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Tulsi Gabbard Delivers Embarrassing MLK Tribute Days After Attacking Attempts to Pass Voting Rights Legislation
“The darkness of hate leaves us stumbling, lost, turning father against daughter, sister against brother”
Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democratic congresswoman in the midst of a right-wing rebrand, posted a cringeworthy Martin Luther King, Jr. video on Monday, calling for an end to division with a halting, spoken-word-style delivery.
“The darkness of hate leaves us stumbling, lost, turning father against daughter, sister against brother,” Gabbard says in the 2:25 video. “And with every step we take, suffocating, all consuming, destroying all in its wake.”
The video is full of platitudes about coming together to solve the problems of the country, the kind of arguments regularly deployed by people disinterested in change and invested in keeping power structures in place.
Fringe figure, devoted base
Gabbard regularly uses self-righteous calls for unity to her advantage. On Friday, she claimed that President Joe Biden’s accurate, though far too late, call for action on voting rights, in which he rightly compared opponents to his legislation to the segregationists who fought King and the Civil Rights Movement, was a divisive attack.
It’s part of a pattern from the former lawmaker. She uses her lefty cred to appeal to the right as someone bucking the crowd—even as she continually takes on right wing positions and tilts ever more to becoming a run-of-the-mill American conservative.
As I wrote at The New Statesman last week, Gabbard’s ongoing shift to the right appears calculated in the interest of her continuing political ambitions:
While it’s tempting to laugh her off as a fringe figure, Gabbard has a devoted base. Combined with her growing mainstream right-wing legitimacy, that could make her a dark-horse contender for the 2024 GOP nomination — someone who, like Donald Trump, can sell Americans on bogus “anti-establishment” positions on war and civil rights while acting to promote the interests of the far right. As a veteran, former lawmaker, and frequent Fox guest, Gabbard is building a resume for future success, and not in the Democratic Party.
Disillusioned progressives, desperate for a narrative that explains why they’ve lost electoral ground while winning the messaging war, are looking for someone to blame. For Gabbard, the enemy is clear: liberals and social democrats, whose political project the Gabbardites portray as being disconnected from the interests of the working class.
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