Chad Blair: Liz Cheney, Tulsi Gabbard And The Future Of America - Honolulu Civil Beat

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About the Author

Chad Blair

Chad Blair is the politics and opinion editor for Civil Beat. You can reach him by email at cblair@civilbeat.org or follow him on Twitter at @chadblairCB.

Six years ago I tagged along with Tulsi Gabbard as she campaigned for Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist from Vermont running for president, in Hawaii.

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Gabbard, then a Democrat from the 2nd Congressional District, accompanied Sanders’ wife, Jane, to greet veterans at Tommy Kakesako Hall on Nimitz Highway and then later to the Church of the Crossroads on University Avenue. Already on record as a harsh critic of Hillary Clinton, the party’s eventual nominee in 2016, Gabbard herself would seek the Dem nomination just four years later.

How remarkable, then, to now see Gabbard — who represented one of the bluest states in the nation for eight years in Washington — aggressively campaigning on behalf of a number of high-profile Republicans this year, including several who express strong doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election that booted Donald Trump from the White House in favor of Joe Biden.

Fact check: Biden won by more than 7 million votes. There was and is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. But more than half of all GOP candidates this year are election deniers. Trump himself is expected to announce his 2024 reelection bid later this month.

Gabbard has campaigned for Arizona’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, “a fervent election denier Trump loyalist;” GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc of New Hampshire, where Gabbard compared Biden to Adolf Hitler; and Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who believes that if evolution is real, “Why are there still apes?”

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker join ‘The Ingraham Angle’ to talk about her endorsement.
Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, right, and Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker join “The Ingraham Angle” to talk about her endorsement. Screenshot/2022

The National Review, meanwhile, reports that — while Gabbard supports abortion — she is urging voters to oppose Michigan’s Prop 3, which would add “an unlimited right to abortion” to the Michigan state constitution.

“It includes legal loopholes that allow late-term and partial-birth abortions, which essentially is really infanticide,” she said. “It also overturns a law that requires parents to know if their child is pursuing an abortion or gender-hormone therapies.”

And just last week, in a YouTube promotion for “The Tulsi Gabbard Show,” the former congresswoman proclaimed the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed” and is a “God-given right.”

Should the U.S. House fall to Republicans this week, as seems likely — and perhaps the U.S. Senate as well — the next two years will almost certainly be a very bumpy ride. It could include GOP-led investigations into the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, into Hunter Biden and his business dealings, and into the Jan. 6 commission.

If so, credit Gabbard — who left the Democratic Party just last month — for bringing the GOP to power. It is obvious to many that she is positioning herself for the vice presidency in 2024, if not the presidency again.

‘Elitist Cabal’

Gabbard is once again garnering national attention, but for very different reasons than in years past.

“Republicans once slammed Tulsi Gabbard as a socialist seeking to appease dictators like Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin,” Politico wrote Friday. “These days, much of the GOP is embracing her.”

To some, Gabbard is a principled politician not afraid to speak out, especially against the Democratic Party — “an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness,” whatever that means. To others, she is a base opportunist, an apostate and a hypocrite who once promised to take a “message of aloha” to the world.

Regardless, Gabbard is today poised to surf a red tide. That’s in contrast to Liz Cheney, who badly lost her reelection bid to the U.S. House earlier this year in Wyoming, one of the reddest states in the nation. She previously was dumped from the GOP leadership in the House, and she is Enemy No. 1 at Mar-a-Lago.

And yet Cheney has shown true courage and conviction, not a chameleon-like changing of colors, even while understanding the risks of doing so. She vigorously called out Trump’s big lie about the “stolen” 2020 election, she voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6 insurrection and she helped lead the House investigation into what happened that awful day.

tweet from Gabbard in Nov 2022 on woke docs

Compare that to Gabbard, who famously and shamelessly voted “present” during Trump’s first impeachment after pressuring Ukraine to do him “a favor.” But Trump noticed and praised Gabbard. Mission accomplished.

Like Gabbard, Cheney has been out on the campaign trail, but she is advocating for Democrats. Her endorsements include Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Democrat of Virginia, who Cheney admires because GOP opponent Yesli Vega “is promoting conspiracy theories, denying election outcomes she disagrees with, and defending the indefensible,” said Cheney.

Vega has also expressed doubt about pregnancy after rape.

Cheney went to central Michigan on Tuesday to promote one of the most vulnerable Democrats, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, whose GOP opponent, state Sen. Tom Barrett, has said the legitimacy of the 2020 election remains “an unknowable thing,” The Hill reported.

Rep. Liz Cheney speaking as part of the Jan. 6 investigation.
Rep. Liz Cheney speaking as part of the Jan. 6 investigation. Screenshot/2022

As with Gabbard, the national press has noticed Cheney’s moves as well.

“For the first time in her political career — in her life, she said — Ms. Cheney was campaigning for a Democrat,” The New York Times reported Sunday.

The reason? Well, to save democracy.

Cheney told PBS, “We have to have elected officials who are responsible, who are going to do the right thing, with whom you might disagree but who you know have the best interest of the nation at heart and in mind.”

If only more American politicians shared such noble ideals. If only fewer were less obsessed with naked ambition.


Read this next:

Vicky Cayetano: This Election Is About What We Have To Lose


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About the Author

Chad Blair

Chad Blair is the politics and opinion editor for Civil Beat. You can reach him by email at cblair@civilbeat.org or follow him on Twitter at @chadblairCB.


Latest Comments (0)

Hoping that we're reaching a point where the fringes, both right AND left, get a lot less airplay. This midterm election has shown that America is most comfortable in the middle, and a balance between Dems and the GOP. I think the average American (the middle 60%) is done with the excesses of the woke left, and unproductive whack jobs on the extreme right (though MTG and possibly Lauren Boebert will be reelected). I see Gabbard as an opportunistic weathervane who will say anything that will further her career. Don't be surprised if we see a bipartisan house that pushes the right and left nuts to the fringes, so we can actually see some work get done, instead of two years of bickering.

SleepyandDopey · 1 week ago

Speaking of Tulsi - "the former congresswoman from Hawaii is a rising star - but on the right". Heaven forbid that anyone support the views of those of us on the right. As far as Chaney goes - no comment.

Really · 1 week ago

I find it strange that the Democrats can and did deny elections, the last being Hillary Clinton, but are all over Republicans that do the same. I guess "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" only applies one way. Go figure!Also, Tulsi Gabbard has every right to change her views and her party. I think maybe she was able to actually see what is happening to the Democrat party and has finally made the decision that they really are corrupt. I say, good for her.

misfit · 2 weeks ago

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