Tulsi is one tough politican

Ever since Patsy Mink left office in 1976 and Daniel Inouye seemed to waiver from the principles that enamored me during the Watergate and Iran-Contra hearings, I’ve become increasingly disappointed with our Senate and Congressional representatives here in Hawaii.

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Ever since Patsy Mink left office in 1976 and Daniel Inouye seemed to waiver from the principles that enamored me during the Watergate and Iran-Contra hearings, I’ve become increasingly disappointed with our Senate and Congressional representatives here in Hawaii.

Our reps have been better than most of their mainland counterparts but I haven’t had anyone to get excited about for years.

Then comes Tulsi Gabbard and I begin to think we might once again have a champion on the side of working people, not the corporations — on the side of sanity, peace and security, not endless war.

In an interview with pseudo journalist Wolf Blitzer on CNN last October, Gabbard explained to the bearded blowhard that the U.S. military and CIA’s support of Syrian rebels is both illegal and counterproductive to U.S. interests in that it risks putting America into a direct military confrontation with Russia and, even if successful, would hand the country over to the very extremists who we claim want to destroy us. She pointed out that in arming the rebels, the U.S. is arming the likes of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra who “we’re supposedly trying to defeat, yet at the same time supporting them with arms to overthrow the Syrian government.”

Blitzinmouth then asked her, “So you don’t even want the U.S. to provide weapons or arms to these anti-Asad rebels?” to which Tulsi succinctly replied, “I don’t want the U.S. government to provide weapons to al-Qaida. It’s a very simple concept in my mind that you can’t defeat your enemy if you’re arming them.”

Gabbard also pointed out that the citizens of the United States have never had a say in the matter since Congress has never authorized the use of force to overthrow the sovereign government of Syria. She explained that Congress has a Constitutional responsibility to authorize military force which they have shirked.

Gabbard has had the righteousness to go against her own party leadership on more than one occasion, unlike most politicians who only pretend to stand on principal when the other party is in power. This level of integrity and understanding of her Constitutional duty was probably reinforced by her military service. Every member of the military and every elected official swears an oath to defend the Constitution. They don’t swear an oath to blindly obey the president, or their political party or the NSA, FBI or CIA.

Politicians are not elected to office to protect their largest campaign contributors’ interests. They take an oath to defend the Constitution then most promptly ignore it. Not Tulsi Gabbard. She seems to take her oath to heart and be guided by it gladly.

Despite threats of retaliation, she bucked the political establishment of her own party and protested DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s unilateral decision to reduce the number of presidential debates and schedule them on nights of low viewership, to boot. This was a clear help to Clinton who Wasserman-Schultz supports, even though party officers are not allowed to endorse a candidate during the primaries. Tulsi had the integrity to resign as co-chair of the DNC before endorsing and campaigning for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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Gabbard’s early opposition to Obama’s despicable corporate giveaway known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as her early support for Sanders is absolutely right on. And having the guts to speak truth to power makes me hope she’ll come round to applying the same logic she has expressed on the failed policies of Iraq, Libya and Syria to the egregiously failed policy of U.S. support for Israel’s brutal and illegal oppression of the Palestinians. But I’m out of space, so that’s for a later “Take.”

Jake Jacobs is a Kailua-Kona resident and 747 pilot for a worldwide cargo company. He writes a monthly column for West Hawaii Today.