitudes and virtue signaling. She also seems to be the only one who’s willing to reach across the aisle on numerous issue.

    But when I read the words “unusual personality [and] life history” the first person that comes to mind is Beto O’Rourke.

    1. yes. Her and Yang are the only to Democratic candidates who seem like normal people you could stand to be around. The rest are just broken freaks.

    2. Yeah, there’s definitely something “off” about Mr. O’Rourke.

    3. Her family and political history is pretty interesting. Her father is what passes for a conservative in Hawaii and was the one behind the anti-gay marriage campaign there when it first became an issue. At some point he switched parties to Democrat because being a Republican in the Hawaii legislature means no one pays any attention to you. I believe Tulsi started out a lot more traditional conservative on gay marriage and abortion and has “evolved”.

      1. Her dad, family, and friends were members of a cult. How did you miss that?

        1. Zeb is very selective about things.

          After all, Zeb Still equates Libertarianism being simpatico with Anarchism. Nevermind that Libertarianism is okay with tiny and limited government based on rule of law.

  10. Are you really going to let that asshat assert that “muh russians” “hacked” the DNC, without challenge!!!!?!!! WTF!?

    HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH!!!!!

    1. Which asshat made that assertion? and I guarantee you all of them believe that. They all marinate in a stew of beltway bullshit.

  11. Is there something a little off about Tulsi? Compared to who? Compared to the average lunatic who takes a look around at a fucked-up world and thinks to themselves, “Oh, yeah, give me a few years and I’ll have this shit fixed right up”? Do you realize how damn insane every single one of them is who has worked this damn hard and sacrificed so damn much to get where they’re at without yet figuring out nobody gives a shit and nothing they do really matters? What the hell has Tulsi managed to accomplish as a Congressman that makes her think she can do more and better as President? And yet here she is, quite confident she’s the perfect answer to a question nobody fucking asked.

    1. Well, she’s got you calling her Tulsi, just like all the cool kids do.

      Then there’s Bernie and Beto and Mayor Pete. Cute names for people with vicious ideologies.

      1. The cool kids call her Mommy.

    2. Compared to the other lunatics she’s a much better option.

      1. Yeah, that’s about it. She’s not fucking nuts. She’s still a left of center Democrat. Some day, presumably, there will be a Democrat president again. I certainly hope whoever that is is more in the mold of Gabbard and not like the nut parade we are otherwise seeing this time around.

        1. Shes a socialist. Shes fucking nuts. She is literally supporting a political system that enslaves people. Democrats have been doing that for over 200 years.

          You heard it here. Zeb the supposed anarchist is okee dokey with a socialist.

          It was fun watching certain reason folks spew garbage while I travelled outside the USA.

        2. “Left of center Donkey”

          I remember when that meant favoring a social safety net. Now it means a social safety straight jacket, show trials (see impeachment inquiry, Mueller, Kavanaugh, etc) and gulag.

  12. Do you realize how damn insane every single one of them is who has worked this damn hard and sacrificed so damn much to get where they’re at without yet figuring out nobody gives a shit and nothing they do really matters?

    Considering that you could ask the same question concerning every writer at reason, I am going to say no they don’t realize that.

  13. Gabbard’s more dangerous than Sanders, et al. because she’s a moderate. But she flatters to deceive. Whereas Sanders wears his authoritarian credentials proudly, the likes of Gabbard affects to be the voice of reason when in fact she’s the archetype Third Way politician: no firm principles other than pragmatism, and that pragmatism defaulting to a Big State mindset.

    You can argue with a Sanders. A Gabbard just slips like slime through your fingers.

    1. You seem to have her confused with Harris.

    2. I don’t know. She seems to at least understand that what a president, or government in general can do is constrained by both the Constitution and reality. Not as constrained as we would like it to be, but at least she sees some limits to what can or should be done with government force.

      1. she sees some limits to what can or should be done with government force.

        Only overseas. Here it is : “To the camps!”

  14. Still getting the impression that Gillespie is annoyed by Suderman.

    1. Makes sense since suderman is annoyed by Gillespie and everyone is annoyed by Gillespie and suderman.

  15. Reasonagrees with you. Tulsi is no “libertarian-democrat” like Jared Polis, Bill Richardson, Brian Schweitzer, or Howard Dean.
    https://reason.com/2009/03/02/the-liberaltarian-jackalope/

  16. Wait, did Suderman just say that Podesta’s email was hacked by Russian Intelligence? Has that been definitely proven? Or is Fancy Bear merely ‘linked’ to Russian Intelligence?

    1. It’s the usual “Well, the DNC said so…and that’s good enough for us” nonsense

  17. Thank you Nick for calling out the Media in the awful way in which they’ve covered and structured the debates and the general election coverage.

  18. Wow, I just read Howley’s article, and though I’ll still say that she’s probably the tallest midget in the Dem primary, that’s only because I really want to insult the Dem candidates.

    1. Gabbard being the midget, not Howley.

  19. Here’s something that should seem strange even for Reason commenters who thinks all religions are equally stupid and evil.

    Politically speaking, attacking a really tiny cult is easier than taking on a bigger religious group. And Gabbard’s tiny cult, with which she still seems much involved, is open to a lot of criticism.

    So my point is that you’d think the establishmentarians who hate her would focus on the “creepy cult which scarcely any voters belong to” angle. Voters are turned off by small, creepy cults to which they themselves don’t belong (or know anyone who belongs).

