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Tulsi Gabbard, Fox News and the rise of the liberal defector

Lately figures like Andrew Yang, Elon Musk and Tulsi Gabbard have delighted the right-wing media making use of their anti-liberal rhetoric. All three have already been (or at the very least claimed to be) Democrats. Yang and Gabbard ran as long-shot candidates in Democratic presidential primaries. Musk tweeted in-may that he voted Democratic, however the Tesla CEO also donated to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas in 2014, not at all something lots of Democrats would do. Indeed, Musk’s embrace of conservative culture war issues has made him something of a hero on the proper. And his conservative fans have become only more vocal since Musk pledged and tried to back out of a deal to get Twitter.

Individuals who reject their very own party also gain some sort of inherent credibility. By putting principles over party, they gain the best moral high ground.

In hindsight, its not entirely clear whether Musk was ever sincere about about purchasing the social media marketing platform. However the trend of Republicans loving former or reformed Democrats is real

The selling point of partisan defectors is obvious: Who easier to trash a celebration than the individuals who used to aid it? Individuals who reject their political peers entirely or part also gain some sort of inherent credibility. By putting principles over party, they gain the best moral high ground.

In the last couple of years, most flip-floppers have already been of the conservative variety. Never-Trump Republicans remain highly prized in liberal spaces, and it’s really easy to understand why. They symbolize what lengths the GOP has fallen.

Needless to say, the bigger problem with defectors is they often helped create the party they now think went too much. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., may hate Donald Trump now, but a lot of her values and votes helped shape the planet that made Trump possible.

But recently, weve also began to see more liberals allegedly jumping ship and gaining clout. During an August vacation week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson picked a fascinating guest host to sub for him. Tulsi Gabbard was, until pretty recently, a Democratic House member from Hawaii. She also offers an elaborate and sometimes notorious reputation on the left. At one point, she was vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. She endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. Tulsi certainly gets the Democratic bona fides. Yet, in the event that you closed your eyes, she sounded nearly the same as Tucker.

While guest hosting, Gabbard told the Fox News audience that Attorney General Merrick Garlands tactics have “all hallmarks of a dictatorship. She also accused Biden of attempting to bring in regards to a ” new world ” order. Gabbard has, put simply, morphed right into a sort of (type of) never-Democrat.

Exactly like with her counterparts over the aisle, Gabbard is really a potent symbol for the proper. She actually is the liberal who found her senses and walked away. And its own a compelling message. But I’d argue that Gabbard could very well be not probably the most coherent messenger for this. She’s long taken the dictators side in the media. In a Fox News interview in February, she was so pro-Putin that it gave even super-hawk Sean Hannity pause. In 2019, Gabbard continued MSNBC and said brutal Syrian President Bashar al-Assad isn’t the enemy of america, because Syria will not pose a primary threat to america. Based on the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute, Assad forces launched over 300 chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians within a war that killed thousands. He isnt the type of man Fox News or the party of Presidents George Bush I and II can be used to making excuses for.

It looks like Tulsi, Musk and Yang are in the vanguard of the brand new partisan defectors. And the right-wing media fervently hopes to exploit their pivots for page views and eyeballs. Probably the most fanatical conservative evangelists also probably desire to inspire other Democrats to become listed on their (red) team. But unlike many never-Trumpers, these reformed Democrats are damaged messengers. Gabbard is undermined by her love of dictators, Yang is undermined by his complete inability expressing a coherent thought, and Musk is undermined, to choose just one single example, by his wildly problematic personal life (and allegations of encounters with flight attendants). Thus the irony here’s that ultimately, the elevation of the trio may say more concerning the relative strengths of the Democratic Party at the very least in comparison to the GOP than its weaknesses.

Molly Jong-Fast is really a contributing writer for The Atlantic where she writes the newsletter Wait What? And she also hosts “THE BRAND NEW Abnormal” podcast.

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