Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Surprise Endorsement Gives Sanders a Chance to Change the Whole Primary Game
Just as the media, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s landslide win in South Carolina’s Democratic primary Saturday, are predictably writing the obituary for Bernie Sanders’ upstart and uphill campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has handed him an opportunity to jolt the American people awake.
Announcing on “Meet the Press” that Americans need a real choice of commander-in-chief -- one “who has foresight, who exercises good judgment,” she announced today her resignation as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee -- an organization that has been actively working to promote Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In a clear dig at Clinton, a neoliberal who has been at the forefront not just in backing President George W. Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, but in pushing for both the illegal and disastrous overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and the current intervention to oust Syrian President Basher Al-Assad, Gabbard said, "There is a clear contrast between our two candidates with regard to my strong belief that we must end the interventionist, regime change policies that have cost us so much." She added, “This is not just another 'issue.' This is the issue, and it’s deeply personal to me. This is why I’ve decided to resign as Vice Chair of the DNC so that I can support Bernie Sanders in his efforts to earn the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential race."
Gabbard, while only a second-term member of the House, is no lightweight when it comes to US foreign and military policy. A major in the Hawaii National Guard who volunteered for two tours of duty in Iraq, she is one of only two female members of Congress to have served in a war zone. (While I couldn’t find a stat for how many male members of Congress have served in a war zone, given that only 25 were even in uniform in the period since 2001, and given that few of those 25 were in active war zones, and finally given that older vets like John McCain are few and far between, it’s a fair bet that there are not many.) She had the courage to introduce a bill in a Congress filled with war-besotted “chicken-hawks” to require the US to end its illegal intervention aimed at “regime change” in Syria.