U.S. REP. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has again catapulted herself into the national spotlight by joining the mobilization of veterans to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with the water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
This act of solidarity seems to go with other pieces of evidence that mark her as a progressive:
- her resignation as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee over the rigging of the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton;
- her endorsement of Bernie Sanders' left-wing primary campaign;
- her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership economic agreement.
Yet many liberals were befuddled by Gabbard's decision, just before going to Standing Rock, to interview with Donald Trump, apparently in the hopes of securing an appointment to his administration.
CNN reported last month that the bigoted billionaire president-elect is considering her for positions in "the Defense Department, State Department and the United Nations."
...Who is the real Tulsi Gabbard?
Is she a progressive, an opportunist--or a wolf in sheep's clothing?
...But Gabbard's political project is more disturbing than the usual opportunist behavior of a cynical and calculating politician.
It flows from her commitment to Hindu fundamentalism.
Gabbard is a devotee of the Hindu sect Gaudiya Vaishnavism and apparently a follower of a splinter group from the Hare Krishnas.
Like anyone else, Gabbard's religious affiliations, in and of themselves, should not be the subject of criticism.
But in her case, they are connected to reactionary political positions.
- Thus, Gabbard has expressed deeply homophobic sentiments in common with the religious doctrine she embraces.
Gabbard only recently disavowed her previous anti-LGBT bigotry when she decided to run for Congress in one of Hawaii's most liberal districts.
- But while Gabbard may have ditched homophobia on the road to Washington, she has doubled down on Islamophobia.
...Gabbard ought to be regarded on the left as a bigoted wolf in sheep's clothing.