Glenn Greenwald and Tucker Carlson Go on the Attack Against Tulsi Gabbard’s Critics: ‘Democrats Hate Her’


“I’m not a supporter of Congresswoman Gabbard’s candidacy,” Glenn Greenwald declared at the start of his Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson on whether the Hawaii congresswoman and 2020 candidate is being “unfairly attacked.”

“There are some really legitimate and serious concerns that I have that have been raised by the real left, not the Democratic Party liberals,” Greenwald said of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). He listed them: “her support for the war on terror, her affinity for Hindu nationalism in India, her affection for some really terrible dictators.”

Those do seem bad! Praising the “courage” of dictators like Sisi certainly raises a few red flags. But while those are apparently serious concerns for Greenwald, he continued that they are not the reasons why Gabbard is being unfairly smeared by the Democratic apparatus.

“What’s really going on,” Greenwald told the Fox News audience, is that “Democrats hate her” for two other reasons. (1) She supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and (2) “She’s been questioning a lot of Washington orthodoxy,” including the impulse for regime change.

“She deviates from a lot of the Washington consensus, she’s hard to put into a liberal or a conservative, a right wing or a left wing box, and that’s what Washington really hates the most are people who are kind of independent minded and critical thinkers,” he explained.

Greenwald’s contention that Washington hates Gabbard because she’s a critical thinker is interesting, but that’s not usually what her detractors point to when they criticize her.

Mostly, they mention other more substantive issues: the problems Greenwald noted at the start of the segment, for one. But also her views on same sex marriage, which Tucker Carlson very charitably compared to the former views of Barack Obama.

It’s worth noting that Gabbard did not just oppose same sex marriage. While serving as a state legislator in the early 2000s, Gabbard boasted of her work for her father’s anti-gay organization — one that promoted conversion therapy for homosexuals — and railed against “homosexual extremists” trying to push marriage equality. She now says she regrets those views.

Greenwald is also upset with “one particular smear” on Gabbard: allegations she’s a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

This is inaccurate, Greenwald said, pointing out that Gabbard has called Assad a “brutal dictator.” He told Carlson the reason she’s being smeared in this way is because she opposes the United States arming rebels in Syria and attempting to overthrow the Assad regime.

But is that really the case? It strikes as outlandish that Gabbard has earned such disdain from Democrats simply because she opposes a war. Again, Greenwald is pushing a caricature of Gabbard’s critics.

He downplays her highly controversial trip to Syria, where she took an impromptu meeting with Assad, a mass murderer. He doesn’t mention that when she returned home to the United States, she brought with her pro-regime talking points. He omits that her meeting with Assad has earned her fans from the far right, like renowned racists David Duke and Richard Spencer (she has disavowed their support).

What’s more, attempts to cast Gabbard as a dove are dishonest. She may oppose regime change, but certainly not intervention. She self-identifies as a “hawk” in the war on terror, and once complained that the U.S. wasn’t bombing Syria enough — while criticizing those who questioned Russia’s devastating bombing campaign of the flattened country.

I suspect those reasons are more important to critics of Gabbard 2020 than her “critical thinking.”

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin