Left-Wing Daily Kos Endorses Gabbard's Dem Opponent in Hawaii Congressional Race

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / Getty
January 25, 2019

The left-wing Daily Kos on Thursday endorsed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's (D., Hawaii) Democratic primary opponent in her race for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District.

Gabbard, who is permitted by Hawaii law to run for president and reelection to Congress simultaneously, faces state senator Kai Kahele in the primary.

"Daily Kos has long adhered to the motto of electing more and better Democrats. We’re usually focused on the 'more,' but today, this endorsement is all about the 'better'—and boy, do we ever need that here," the endorsement begins. "Throughout her six years in Congress, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has repeatedly shown how out-of-step she is with mainstream progressive values, despite the fact that she represents Hawaii’s deep-blue 2nd Congressional District."

Daily Kos political director David Nir, who penned the blog's endorsement, criticized Gabbard for visiting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad two years ago, meeting with President Donald Trump after he won in 2016, not joining fellow House Democrats in a letter condemning Steve Bannon's appointment as a White House strategist, developing ties with Hindu nationalists, and telling a reporter in 2016 that her "personal views" against abortion have not changed.

The endorsement then lauded Kahele as "a vastly superior alternative" but notes it will be challenging to defeat an incumbent.

"But like any challenger hoping to oust an out-of-touch incumbent, he’ll need lots of resources to get his message out. We have a fantastic opportunity to replace a truly lousy Democrat with a far better one, so let’s seize it," the piece concludes.

Gabbard announced she was running for president earlier this month. Since announcing, her foreign policy and past statements on LGBT issues have come under scrutiny.

CNN reported that Gabbard "touted working for her father's anti-gay organization" in the early 2000s. During a hearing regarding a civil unions bill in 2004, Gabbard said Democrats "should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists."

Last week, Gabbard apologized for past statements about the LGBT community.

Huffington Post piece published soon after her announcement argued that her foreign policy "threatens the new left foreign policy of Sanders and Warren," and that "she’s gone rogue, tying the anti-intervention rhetoric adopted by nearly every Democrat (and Republicans like President Donald Trump) to embracing global leaders who flout international human rights standards and complain of persecution by American empire."

An article published in The Nation argued, "Gabbard’s positions represent almost everything a left foreign policy should avoid."