    But in perhaps a baffling moment of honesty, the establishmentarians choose to ignore the cult angle and hammer on what *really* interests them – that despite her cult membership, Gabbard still *isn’t crazy enough* to support open-ended wars we can’t afford.

    1. “So my point is that you’d think the establishmentarians who hate her would focus on the “creepy cult which scarcely any voters belong to” angle.”

      These establishmentarians are smarter than you give them credit for. They’re focused on Russia, which has long been a focus for the elite, Russia being the only power that could conceivably threaten US domination of Europe. Russian intelligence will probably use Gabbard to further their aims. They’re using democracy as a weapon against America. I can’t say how effective their game is but it’s on. Gabbard is no more an Russian asset than black lives matter, texas independence, the alt-right crowd, or any of the other fault lines in the American democracy that America’s enemies might find worth exploiting.

      1. Last year, two Russian Facebook pages organized dueling rallies in front of the Islamic Da’wah Center of Houston, according to information released by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican.

        Heart of Texas, a Russian-controlled Facebook group that promoted Texas secession, leaned into an image of the state as a land of guns and barbecue and amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. One of their ads on Facebook announced a noon rally on May 21, 2016 to “Stop Islamification of Texas.”

        A separate Russian-sponsored group, United Muslims of America, advertised a “Save Islamic Knowledge” rally for the same place and time.

        1. Suppose there’s a foreign country where the dominant party wants war with America and some dissenters organize to oppose such a war. Don’t you think the U. S. would want to help those dissenters even more blatantly than Russia helps *our* dissenters? And of course the dissenters would be dismissed as American “assets.”

          1. Except the Russians don’t give a damn about American dissenters, who come and go with the seasons. The Russian game is a long one and their aim is to weaken American prospects in areas of conflict. Sowing social discord rather than supporting any dissident. America is much the same, support for a group like the Kurds can disappear overnight but presumably long term goals rarely change.

            The USSR has funded peace groups in the past though I doubt the Red role amounted to much in the way of influencing them, as Americans had perfectly good reason to oppose the Vietnam war, or cold war or whatever without the bolsheviks adding their two cents.

            This Facebook stuff has the classic Russian intelligence fingerprints all over it, (low budget, relying on Western stooges) though there’s also the possibility of it being just a smoke screen to hide a deeper, more dastardly CIA operation. You can never be certain how many layers the onion has.

            1. Or for that matter, Gabbard could have convincted Putin to do a deep-fake to convince conspiracy theorists that only the CIA could be responsible for the supposed Russian bots…

            2. The USSR has funded peace groups in the past though I doubt the Red role amounted to much in the way of influencing them,

              Lee Harvey Oswald

              1. Lee Oswald was not funded by the USSR.

                1. Influenced, during an infamous visit, and beyond.

  20. “What’s So Funny About Tulsi Gabbard?”

    For the benefit of any millenials out there, they just called Tulsi Gabbard, “Peace, Love, and Understanding”.

    1. Beats belonging to the GOP Cult that wants to spend 800 billion on the DoD rathole.

    2. Accidents Will Happen

  21. You guys forgot to mention that Tulsi Gabbard’s Democratic rivals have all sides with her. This isn’t 2016 where the Clinton crew was in charge.

  22. If she had any chance of winning Team GOP here would be telling us that Hawaii really isn’t a state and that anyone having a Hindu wedding is suspect. As it is, I take their support as trolling.

    1. You really suck at this.

      1. At what, Team GOP?

    2. Tulsi Gabbard wouldn’t be so bad, the problem with voting for any Democrat is that there’s no telling if a semi-reasonable Democrat could bring herself to veto the insane legislation the Democrats pitch.

      As President of the United States, when the Democrats are openly advocating the authoritarian socialism of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, it’s not enough to not be on the authoritarian socialist bandwagon. We need someone we can depend on to veto all of their stupid shit.

      The other problem Gabbard has, vis a vis Trump, is that he’s proven in practice to be as anti-foreign adventure as anyone could reasonably expect Gabbard to be. By being anti-war, Trump has done to Gabbard what he’s done to the rest of the Democrat field by being anti-trade with China. They can hardly pretend to be more anti-trade with China than Trump has been, and Gabbard can’t make much of a case that she’d do a better job of pulling out of Syria than Trump either.

      If Gabbard could find some way to assure me that she’s going to crush the Green New Deal and Medicare for All–the hopes and dreams of Democrat primary voters–then maybe I’d start taking her seriously. The fact is that if she were president, she’d be a lightweight defense against the authoritarian socialism of the rest of the Democratic party, so fuck the Democrats and fuck Tulsi Gabbard, too.

      1. “By being anti-war, Trump has done”

        Trump anti-war? Yemenis might disagree. Gabbard has consistently denounced US participation in that war. Trump on the other hand is so anti-war that the fucker vetoes a measure to end US participation there. Not to mention increasing troops in various foreign meatgrinders since gaining office.

      2. Yeah, trumps anti war rhetoric is awesome. But I’m still waiting to lesson the wars and have fewer troops abroad. When does that happen?

        I liked obama’s rhetoric too. I guess trump is really the new Obama of War.

      3. That she is so low in the polls kinda belies the whole “Russia helped Trump win the election”, doesn’t it?

    3. “If she had any chance of winning”

      I think the Democrats seem keen on running another woman candidate, so if Gabbard can raise a billion dollars over the next 12 months or so, she will definitely be in the running.

  23. Here’s something that should seem strange even for Reason commenters who thinks all religions are equally stupid and evil. commenters who thinks all religions are equally stupid and evil.

  24. >>something kind of … off

    misspelled “yum”