DNC Scrambles to Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies

No surprise here, says Caitlin Johnstone. This is just the latest move to erase a candidate who challenges bipartisan support for endless wars.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard. (Twitter)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Oa CNN panel on Monday, host John King spoke with Politico reporter Alex Thompson about the possibility of Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard qualifying on Super Tuesday for the party’s primary debate in Phoenix later this month.

“I will note this, she’s from Hawaii,” King said of Gabbard. “She’s a congresswoman from Hawaii; American Samoa votes on Super Tuesday. The rules as they now stand, if you get a delegate, you’re back in the debates. As of now. Correct?”

“Yeah, they haven’t, I mean, that’s been the rule for every single debate,” Thompson replied. “And the DNC has not released their official guidance for the March 15 debate in Phoenix, but it would be very obvious that they are trying to cancel Tulsi, who they’re scared of a third party run, if they then change the rules to prevent her to rejoin the debate stage.”

And indeed, as the smoke clears from the Super Tuesday frenzy, this is precisely what appears to have transpired.

“The Gabbard campaign said it was informed that it would net two delegates from the caucuses in American Samoa, which will allocate a total of six pledged delegates,” The Hill reported. “However, a report from CNN said that the candidate will receive only one delegate from the territory on Tuesday evening.”

“Tulsi Gabbard may have just qualified for the next Democratic debate thanks to American Samoa,” reads a fresh Business Insider headline. “Under the most recent rules, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii may have qualified for the next televised debate by snagging a delegate in American Samoa’s primary.”

“If Tulsi Gabbard gets a delegate out of American Samoa, as it appears she has done, she will likely qualify for the next Democratic debate,” tweeted The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel. “We don’t have new debate rules yet, but party has been inviting any candidate who gets a delegate.”

Rank-and-file supporters of the Hawaii congresswoman enjoyed a brief celebration on social media, before having their hopes dashed minutes later by an announcement from the DNC’s Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa that “the threshold will go up.”

“We have two more debates — of course the threshold will go up,” tweeted Hinojosa literally minutes after Gabbard was awarded the delegate. “By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has.”

“DNC wastes no time in announcing they will rig the next debates to exclude Tulsi,” Journalist Michael Tracey tweeted in response.

This outcome surprised nobody, least of all Gabbard supporters. The blackout on the Tulsi 2020 campaign has reached such extreme heights this year that you now routinely see pundits saying things like there are no more people of color in the race, or that Elizabeth Warren is the only woman remaining in the primary. They’re not just ignoring her, they’re actually erasing her. They’re weaving a whole alternative reality out of narrative in which she is literally, officially, no longer in the race.

After Gabbard announced her presidential candidacy in January of last year I wrote an article explaining that I was excited about her campaign because she would severely disrupt establishment narratives, and, for the remainder of 2019, that’s exactly what she did. She spoke unauthorized truths about Syria, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia; she drew attention to the plight of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden and said she’d drop all charges against both men if elected; she destroyed the hawkish, jingoistic positions of fellow candidates on the debate stage and arguably single-handedly destroyed Kamala Harris’ run.

The narrative managers had their hands full with her. The Russia smears were relentless, the fact that she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was brought up at every possible opportunity in every debate and interview, and she was scoffed at and derided at every turn.

Now, in 2020, none of that is happening. There’s a near-total media blackout on the Gabbard campaign, such that I now routinely encounter rank-and-file liberals on social media who tell me they honestly had no idea she’s still running. She’s been completely redacted out of the narrative matrix.

So, it’s unsurprising that the DNC felt comfortable striding forward and openly announcing a change in the debate threshold literally the very moment Gabbard crossed it. These people understand narrative control, and they know full well that they have secured enough of it on the Tulsi Problem that they’ll be able to brazenly rig her right off the stage without suffering any meaningful consequences.

The Establishment narrative warfare against Gabbard’s campaign dwarfs anything we’ve seen against Sanders, and the loathing and dismissal they’ve been able to generate have severely hamstrung her run. It turns out that a presidential candidate can get away with talking about economic justice and plutocracy when it comes to domestic policy, and some light dissent on matters of foreign policy will be tolerated, but aggressively attacking the heart of the actual bipartisan foreign policy consensus will get you shut down, smeared and shunned like nothing else. This is partly because U.S. presidents have a lot more authority over foreign affairs than domestic, and it’s also because endless war is the glue which holds the empire together.

And now they’re working to install a corrupt, right-wing warmongering dementia patient as the party’s nominee. And from the looks of the numbers I’ve seen from Super Tuesday so far, it looks entirely likely that those manipulations will prove successful.

All this means is that the machine is exposing its mechanics to the view of the mainstream public. Both the Gabbard campaign and the Sanders campaign have been useful primarily in this way; not because the Establishment would ever let them actually become president, but because they force the unelected manipulators who really run things in the most powerful government on earth to show the public their box of dirty tricks.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a book, Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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70 comments for “DNC Scrambles to Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies

  1. Erasmus
    March 9, 2020 at 04:56

    The evil lies not just in influence improperly exercised but rather in the creation of a situation tending to weaken public confidence and to undermine a sense of their security.

  2. AC
    March 8, 2020 at 10:29

    The DNC and the party are not democratic. After they tossed Tulsi to the side, democracy and the democratic party is dead. They react to necessary change like a cold blooded reptile who woke in the Arctic.

  3. Walter Douglas
    March 8, 2020 at 08:03

    US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard qualified for the March 15th Presidential Primary Debate in Arizona, then the Democratic National Committee (DNC) changed its rules to prevent her from debating. Sign Petition & Share. Allow her to debate! #LetTulsiDebate

  4. Eugenie Basile
    March 7, 2020 at 05:04

    DNC and MSM doing everything to lose the elections again….. visibly cheating and pushing Biden.
    Deep State is fine with that as long as they have their man Pompeo in the WH.
    And the DNC and MSM will shout ‘ Russian meddling’.
    Déjà vu !

  5. JWalters
    March 6, 2020 at 18:35

    It’s striking how widely coordinated is the corruption of the DNC, RNC, and MSM. Which raises the question – who is the central coordinator? This type of coordination does not happen by accident. Obviously war profiteers are involved, since that is Tulsi’s main target. The blanket obeisance to Israel across the political and media “establishment” is major evidence. Especially since Israel sits at the origin of the so-called “war on terror” and its seven regime change wars. And behind Israel sits a mega-powerful financial entity, which financed the establishment of Israel, which now reaps profits from the stolen oil in the Golan Heights, and which dominates much of the American economy, including banking and media, through its various economic tentacles. We need a deeper look into the role of war profiteers in the roots of the war on terror. A start is at
    war * profiteerstory. * blogspot. * com

    • March 7, 2020 at 01:01

      That website can be viewed by invitation only. Not a good start.

    • JWalters
      March 7, 2020 at 18:40

      Paul Merrell, Thanks. I’m not seeing that. All four asterisks and their two flanking spaces must be removed, after copying the whole text string to your browser’s URL address field. Please comment again if that does not work for you.

  6. Me my self
    March 6, 2020 at 14:16

    US Congressmen Ron Wyden and Ro Khanna have introduced amendments to their country’s 1917 Espionage Act which would stop journalists like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from being prosecuted for revealing government secrets.

    YEAH !

    About time.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      March 6, 2020 at 14:27

      Rep. Ro Khanna [D-CA-17] introduced on 03/05/2020 “H.R.6114 – To amend chapter 37 of title 18, United States Code, to authorize appropriate disclosure of classified information, to appropriately limit the scope of the offense of disclosing classified information, and for other purposes.” Text not yet posted.

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:12

      Huge thanks go out to these two members of Congress.

    • Jon Adams
      March 7, 2020 at 14:19

      The “officials” in the US govt claim that the First Amendment does not apply to Julian Assange.

      And they are right.

      The reason being is that they have no case and no jurisdiction;

      Julian Assange is being held by mere force, and not by law. Assange is being held and mistreated by the “officials”
      of an American client state, otherwise known as the “United Kingdom.”

      It is amazing how little attention our own “Lamestream” pays to his case. You would think they would be concerned about
      a fellow journalist. But then maybe they themselves aren’t really journalists, but merely propagandists for a dying empire.

    • Me my self
      March 8, 2020 at 03:58

      It will be telling to see how individuals in congress vote. We will then know who needs to go.

      I also hope the exception of Edward Snowden is included in the legislation.

  7. Noah Way
    March 6, 2020 at 11:50

    Somebody that the establishment hates even more than Bernie. That alone is reason to vote for her.

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:16

      I would love to see Bernie select Tulsi for his running mate thereby giving her the needed experience to be President and the introduction to people she would need in staff positions and those she could appoint to Cabinet positions,etc.

    • Charles McCollum
      March 7, 2020 at 12:00

      Yes, there are many reasons to vote for her she now becomes the best candidate on the stage. Or will she be on the stage these people should be put out of the party this country is going to the dogs. We are just a tale of Israel they run our country and Trump is part of the problem

  8. lachlan
    March 6, 2020 at 07:17

    The Russia hoax, the Impeachment charade and the never ending attacks on Trump have acted as the perfect smokescreen to hide the painful truth that the Democrat Party is in need of desperate reform, and the perfect distraction to cover for their resistance to reform to facilitate preservation of the Party’s status quo. I think Hilary’s attacks on Tulsi will with time be seen as a cynical power play by her to rid the field of a candidate who could usher in change and to leave the field to be led by dementia affected living corpse thus creating a vacuum for someone to come to the aid of the Party in its hour of need. I wonder who that could be? If this hypothesis is not correct, how else can one rationally explain the Party’s collective obsessive compulsive disorder since 2016 culminating in Biden being in presidential nominee front runner?

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:20

      Excellent summary of the state of the Democratic Party. It is past time for a new, truly progressive party to replace it.

  9. Len
    March 6, 2020 at 05:02

    Paul Edwards, in his article elsewhere, uses the word Democraticide, which seems a quite legitimate word, not used before, but whose time has come.
    Also, I have noticed the growing use of satire, and bitter irony, not usually associated with plan-speaking working class people, but it would seem it’s time has come also. And like the original satire of Swift and even Tolstoy to get around and ridicule and make, sometimes quite dark, serious fun of the rich, self-serving, aloof, ruling class in times of historical transition. Ridicule; not understood by the indulgent elite, or if they did did not understand its significance.
    Writers increasingly making reference to military fiascos, legends, folk and fairy-tales. And speaking truth to power as in “The King’s New Clothes”, references to Alice’s experiences with the Red Queen etc. But also there is a cynicism.

    I seems to me that all erudite, clear-headed, contributors above are aware of what is happening to Tulsi and Bernie, and what is behind it. And I wonder who else in the US is awakening from their hypnotic trance?

    Someone mentioned spellbound. I remember, just after the Second World War, Hollywood made a film of the same name [Spellbound].
    A strange story of the psychological trauma of a returned veteran. Freud’s psychoanalysis had recently taken over America. But more significantly Freud had exerted an powerful influenced over his nephew Edward L. Bernays, the man who has come to be known as the “father of public relations”. And we might say Bernays’ greatest gift for America was “manufacturing consent” of the populous generally and particularly the political somnambulist.

    When we have someone like Tulsi Gabbard trying wake everybody up before they walk over the nuclear cliff – which we all worry about – I wonder, as a non American, how hard those who are awake need to shout before a sleep walker like Biden takes office and walks us over the cliff – which I think we all don’t believe will happen – or the deep state walks the egocentric red-headed man into nuclear oblivion.


  10. Jeff Harrison
    March 5, 2020 at 18:11

    If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it. – Mark Twain

    I think that pretty much sums this one up.

    Tulsi will get my vote even if I have to write it in.

    • March 6, 2020 at 10:44

      Good for you, Jeff. I’m taking down my Warren sign [she had turned her campaign into one of female victimism anyway] and hanging up my “Veterans for Tulsi” banner.

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:25

      I will write in Bernie and trust that he will select Tulsi as his running mate. Come on people let’s come together and support one another to trash the Dems if they once again trash Bernie.
      A March on Washington by a million plus people, anyone?

