Tulsi Gabbard’s screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr


Jonathan Tasini, former Sanders surrogate, slammed Gabbard for normalizing Trump’s bigotry and racism.

Neoconservative Bill Kristol at first had a hopeful reading of the meeting: “Tulsi Gabbard for VA?”

Then when reports came out he reversed course and had a similar take to the Times. Not very happy.

He added, “Because listening to the drumbeats of peace has worked out so well in Syria.”

Robert Parry, the former AP reporter and realist, had a hopeful reading of the meeting, at Consortium News.

By inviting in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat hostile to “regime change” wars, President-elect Trump may be signaling a major break with Republican neocon orthodoxy and a big shake-up of the U.S. foreign policy establishment

Parry revisited Gabbard’s antiwar rise:

She starred in one of the strongest political ads of the campaign, a message to Hawaiians, called “The Cost of War.”

“Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War,” Gabbard says. “He understands the cost of war, that that cost is continued when our veterans come home. Bernie Sanders will defend our country and take the trillions of dollars that are spent on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars and invest it here at home.”

In the ad, Gabbard threw down the gauntlet to the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks, by accusing them of wasting trillions of dollars “on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars.” Her comments mesh closely with Trump’s own perspective…

Parry said that Hillary Clinton might well have appointed Victoria Nuland as Secretary of State, Nuland whose husband Robert Kagan was one of the neoconservatives who flocked to Clinton. And he reads even Trump’s Mike Flynn national security adviser nod as a hopeful departure from a policy of drone attacks.

Taking on this Saudi-Israel nexus has long been regarded as political suicide, given Israel’s extraordinary lobbying power and Saudi Arabia’s exceptional wealth. But Trump may be assembling a team that is “crazy” enough to take on that mission.

So, while the fight over the future of U.S. foreign policy is far from over – the neocons will surely flex their muscles at the major think tanks, on the op-ed pages and inside the halls of Congress – the Trump transition is showing some creativity in assembling a national security team that may go in a very different direction.

Here is more on Gabbard’s track record, from NBC:

Gabbard abruptly resigned her spot as vice-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee in February to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, accusing party leaders of rigging the presidential primary process for its eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton…

Tim Vandeveer, a Sanders supporter elected this year as chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, defended Gabbard’s decision [to meet with Trump].

“Given the reality that we’re facing now with President-elect Trump, and an administration that we’ve already seen is going to lean heavily on neoconservatives who are going to rattle the sabers of war, I think it’s a good idea for Democrats to engage and stand up for our values

She’s also a surfer, who is proud of her Polynesian heritage. From her twitter feed:

Tulsi Gabbard, from her twitter feed
Tulsi Gabbard, from her twitter feed


CNN reported that Gabbard was under consideration for Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. The NYT said she was under consideration for Ambassador to the U.N.

Gabbard dismissed the speculation:

I did not meet with President-elect Trump seeking a job, nor did he offer me one.


Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Gabbard talks sense on Syria, Trump has also spoken of helping Russia get rid of the Wahhabi and other Jihadi head choppers. Just common sense really. However if the Neocons get their way in Syria [regime change] then not only would the UN Charter 2[4] have been thrown out, it would mean confronting not only Syria but Russia, Iran and possibly China in a nuclear standoff. Of course both Israel and Saudi Arabia also want… Read more »

I would find it very good if there were Democrats in the Congress, especially the Senate, who would work positively with Trump on issues like peace and dressing down Wall Street so that Trump won’t be hostage to neocons like MCain & Graham in the Congress, but got majorities to govern against the neocons. That is not to say that I think Trump shouldn’t be criticised for all his bigotry and so on, but if… Read more »

“Sparks anger” among the neocons and neolibs. Regular folk are really tired of the perpetual war bulloney.

It comes hard for me to “want” Assad to prevail, after how cruelly he put down the early attempts at rebellion. But we know what happened to Yugoslavia after the boss Tito disappeared and to Iraq after the USA deposed Saddam Hussein. seems sometimes a dictator may be better for the people than a war to replace him with (?) what, a USA-puppet? Neoliberalism? Gag. And so I opposed Clinton. Othersd elected Trump. Good for… Read more »

“Good for Gabbard.
Ditto, she gives me hope.

“Speaking, as we all should do, truth to power. I wonder why Trump listened.”
He may actually agree with her a la his campaign stance, so it’s good she went there so he didn’t have to deflect the malignant interventionist neocons & neoliberals, or at least questioned them by himself.