Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
© AP/Scott Applewhite
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi)
With Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) entering the 2020 presidential fray, establishment figures on both Right and Left are scrambling to smear the anti-war congresswoman with impeccable identity-politics bona fides.

Ever since her 2017 visit to Syria, Gabbard has been condemned for daring to seek firsthand accounts rather than blindly trusting the MSM narrative, so on Friday the pundits were again off to the races, with fresh accusations of Assad-sympathizing.




"Assad apologist" seems to be the Tulsi equivalent of "Putin puppet," judging from the early tweets, though she was accused of being one of those too.



Gabbard certainly poses a thorny problem for the neocon-neoliberal axis, as she checks all the identity politics boxes - the first Hindu member of Congress, a woman, a veteran - and she has undeniable populist appeal, given her anti-establishment record. While Gabbard is a Democrat, she was emphatically not a Clinton supporter, resigning as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee in February 2016 to endorse Bernie Sanders in the primary.

But Republicans, too, felt the need to speak up against her. "Liberals think she's too conservative, conservatives think she's too liberal, and just about everyone thinks her coziness with Bashar al-Assad is disturbing," Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens said, also mentioning the congresswoman's "lack of experience."


The RNC released a "cheat sheet" of talking points following the news of Gabbard's pending announcement, though some took that as a sign of weakness.


The Israel-first crew made its opinion known, though no one really asked them.


Others didn't even bother with "issues" or "facts," preferring guilt by association and personal insults.