Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to do anything newsworthy for Republicans to obsess over her. They haven’t stopped talking about her on a daily basis since 2016. Donald Trump’s not over her and continues to tweet and talk about her at his hate rallies. Last week, I saw at least three cartoons by Republican political cartoonists, and that was before news about the investigation into her server came out. But after her comments on a podcast hosted by former Obama adviser David Plouffe, even Democrats are going a bit bonkers.
On the podcast, Clinton said Russians may be using a current Democratic presidential candidate to swing the 2020 election to Donald Trump, much like they used Jill Stein in 2016. She didn’t name the candidate she referred to as a female, but everyone knows she’s talking about Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard.
Clinton said, “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.” Gabbard responded by calling Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.” In the process, she failed to deny it.
While a lot of Democrats are defending Tulsi, calling Clinton’s attacks unfair on a veteran and sexist, many believe Clinton’s comments are important and provide a warning for the nation. I do too.
The New York Times published an article last week titled, What, Exactly, is Tulsi Gabbard up to? In the article, they point out how she’s co-opted the Republican conspiracy theory that the Democratic Party is “rigging” the primary with help from the media, and how she’s become a star of alt-right internet stars, white nationalists, and Russian bots.
Gabbard has received praise from Steve Bannon, white nationalist Richard Spencer, Trump-loving televangelist Franklin Graham, Libertarian Ron Paul, and far-right conspiracy theoriest Mike Cervonich.
She’s become popular on 4chan where right-wing trolls and anti-semites call her “mommy,” and The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that endorsed Donald Trump, takes credit for her qualifying for the first two Democratic debates. The Kremlin-backed Russian news outlet RT can’t stop talking about her. Additionally, there appears to be a Russian-bot campaign promoting her on Twitter.
While she hasn’t actually rejected any of that support, she finally snagged one endorsement that she felt she did have to denounce. That was the endorsement of former Grand Wizard David Duke. Gabbard said, “I have strongly denounced David Duke’s hateful views and his so-called ‘support’ multiple times in the past, and reject his support,” and tweeted, “U didn’t know I’m Polynesian/Cauc? Dad couldn’t use ‘whites only’ water fountain. No thanks. Ur white nationalism is pure evil.” Nevertheless, Duke changed his Twitter page banner to a picture of Gabbard with text reading, “Tulsi Gabbard for President. Finally a candidate who will actually put America First rather than Israel First!” Whether she likes it or not, Tulsi has been coopted like the Confederate flag.
Tulsi’s first media appearance in attacking Clinton didn’t help kill the impression that she’s fishing for far-right, conspiracy-loving, right-wing support, as it was Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.
Donald Trump also attacked Clinton, but mostly for her claims that Jill Stein is a Russian asset. Trump, the Russian asset, defended Stein from being a Russian asset and encouraged a third-party candidacy.
Only an idiot can’t see what David Duke, Donald Trump, Tucker, 4-chan, RT, The Daily Stormer, and Russian bots are doing. While Gabbard has rejected a third-party candidacy, if she were to run, it would probably give Donald Trump four more years.
Personally, I think when Nazis start supporting you, you should go home.
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