  11. March 5, 2020 at 17:15

    Tulsi doesn’t have a chance to win the election, but she’s still in the running with earned delegates, meaning she’s supposed to be allowed on the debate stage one last time. See: heavy.com/news/2020/03/dnc-debate-tulsi-gabbard-delegate/

  12. March 5, 2020 at 16:41

    quite apart from the candidate’s genitalia, age or skin tone, sanders ought to come to her defense by urging her to be on the ticket with him, whether she is allowed to debate or not, in order to bring a combination to the ballot that will destroy trump, and possibly buy time to move the nation in the direction away from destructive war capitalism to hopeful peace socialism.

  13. robert e williamson jr
    March 5, 2020 at 16:00

    The DNC have managed to get what “they” want again. In doing so have increased frustration felt by Sanders supporters to much higher levels. The DNC needs to be hoping that their blindness and deafness does not result in mass numbers of Sanders supporters staying home and not voting.

    Many Sanders supporters are feeling that the only way they can get their massage across is to stay home and let Trump get re-elected. The idea being that four more years of Trump will teach the DNC a lesson. This could be a spiteful mistake.

    We all best hope that does not happen. It’s later than many think and the U.S. cannot afford four more years of Trump.

    If there is a positive side to any of this it is that Sanders has helped get out the vote. Whether it’s his luring out his supporters or luring put his critics. I suppose the same can be said of Trump who hopefully has alienated enough U.S. citizens to the point they realize getting rid of this madman is actually important to them. Everyone needs to do something to rid the country of his fake presence.

    I sincerely hope that before the debacle is over one thing pierces the dumbed down thick heads who support the status quo. The status quo is going to change whether they believe it or not. If it doesn’t their children and grandchildren are cursed.

    • Jeff B
      March 6, 2020 at 15:55

      My youngest daughter was oh so dramatic as a young child. On many days, she’d drag herself home from school and sadly exclaim, “This was the worst day of my life.” We’d hear refrain time and time again as she matriculated her way through primary school. We would just smile knowing is was just hyperbole. Kind of sounds like the refrain we hear over and over again,” . . . the U.S. cannot afford four more years of Trump.” The country, just like my daughter, had experienced worse and both survived just fine. And both will continue to do so.

    • Pamela
      March 6, 2020 at 16:16

      Why do you say we can’t afford another four more years of President Trump when you’ve seen and felt all the good he has done for the American people?


      My family has benefitted greatly from his efforts and all the Democrat party can do is hate him. The Democratic party has no platform no policies that will benefit America.

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:30

      Is this a country of, for and by the people, or not? It is time to reclaim what is rightfully ours. If Bernie is once again cheated out of his rightful place on the ballot there need to be serious repercussions.

    • Skip Scott
      March 7, 2020 at 09:47

      It IS later than we think, and that is why it is no longer acceptable to be herded into voting for corporate sponsored warmonger from column B. We can not afford a “lesser evil” mindset. Victims of our killing machine the world over are counting on us to open our eyes, end this senseless Forever War, prosecute the war criminals, and learn to wage peace. Sanders is “weak tea” on the issue of the reckless spending and aggression of the MIC. Tulsi is the only one speaking the real truth.

    • Jon Adams
      March 7, 2020 at 14:22

      To Jeff B.
      At least with Trump we KNOW we live in dangerous times.

      With someone like Biden the general public might fall asleep again.

  14. elmerfudzie
    March 5, 2020 at 15:28

    In the recent past and with dazzling regularity, voters have witnessed a barrage of well organized and vilifying attacks launched against individual candidates, manufactured seemingly out of thin air by main stream media pundits. They masquerade as journalists or experts but in truth are nothing more than talking heads and corporate propagandists held on a short leach, for example the likes of a Judith Miller. They breathlessly yak diatribes on behalf of a discredited lot of puppet master moguls who are boardroom members of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, AOL, Clear Channel, et al. The MSM manipulates information and to the peoples disadvantage, what for all intents and purposes is a public trust. ASIDE: We the citizens own the licenses and privilege that grants corporate entities the use of OUR airwaves that by the by, can be revoked, at the time of the renewal intervals, by the people so never forget that one folks!

