Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat Representative from Hawaii, is a strange political bird.

A November 2017 profile of Gabbard in The New Yorker described her as follows:

Gabbard has served, since 2003, in the Army National Guard, in which capacity she completed a tour of duty in Iraq. …

She is thirty-six, and has a knack for projecting both youthful joy and grownup gravitas. Her political profile is similarly hybrid. She is a fervent Bernie Sanders supporter with equally fervent bipartisan tendencies—known, roughly equally, for her concern for the treatment of veterans and her opposition to U.S. intervention abroad. She is also a vegetarian and a practicing Hindu—the first Hindu ever elected to Congress—as well as a lifelong surfer and an accomplished athlete. On Capitol Hill, she is often regarded as a glamorous anomaly: a Hawaiian action figure, fabulously out of place among her besuited colleagues.

Gabbard, however, carries the baggage of being viewed as Bashar Assad’s Favorite Democrat and Assad’s Mouthpiece in Washington, after an unauthorized trip to Syria sponsored by a shady group.

https://twitter.com/secupp/status/1083891767508983809

Gabbard has shown a willingness to buck the liberal line, such as her recent criticism of Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono for questioning a judicial nominees membership in the Knights of Columbus, comparing it to “fomenting religious bigotry.”

The socialist Jacobin magazine hates her:

So what is the cause of terrorism, according to Gabbard? Islam, of course.

Before she became a progressive darling for endorsing Sanders, Gabbard became a conservative darling for relentlessly hawking the idea — later popularized by Trump — that Obama’s foreign policy was failing because he refused to use the term “Islamic extremism,” or some variation of it.

From 2014 onward, Gabbard appeared regularly on Fox News to lambast the Obama administration for avoiding the phrase. In one interview, she told the host that “the vast majority of terrorist attacks conducted around the world for over the last decade have been conducted by groups who are fueled by this radical Islamic ideology,” a statement that may be technically true due to the violence and instability plaguing Middle Eastern countries, but is wildly misleading considering that non-Muslims make up the vast, vast majority of terrorist perpetrators in both Europe and the United States.

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January 2015, Gabbard complained on Fox News that by “not using this term ‘Islamic extremism’ and clearly identifying our enemies,” the administration couldn’t “come up with a very effective strategy to defeat that enemy.” She told Neil Cavuto that “this isn’t about one specific group,” but about “this radical Islamic ideology that is fueling this,” and that it needed to be defeated “militarily and ideologically.” She characterized Obama’s refusal to “recognize” the enemy as “mind-boggling” and “troubling.”

And it wasn’t just on Fox. Gabbard took her message to any network or outlet that would have her. On CNN, she called Kerry’s refusal to use the term “unfortunate and disturbing.” In an interview with the Hill, she stressed that radical Islam was at the heart of the problem, necessitating “a simultaneous ideological strategy” to defeat terrorists.

Interestingly, in 2014 Gabbard signed a congressional letter against the academic boycott of Israel. If she still holds that view, she’s out of step with the radical energized base of the Democrat party.

On CNN today, Gabbard announced she’s running for President.

Gabbard running is important.

Not because she’s going to win.

But because she is yet another Democrat throwing her hat into the ring. Within months we could have dozens of Democrats running.

The debates, which start in June, have the potential to be a three-ring circus, making the large 2016 Republican field seem quaint by comparison.

If Democrats prevent lesser-known candidates from participating in the debates, it will harken back to Hillary’s friends at the DNC rigging the primaries against Bernie. If all Democrats participate, it’s going to be mayhem on stage, and will take away from top tier candidates.

Add Gabbard to the mix, and it will be great theater. She’s not afraid to go against liberal orthodoxy — not always in good ways — and to attack other Democrats.

So Gabbard getting into the race is important because she will be a disrupter on a stage filled with Democrats before a national TV audience.