For a sense of how divorced the Democrats are from mainstream America, the collapse of Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign is instructive. Gabbard is a liberal who supports banning so-called assault weapons, raising the minimum wage to $15, free college tuition, etc. But her positions on abortion and health care are relatively moderate. Moreover, she is circumspect about impeachment, the only responsible position for a sitting congresswoman, and supports withdrawing American troops from Syria. Thus, her poll numbers are tanking. This is good news for Republicans. If a liberal like Tulsi Gabbard is too moderate for today’s Democrats, they have no chance of beating Trump in 2020.
By rejecting relatively rational liberals like Tulsi Gabbard, Democratic primary voters will, for all intents and purposes, limit their choices to three deeply flawed candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Even if it were possible to ignore the trainloads of baggage each of these three would bring to the general election — and the Trump campaign won’t allow the electorate to forget those liabilities — their policy proposals are too extreme. All three leading Democrats, for example, support federal funding of abortion. A recent McLaughlin & Associates poll of 1,000 likely general election voters nationwide found the following:
55% of voters oppose using federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under Medicaid (40% strongly oppose). This includes opposition among 35% of Democratic voters and 57% of Independent voters. 57% of voters oppose taxpayer funding of experiments that use organs and other body parts from aborted babies (41% strongly oppose). This includes 61% opposition among women voters.
Moreover, due to the increasingly pungent odor of corruption that follows in Joe Biden’s wake pursuant to the use of his position in the Obama administration to bully Ukraine into firing a prosecutor looking into the business activities of his son, the probable Democratic nominee will be Elizabeth Warren. And Warren is not merely for federal funding of abortions. During a June Democratic debate she was asked if she would put any limits at all on abortion. She was unable to articulate a single situation in which she would draw the line. Presumably, this means she supports late-term abortions. Bernie Sanders has also admitted that he agrees. This position is so extreme it isn’t even supported by pro-choice Americans:
A survey conducted by You.gov with the pro-life group Americans United for Life found that 66 percent of U.S. adults who identify as pro-choice opposed third-trimester abortions, and 68 percent oppose abortions the day before a baby is born.… As expected, the opposition was stronger among all adults surveyed: 79 percent rejected late-term abortion, and 80 percent opposed day-before-birth abortion.
Tulsi Gabbard, as it happens, agrees with the majority of Americans on this issue. During last Tuesday’s debate she said, “I do, however, think that there should be some restrictions in place. I support codifying Roe v. Wade while making sure that, during the third trimester, abortion is not an option unless the life or severe health consequences of a woman are at risk.” She is also more circumspect on impeachment and its consequences for the nation than are most of her fellow Democratic presidential candidates. While she reluctantly supports the so-called impeachment inquiry decreed by Nancy Pelosi without holding a vote of the full House, she is concerned about its potential for further polarizing our politics:
If impeachment is driven by hyperpartisan interests, it will only further divide an already terribly divided country. Unfortunately, this is what we’ve already seen play out as calls for impeachment really began shortly after Trump won his election…. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate does not vote to remove Donald Trump, he walks out and he feels exonerated, further deepening the divides in this country that we cannot afford.
It goes without saying, of course, that Biden, Warren, and Sanders are all in for impeachment. It is also abundantly clear that they couldn’t care less about the damage it does to the nation or what charges Adam Schiff’s secretive “investigation” manufactures. They have each pronounced Trump guilty — without evidence — of countless impeachable offenses. Moreover, as Gabbard points out, they began doing so immediately after his 2016 victory. They know Trump will never be convicted in the Senate, but they hope he will be weakened by the ordeal. But as Gabbard said last Tuesday, it is more likely that he will feel vindicated and politically stronger when this latest attempt to oust him fails.
Another area in which Gabbard has been more “statesmanlike” than Biden, Sanders, or Warren is her refusal to execute a flip-flop on the withdrawal of troops from Syria. Warren scolded the president last January in a Foreign Affairs essay for failing to keep his promise to bring U.S. troops home. During last Tuesday’s debate, she criticized him for doing just that: “In Syria, he has created a bigger-than-ever humanitarian crisis. He has helped ISIS get another foothold, a new lease on life.” Biden also maundered through a similar Trump denunciation for the Syria withdrawal, and Sanders accused Trump of wrecking “our ability to do foreign policy.” This is what Congresswoman Gabbard had to say:
Well, first of all, we’ve got to understand the reality of the situation there, which is that the slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war that we’ve been waging in Syria…. [M]any of the politicians in our country from both parties … have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war.
For accurately assigning responsibility for the Syria mess to the Obama administration while holding the media equally culpable, Gabbard has now been called a “Russian asset” by the New York Times and labeled a “puppet for the Russian government” by CNN. Soon the media, her fellow candidates, and their rank-and-file dupes will relegate her to the “also-rans.” Like a dead canary in the proverbial coal mine, the Gabbard campaign is a clear indication that the Democratic Party is headed for another disaster.