    A compromised media preserves a two party political system, in reality a single party, the Property Party hereafter (PP). It loathes individualistic candidates or other independents who abandon or wander too far off a hidden from view but palpable standard “platform”. Anyone who leaves the platform script is fired, such as Phil Donahue a once popular talk show host film producer and writer.. Electioneering has been irreversibly contaminated by dark money, this technique only further aggravated by crypto-currency donations, a pro-corporatist and Fascist fourth estate, beltway lobbyists, Supreme Court bench decisions stained with that outrageous Florida “chads” scandal and money itself, now deemed as free speech but there is more, much more! Political Action Committees, manipulated opinion polls, gerrymandering(s), the Electoral College itself, lack of fair candidate access to prime time MSM and in general terms, ever rising campaign costs now estimated to be in the multi-millions, if not billions for the highest of offices. These AntiDemocratic forces have worked in concert together for almost One Hundred Years in the USA, smothering all opposition candidates who might emerge from Grassroots Movements, even tho a precious few did manage to win out.

    The PP is in total opposition to direct democracies similar to, a one person one vote ballot system in Switzerland. Here in the USA, democracy has been completely subverted by a collage of pro-corporate, pro-military, pro-Zionist, pro-war, anti-collective (anything), labor union busting, Aggregate. These forces are all pressed into a single Amalgam, shattering everything our people have fought and died for on the battlefield. My point is this, the powers that be just can’t keep their filthy mitts off the entire process of voter elections, which must be kept sacrosanct at all times. So I urge the religious right, among others, to stop looking for perverts under every rock in America because the entire democratic process has been perverted and hijacked by filthy rich Fascists! So, refocus your energies and begin again.

    The list of so called unworthy rejects is a long one, spanning throughout our American History. Just a few examples, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, Jill Stein, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, Robert Lafollete, Theodore Roosevelt, The Green Party, Constitution Party, on and on it goes..The rise of this single, PP or Property Party is sustained by those compromising elements as itemized above coupled with excluding the poorest citizenry such as Mississippi delta Blacks and those uneducated and or illiterate minority citizens throughout the deep south, permanent “alien” residents-denied the vote, unconstitutional state laws that forbid “write in” candidates on the ballot and so on. Lest we forget our ugly past those Deep State Intel, at the behest of corporate interest, conspired to murder for they are many! Senator Paul Wellstone (Minnesota), JFK, his eldest son JFK Jr, RFK, MLK, Presidents Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, then Huey Pierce Long Jr. the Louisiana Kingfish. Again, the list goes on and on…

    Wake up America, or we’re all gonna loose! if we haven’t already, with the advent of the NDA and Patriot Acts. Demand free, fair and a balanced election process. For what’s it’s worth Tulsi Gabbard, you surely can count on my vote….

    • Richard Coleman
      March 6, 2020 at 09:27

      Must include Eugene V. Debs. Not just excluded but imprisoned.

    • JWalters
      March 6, 2020 at 18:03

      Well put.

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:36

      Elmerfudzie, Your voice and words need to be shouted out over and over again until they are heard by enough people to take action. Thanks.

    • Me my self
      March 8, 2020 at 18:18

      ” We the citizens own the licenses and privilege that grants corporate entities the use of OUR airwaves that by the by, can be revoked, at the time of the renewal intervals, by the people so never forget that one folks!”

      I’m curious if the privilege is the same or even applies over the wire (internet). Even still it’s just another rule to ignored.

  15. dean 1000
    March 5, 2020 at 14:49

    Tired of voting for old white guys? This year you can vote for a young Woman. If her name is not on the General Election Ballot, put it on the write-in line.

    Voting for a candidate you don’t like, don’t trust, or the lesser of two evils is the ultimate wasted vote. It encourages undemocratic candidates, oligarchs, the deep state, etc. So vote for the candidate you like. Take a magic marker along in case your ballot does not have a Write-In Line.

    We are stuck with this 18th century voting system because the duopoly parties refuse to adopt instant runoff/Preference voting for both the primaries and general elections.

    • Peter Dahu
      March 5, 2020 at 16:15

      “Voting for a candidate you don’t like, don’t trust, or the lesser of two evils is the ultimate wasted vote. It encourages undemocratic candidates, oligarchs, the deep state, etc. “

  16. Jay Gordon
    March 5, 2020 at 12:51

    Reminiscent of Alice’s game of croquet playing with the Red Queen, using flamingoes as mallets and hedgehogs as balls and all the rules changing according to the Red Queen’s whim in Alice in Wonderland.

