Conservative sadbois like two things: hot moms and Middle Eastern despots.
Enter Tulsi Gabbard, the comely representative for Hawaii’s second congressional district. The single lock of gray hair tucked behind her ear and her array of red pants-suits give her an almost Palinesque allure. Her secret friendship with Bashar al-Assad and visceral hatred for the House of Saud brings us all back to our political puberty: hiding copies of The American Conservative under our beds, taking them out only when our parents weren’t home and fantasizing madly about the end of American Empire.
Knowing only that, we can hardly blame an aging fogey who finds himself crushing on Rep. Gabbard. Throw in the fact that she’s extremely eloquent, an active member of the US armed forces, a surfer chick, and — ha! Hold my brain; be still my wonkish heart.
That’s why I take it there’s been some sort of unspoken agreement in the center-right media. We all know there’s no chance of Tulsi actually winning, so we’re just going to let this lady-crush run its course.
Pat Buchanan himself, who still uses the word ‘sodomy’ unironically, wants President Trump to offer Rep. Gabbard a job in the White House. And, just last week, one Michael New congratulated Gabbard in the pages of National Review for her ‘opposition to some late-term abortions.’ (Note: that’s some). New, who’s a visiting professor at the Catholic University of America, finds it ‘heartening’ that Tulsi would ‘challenge her party’s orthodoxy.’ Yet this, he continues, ‘offers little comfort to pro-life voters.’ Professor New then proceeds to coach Rep. Gabbard on how to ‘effectively appeal to pro-life Democrats’ — namely, by supporting the Hyde Amendment.
Now, where I come from, supporting abortion in the first two trimesters isn’t ‘pro-life.’ Has Professor New considered that Rep. Gabbard might not be interested in ‘comforting’ pro-lifers at all? That maybe she’s just one of the 72 percent of Democrats who oppose late-term abortion? We’ve been saying for years that the Democratic party’s leadership is outstripping its own voters on life issues. Maybe she’s just playing to the base.
And that’s a good thing, I suppose. Anything that undermines the left’s pro-choice extremism is a plus. But it hardly makes Gabbard a conservative manquée.
I wonder why these gentlemen didn’t offer to spread their intellectual coats over the mud puddles in Hillary Clinton’s platform back in 2016? Tulsi opposed same-sex unions in her late teens and early twenties. To certain conservatives, that makes her a crypto-traditionalist operating behind enemy lines. She needs our covert support, Contra-style. Yet any reference to Hillary’s somewhat-less-extreme view on abortion in the same timeframe is dismissed as hypocrisy or pandering. Tulsi Gabbard is the hentai princess version of Jim Webb who needs to be rescued from the progressive dragon; Secretary Clinton is the dragon.
And you know what? Say all of this is true. Say Tulsi would really love to appoint Amy Coney Barrett or the ghost of Phyllis Schlafly as her running-mate. Say she still secretly thinks marriage should only be between a man and a woman, or that gay people should undergo conversion therapy. Even if all of that is true, clearly she has no plans to act like it.
As I argued here many moons ago, Gabbard had a decent shot at the White House if she’d kept her powder dry in 2016 and made a play for Trump’s supporters in 2024. Instead, she’s jockeying with the rest of the Democratic field to cast herself as the Anti-Trump. Yesterday, she compared POTUS to a pimp, saying he treats the American military like prostitutes.
Sorry, guys, but she’s not playing hard to get. Whatever Rep. Gabbard used to believe, she’s passed through the Democratic machine and come out the other side as a generic hunk of liberal bologna. She’s slightly more appetizing hunk, granted; but she’s bologna all the same.