Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long been a gadfly in the Democratic party, ruffling the feathers of party leaders by at times taking positions at odds with party leaders and the far-left base. In the process, she has helped expose deep divisions within the party’s ranks that Republicans including President Trump have capitalized on in bids to further fracture the Democratic base and win over converts.

Gabbard upset the pecking order during her time as vice-chair of the DNC when she publicly criticized the limitations and qualifying criteria put on debates for the Democratic candidates for president in 2015. She ended up leaving the DNC in early 2016 after internally accusing them of playing favorites with Hillary Clinton, an accusation DNC/Clinton campaign emails leaked by Wikileaks later that year confirmed to be true.

In June 2016 she tried and failed to force the DNC to end their use of superdelegates to pick their party’s presidential nominee.

Gabbard was also a force to be reckoned with during her 2020 presidential campaign, landing a one-two debate punch on Sen. Kamala Harris in July 2019 which was credited with the downfall of Harris’ presidential bid. She also sued Hillary Clinton after Clinton suggested without evidence that Gabbard was a “Russian asset” during an October 2019 podcast. The lawsuit was later dropped.

Though her 2020 campaign was ultimately unsuccessful, Gabbard continued to make waves in the party throughout her national campaign by, among other things, voting “present” on President Trump’s impeachment, a vote she says she cast as “an active protest against the zero-sum game the two opposing political sides have trapped America in.”

While most of Gabbard’s policy positions put her squarely within the rank and file of the Democratic party, over the last two years she has portrayed herself as a centrist in contrast with the far left direction Democrats are headed courtesy of out-front self-admitted socialists like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Most recently, Gabbard has spent her final days in Congress (she opted not to run for reelection to the House during her presidential campaign) introducing bills that further shine a bright light on how extreme her party has become.

Last week, Gabbard introduced the “Protect Women’s Sports Act,” a bill which she said in a statement “would clarify [that] Title IX protections for female athletes is based on biological sex”:

Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) introduced H.R.8932, the Protect Women’s Sports Act. Given the average difference in abilities conferred by biological sex, this bill would clarify Title IX protections for female athletes is based on biological sex.

“Title IX was a historic provision championed by Hawai‘i’s own Congresswoman Patsy Mink in order to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports. It led to a generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before. However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes. Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “It is critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”

After the predictable outrage among transgender rights activists ensued, Gabbard took to the Twitter machine to defend her position:

She also introduced an amendment last week that is similar to past failed attempts by Republicans to pass legislation that would protect babies born alive after botched abortions:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, appears to be defying her party’s leadership again as she introduced a law mandating medical care for infants who survive abortions, a measure that appeared to be similar to one her party blocked earlier this year.

Introduced on Wednesday, H.R. 8923 would amend U.S. criminal code “to ensure a health care practitioner exercises the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

The brief amendment resembled legislation pushed by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., earlier this year. Both the Senate and House Democrats rejected the bill, which would have imposed penalties on doctors who refused to provide lifesaving medical care to abortion survivors.

This, too, generated outrage among the usual suspects.

And earlier this month, Gabbard tweeted support for President Trump over his opposition to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act:

Though Gabbard’s women’s sports bill and born alive amendment stand no chance of passing, the fact that the legislation is already considered DOA effectively stands as another stark reminder to the American people of just how far out of the mainstream Democrats have gone at a time when Joe Biden is lobbying behind the scenes for the party faithful to tone down the extremist rhetoric on issues like defunding the police.

Accusations of socialism from Republicans and vocal Democratic support for BLM-driven “defund the police” efforts have been credited with hurting House Democrats big time on Election Day, and Biden made clear in leaked audio he believed such talk could also hurt the Democratic candidates in the two upcoming Georgia Senate runoff races.

Though Gabbard hasn’t said much about what she’ll be up to after her Congressional term ends next month, if past history is any indication she’ll continue to be a thorn in her party’s side for the foreseeable future. A choice Republicans are likely to continue to use to their advantage in upcoming political campaigns.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 

 
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