  17. DW Bartoo
    March 5, 2020 at 10:52

    By now, for those who have been paying deeper attention for the last twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or even sixty years, it must be abundantly clear, even horrifyingly so, that corruption, deceit, and propaganda are so rife as to be the essential essence of politics, business, “defense”, “intelligence”, and “government”.

    For those of us, now more than a few, who have been concerned, who have looked, seriously, conscientiously, and consistently, beyond the shallow surface fluff of the “news”, it is obvious that journalistic “standards” have not merely lowered, all too often there are no evident standards at all, merely preening mouthpiece behaviors of blandly “good looking”, well-coiffed cyphers whose “trademark” is “personality”, of various stripes, ranging from deranged to insipid to cravenly sycophantic are the order of the day.

    Most of these “presenters” exhibit no discernible depth, no traits of honest character, or of actual moral compass. And, for this seamless plasticity they are often rewarded with millions of dollars to perform theatrical kabuki stunts in their allotted “time slots” wherein there are never in-depth, deeply searching interviews that might reveal more than surface cliches and discussion-group approved banalities from those interviewed, usually politicians or “experts”, military, financial, social, and so on, all pushing self-serving or elite-serving agendas, with no genuine policy critiques or deeper questions asked about consequence, about actual cost (unless it be a takedown of Medicare for All or providing useful post-high school education, or even better elementary or secondary education even as high school courses such as “Military Sciences” never rate any question of all.
    What, actually I wonder, ARE “Military Sciences? What is the actual science behind them, the philosophical purpose, the practical intended result of taking such courses, and so?).

    If the attention span is deliberately reduced to sound bite size, then what does that contribute to Gore Vidal’s “United States of Amnesia”?

    If, indeed, more than a tiny few do wonder about things beyond the hoopla, do look deeper than the plastic wrapping then, for those more than a few, even assuming that the vast majority still believe the fairytale mythology of U$ exceptionalism and indispensability, the essential goodness and God-Given Right of hegemonic domination possessed by the U$, and realizing that, again for those few, there is little need for further evidence of corruption, of manipulative deceit and of media narrative control, does not the question arise, indeed, has it, in fact, not long hung, twisting in the winds of space-time, of … What Shall Be Done?

    What shall we do, what can we do?

    Frankly, I do not anticipate that there will be much response to that query.

    Over the last thirty years I have asked that question a number of times.

    In discussions among thoughtful friends.

    At more official gatherings of those well credentialed in numerous disciplines.

    And, over the past decade and longer, on a number of sites on the internet of things.

    I usually add a bit more the question:
    I speculate that it might be wise to construct a narrative that might be agreed upon as to what sort of society might better serve the interests and well-being of those who comprise society, suggesting that society might reasonably be defined, in its most simple form, as being the manner in which members of the group (society) treat other members of the group.

    From there, I suggest that we might ponder how useful endeavor is rewarded, in essence, the economic system, its functional purpose, its effects on people, on life, on the planet, on things like actual liberty, not as some esoteric concept but as the freedom to become, to discover, to understand, and to share, to speak and to be heard, to listen, to share empathic understanding and develop shared societal goals and what those goals ought be, for the general benefit and individual happiness, you know, life, liberty, and the pursuit of …

    I ask people to consider what type of governance, of which they must be an active, to reactive, part, not as supplicants, but as the “deciders”, they might envision.

    I ask what role secrecy and war machines ought play, if any, in furthering actual international and domestic justice. How might be created a legal system premised not on money or power, but rather on the understanding that injustice toward anyone is ultimately injustice toward all, for if any member of society, the group, is harmed, then is not the injury delivered to all?

    And above all, I ask that our collective imagination be engaged to imagine what such a society as we might collectively, first imagine, and then, set about building would look like and, equally important, what would it feel like?

    • whoiamiswhoibe
      March 6, 2020 at 01:14

      Great comments. Very insightful.

      The goal has always been Total Institutional Control… but as the universe would have it… they’ve never grasped why? The shallow why sure. But the deep “why” remains unanswered, thus the inability to realize the end goal of the exercise.

