The Peculiar Case of Clinton vs. Gabbard (and Why the Spirited Reasoner Must Eat Crow)

Faithful readers will recall that only three short weeks ago, in this very column, the Spirited Reasoner spoke highly of the candidacy of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. In that post, I wrote the following:

“For starters, she’s a military veteran, having served in a combat zone (Iraq—2004-2005) and later in Kuwait.  So, when standing on a stage next to Donald Trump, she would have no trouble matching and exceeding his foreign-policy credentials.

“Having served as a medical specialist in a war zone, she understands patient care in a way most politicians don’t.

“Then, unlike the other contenders, she has taken the time to express a compelling vision for our children and grandchildren.”

I described her multi-ethnic and religious background and suggested she could serve as a much-needed unifier for our great nation after decades of increasing tribalism.

To my great disappointment, this past week, in response to a low-road ambush from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Gabbard chose the low road in response.

As you know, Ms. Clinton suggested, without offering a shred of proof, that the Russians were “grooming” Tulsi Gabbard, hoping she would run as a third-party candidate. Apparently, the Russians have come to believe that a viable third-party candidate, one who could draw off votes from the Democratic nominee, is the only way Donald Trump can retain the White House.

There were several high-road options in response to that slanderous attack. Following are a few possibilities:

  • I love my country deeply. That’s why I volunteered to serve in the armed forces, and that’s why I chose to offer my record of public service to the American people as a candidate for President of the United States.
  • Those who know me understand the strength of my personal integrity. No foreign leader could ever “groom” me, let alone tempt me to place the interests of another country ahead of my own.
  • Both former Secretary Clinton and I believe that service to this nation should always come first. I respect her public service, but she is mistaken if she believes my love of country is less passionate than hers.
  • I am campaigning to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. I have no interest in running as a third-party candidate.

Or whatever.

But instead, here’s what she tweeted:

“You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.”

Oh dear.

Haven’t we all grown weary of this type of mudslinging (regardless of how true Rep. Gabbard might think these words are)? Aren’t we yearning for the day when we can, once again, sit down around the Thanksgiving table and enjoy some turkey—or a meatless substitute—without screaming about the difference?

I’m afraid this Spirited Reasoner will be eating crow. I thought I had found a unifier. Instead, Rep. Gabbard has demonstrated a lack of readiness to rise above petty politics.

It’s that readiness, the wisdom to know how and when to move forward, that Spirited Reasoners are seeking.

Time to take another look at the candidates.