Now that Donald Trump has been chosen as President-elect, nothing else comes as much of a surprise, but when it was announced on Monday that progressive Berniecrat Tulsi Gabbard was rumored to be meeting with Trump, we had to do a double take.
A source confirmed that Gabbard and Trump are set to meet to discuss possible roles for the congresswoman in Trump’s administration at the Defense Department, State Department or the United Nations.
Gabbard was a strong supporter of Sanders during the primary, and even resigned from her position at the DNC in order to support him more openly. But as The Daily Beast pointed out in a close examination of Gabbard, many of her views are less progressive than is ideal.
“In March, Gabbard was the only Democrat and one of just three members of Congress to vote against a resolution condemning violence by the Assad regime against civilian populations.”
Gabbard also condemned President Obama for not using the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” and voted for a bill which would have made it “all but impossible” for new refugees to be admitted to the United States.
In fact, on many issues, Gabbard and Trump appear to agree, which may explain why the two are rumored to be meeting today to discuss her possible role in his administration. Gabbard and Trump align on parts of their immigration policy and gun control. Of course, sharing some political beliefs with Trump is not an outright disqualifying factor – after all, progressive champion Bernie Sanders lines up with Trump on at least one key issue: trade deals.
If selected, Gabbard will be the first Democrat to be in Trump’s cabinet – yet another flip-flop from the President-elect who told CNN that he would not be putting any Democrats in his leadership team.
Interestingly, Tulsi Gabbard’s name was one of the few absent from the list of 160 Democratic members who called on Trump to rescind the appointment of white nationalist Stephen Bannon last week.
And if she is placed in Trump’s administration, what will that do to Gabbard’s progressive reputation? For a woman once under consideration to take over as DNC chair, Gabbard would likely be rocketed to the bottom of the progressive pile.
Even being considered for a position by Trump should raise some serious questions about Gabbard’s true political stance. The next four years will be an important time for progressive-building coalitions, and we cannot allow a Trump-cozy Democrat to have a place at the table.
If Trump does see something he likes in Gabbard, what would that mean? progressive Democrats should be as ideologically opposed to Trump as possible, and working alongside white nationalist and KKK-supported officials is not a good place to be.
Though we were supportive of Gabbard during the election season and were heartened by her strength in standing up to the DNC, she could wipe out every ounce of that in a moment – tread carefully, Gabbard.