Well, this is embarrassing.
The Sanders Institute, the
vanity project vaguely defined policy nonprofit founded by Bernie and Jane Sanders, has a distinguished list of “Fellows,” a title with few if any actual duties.
It’s impressive. Robert Reich, Bill McKibben, Cornel West, Danny Glover, Ben Jealous, Nina Turner…
… and Tulsi Gabbard.
Gabbard used to be an interesting political phenomenon with some solid progressive credentials, but she long ago became an unreliable self-guided policy missile. She just had a star turn at, ahem, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where she “defended parents protesting at school boards, attacked Big Tech censorship and referred to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an ‘autocratic leader’ for his response to the trucker protests against COVID-19 mandates,” according to the Washington Times.
I don’t see much of Bernie’s agenda in there.
Gabbard claimed that her presence was meant to “heal the polarization in the country.” As if the audience wasn’t going to cheer her every maverick utterance while abstaining from “healing” a polarization that they themselves created.
Gabbard shared a stage with that great healer Glenn Beck, and was joined on your programs and in your hearts by such healers as “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Republican senators Ted Cruz, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and Representatives Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene,” and, of course, former Healer-In-Chief Donald Trump.
Gabbard is still technically a Democrat, but since she left Congress she’s been moving very quickly to the far right. She labeled Kamala Harris and Ketanji Brown Jackson as unqualified affirmative-action moves, she’s blasted the evils of wokeness, and she said Ukraine isn’t worth defending because “it isn’t actually a democracy.”
Seems to me that the only unification that will come out of this is Gabbard’s assimilation into the Borg Collective.
Meanwhile, she continues to grace the “Fellows” page of the Sanders Institute website.
The likeliest explanation is that the Institute is a little lax about updating its site. It’s unclear what they’re actually doing these days; in 2018 the Institute hosted “The Gathering,” a conference of progressive leaders held in Burlington. The event hasn’t been repeated. The website offers a variety of essays, position papers and books, many of them written for other purposes by “Fellows” and shared with the Institute.
So maybe they could spare a few moments to remove Gabbard from their list of Fellows. I doubt she’ll be bringing any progressive ideas to the table anytime soon.