      However our subjugated/incarcerated reality layered into their lost in translation objective opens up a world of possibilities that reflect the true nature of the human spirit. Yes it gets distorted by the genres and thematic escapades that change the reflection of it’s essence, however, within all of this there is opportunity for riches of awareness and glimmers of hope to enjoy as the real currency of the journey. And even if the chances are minute because the game is rigged… we learn adapt and improve our acumen along the way. The race is to break the grasp before they realize their true conquest… which isn’t life.

  18. Anonymot
    March 5, 2020 at 10:40

    I’ve been railing for 8 months against the erasure of Tulsi by Hillary, owner of the DNC. Hillary, LGBT, and her 2 prime financial supporters, also LGBT, have squelched Senator Sanders as well as Tulsi, but Sanders had a leftover base. That Sanders and Tulsi did not form a 3rd party when it could have been a serious reality is hard to understand or forgive.

    Neither of them have ever had a chance as Democrats since Hillary has acid pouring out of her veins against them.

    • Abby
      March 6, 2020 at 00:31

      It’s not hard for me to understand why Bernie didn’t get a third party up and running. He has no interest in doing anything that goes against the DP insiders. He is once again watching them rig the primary against him and yet he is not speaking out about it.

      The exit polls showed him winning…again…and yet what is he doing about it? The younger and poorer people have to wait hours to vote and now the media is saying that they didn’t bother to show up. Why hasn’t Bernie said that they certainly did show up but they couldn’t vote. If he allows it to happen again then he is just sheepdawging. I’m not sure what would be more devastating for the DP. They rig it or he sheepdawgs.

    • Sangita
      March 6, 2020 at 23:35

      It’s time to teach the Democratic Party a lesson by not voting for the lesser evil. The 2016 election was lost due Hillary’s corruption.
      Will the power of the Party learn that if it continues to play these games, it will lose the presidential election again.

      Tulsi’s questions on American interference in foreign countries in the first debate was not touched by any candidates.

      Tulsi and Bernie should have run as Independents or the Green Party.

  19. Danny
    March 5, 2020 at 10:27

    Read this somewhere else that describes the Democratic Party….they are a private party masquerading as a political party…?

    • Me my self
      March 6, 2020 at 14:12

      They are a corporation DNC & RNC Corporations have no soul they admittedly do as they please as stated in the sanders lawsuit against the DNC. Two corporations run the world scary!

    • Ash
      March 6, 2020 at 17:19

      They even argued so themselves in court!

  20. Pamela
    March 5, 2020 at 10:18

    The DNC is forever changing the rules in the middle of the game. Their only platform is to get rid of PDJT anyway they can. How can anyone vote for this bunch of lunatics?

    • March 6, 2020 at 09:46

      Interestingly, Gabbard got not that many votes in American Samoa. Bloomberg hired 7 full time staffers, probably with his famous guarantee — full time pay till November. That means 140 staffers per million. Probably from families of local influential elder, important in Polynesian communities. In any case, the elders endorsed him. Islands were swamped with billboards etc. The intensity of the campaign seem 20 times larger than in the States (WS is a territory).

  21. Charlotte Ruse
    March 5, 2020 at 10:16

    There’s a few undeniable facts– namely, the political duopoly is corrupt through and through and that all capitalist governments are designed to primarily represent the well-to-do. After all, the US was founded by well-educated landed gentry who were uptight about being overtaxed by the British Empire.

    That being said, in 2016 Bernie Sanders was a “shocking fluke” for the Democratic Party leadership and the national security state. These slimy lechers holed up in their surveillance bubble of corruption lost sight of the pent up worker outrage marinating for decades. This rage finally had a chance to be expressed in a national political campaign. A campaign the mainstream media news could not completely ignore. Like they’re currently doing to Tulsi Gabbard who with one delegate now qualifies for the next debate. However, as expected the DNC will deny her access by once again changing the rules.

    Unfortunately, the 2016 desire for change manifested itself in the victory of Donald Trump and not Bernie Sanders. The affluent will elect anyone willing to deregulate business and decrease taxes. In the final analysis, it’s always about the needs of the wealthy–or those landed gentry.

    That being said, Sanders campaign has continued to expose the growing rage and mounting discontent felt by most of the population. Prior to Sanders, I’ve never heard any “mainstream politician” give passionate speeches exclusively about income inequality and social injustice. No one since the 1960’s has organized a social justice movement of millions.
    Sanders rallies have 15,000 -20,000 zealous supporters reverberating with a fiery enthusiasm.

