The conservative media is trolling the Democrats over their likely exclusion of Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from the upcoming Democratic candidates debates. They say that since Gabbard won a single delegate in the primary election in American Samoa (for heaven’s sake), this should get her an invitation to the next televised debate under the rules set out by the DNC. (I haven’t checked the rules, so I’m assuming they are being accurately represented. Since I don’t believe it matters what the rules say, I’m not going to take the time to check.)
DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa squished Tulsi’s hopes with this tweet:
Thus conservative journalists are shouting foul. There’s little question that Gabbard has been treated unfairly as the nomination quest has proceeded. Notably, CNN left Gabbard out of its pre-New Hampshire primary town hall, while inviting Deval patrick, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer, all of whom were polling lower than Gabbard. Then the DNC changed the qualification rules in January to allow Michael/Mike Bloomberg into the debates (and boy, does he wish they hadn’t!) while Gabbard remained benched.
Never mind. This is the serious business of choosing a President, not a Parchesi tournament. As unfairly as Gabbard has been treated up to this point, the DNC putting her in a debate now would be foolish. Finally the field has been winnowed down to where a debate can be meaningful and not just a mob scene. There are two viable <cough>candidates for the nomination, and it’s time to see them face off. All Gabbard would be now is a distraction, and perhaps a damaging one: as several pundits have noted, the young, attractive Hawaiian is likely to make Sanders and Biden look even more like Statler and Waldorf of “The Muppet Show” than they do already.
Gabbard never had a realistic shot at the nomination, but now she has none whatsoever. The Democrats need to find a candidate, not salve hurt feelings or indulge in consolation prizes. If they were honest, the conservative pundits would admit that the real reason they want Tulsi on stage is that she has nothing to lose by aiming barbs at the frontrunners. That’s also a very good reason for the DNC not to want her there.
It’s not cheating. It’s competent and responsible politics.