Much of Gabbard's elevated stature is due to her endorsement of Bernie Sanders at the end of February 2016, a seemingly principled, politically risky stand that led her to resign as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
But that wasn't all. Before stepping down, Gabbard earned the ire of Democratic insiders when she called for more than the paltry six debates the party had scheduled under Hillary Clinton ally Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. At the Democratic National Convention, she was reportedly swamped with attention from other state delegates. "They like Tulsi because she stood up to the Democratic Party establishment," said one.
Yet the starry-eyed anointment of Gabbard has obscured the more unsavory aspects of her politics -- so unsavory, in fact, that White House adviser Steve Bannon has reportedly spoken well of her. From her vigorous opposition to the Iran nuclear deal to her obsession with "radical Islam" to her love for the far-right Indian leader Narendra Modi, Gabbard is far from the progressive hero many assume her to be.
She quietly supported the tax cuts (while admittedly arguing they should be linked to spending cuts or not passed), telling the Honolulu Advertiser in 2017 that "they ultimately will be good for Hawaii."
Her state Democratic Party LGBT caucus, openly distrusts her, and backed her Democratic primary opponent in 2016. When questioned why the LGBT caucus, which had actually supported her three years earlier, had turned against her, the chairman cited two things. One was her less-than-stellar answers to a questionnaire the LGBT Caucus had sent. The other was a 2015 interview with Ozy, in which she confirmed that her personal views on gay marriage and abortion hadn't changed, just her view on whether the government should enforce its vision of morality.
[There is an] impression that Gabbard, unlike much of the Democratic Party, is antiwar. She's not.
Gabbard's objections to US wars spring not from a concern for those parts of the world the US military bombs and invades, but exclusively from a concern about the Americans who fight them.
Gabbard's almost singular focus on the damage these wars inflict domestically, and her comparative lack of focus on the carnage they wreak in the countries under attack, is troubling.
Not surprisingly, Gabbard has received plaudits from conservatives for her foreign policy stances. The National Review published a glowing profile of the congresswoman in April 2015, complete with a quote from American Enterprise Institute (AEI) president Arthur Brooks saying that he "like[s] her thinking a lot."
Another reason Gabbard started receiving applause from the Right was her very public skepticism of the Iran deal.
So what is the cause of terrorism, according to Gabbard? Islam, of course.
Before she became a progressive darling for endorsing Sanders, Gabbard became a conservative darling for relentlessly hawking the idea -- later popularized by Trump -- that Obama's foreign policy was failing because he refused to use the term "Islamic extremism," or some variation of it.