    And this resounding passion against social injustice is what the security state is determined to stop.

    The security state ghouls who installed Trump are now exploiting a “bogeyman” argument in order to persuade economically struggling Americans to believe a reactionary warmongering mentally diminished Biden will be their savior. That would be funny, if it wasn’t so pathetic. Over the last four decades vacuous Joe passed multiple pieces of legislation specifically designed to screw over the working-class. Vacuous Joe is the epitome of crony capitalism.

    Empty headed Joe is now considered a return to normalcy.

    The security state working hand in glove with the mainstream media news is ludicrously saying: “vote for Biden he’s nice” and it’s a “return to normalcy.” Is that the same normalcy that vomited up Trump.

    Be that as it may, the Buffoon will make mincemeat of Biden and vacuous Joe will lose the election just like Hillary did in 2016. That’s if Joe makes it through the next eight months. In just a short period of time, those looking for normalcy might find empty headed Joe standing in line somewhere in Florida hoping to be the first to secure the senior early bird special rather then the presidency.

    Now getting back to the issue of the Sanders movement–what do these millions do after Bernie is cheated out of the nomination–go to a THIRD PARTY. That’s the only answer. Organize and mobilize behind a Third Party which represents the interests of the working-class. You know it can be done–Sanders did it. Now millions can do it without Sanders. Without a powerful Third Party the outraged working-class is just spinning their wheels in the muck of the Democratic Party and will never achieve a modicum of political success.

    • michael
      March 5, 2020 at 16:23

      When Bernie lost in 2016, he sheepherded his supporters to vote for Hillary. A larger percent of Bernie Bros supported Hillary, than Hillbots supported Obama in 2008, after she lost the primary. (Russians.)
      When Michael Bloomberg wanted to enter the Democrat debates and primaries, the DNC changed their rules to let him in. When Tulsi won her delegate, the DNC changed their rules to exclude her.
      All the Democrats shrieked when Hillary won the “popular” vote by 3 million (in California by over 4.2 million) and didn’t get many Electoral votes. Yet all the Democratic candidates (but Bernie) said that the primary contender with the most votes should not necessarily be the Democrat nominee. “Follow the rules!”
      Then the DNC arbitrarily changes their Rules on Tulsi.
      Many would have much more respect for Bernie if he said “Since you keep changing the rules, I’m having second thoughts about my Loyalty Pledge. Maybe I’ll look into running with a third party (with Tulsi and AOC)”. It would be so nice to see him take a principled stand for something.

    • Skip Edwards
      March 6, 2020 at 23:49

      Yes, yes, yes, a third party or do not vote if Bernie is cheated by the Dem’s once again. The PPP, or People’s Progressive Party can win if we all get together and vote together. Vote Sanders, PPP!

  22. Hugh upton
    March 5, 2020 at 09:59

    In the last 24 hours I have been shocked out of my drawers by the emergence (for me and probably a few Canadians – who are also YOUR neighbors) of two women; Alexandria Ocasio(?)-Cortez on CNN last night and the news about Tulsi gabbards planned non participation in the first debate.
    These are extraordinary people who also happen to be women. One can only hope that the US population will recognize what a gift you have and take steps to ensure that they get free and unrestricted space in 2024, should they choose to put themselves forward for a run at the Presidency.
    If you don’t, I will encourage and gladly sponsor both should they wish to become Canadians and run for office in our Federal government, which is probably far more in tune with their political and intellectual philosphies.

  23. Antiwar7
    March 5, 2020 at 09:52

    How can anyone with a brain and a heart support the DNC or Biden?

    • Mark Walker
      March 5, 2020 at 10:12

      So, Trump is your answer?

      I think not.

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      March 5, 2020 at 10:52

      I have concluded that brain and Dem-supporters don’t mix.

    • Vince on MN
      March 5, 2020 at 12:24

      As Walker attests, “I think not”, pretty much explains it.

    • Skip Scott
      March 5, 2020 at 16:46


      Your thinking is what keeps the plutocracy empowered. Think differently if you want to change the world in any meaningful way.

    • michael
      March 5, 2020 at 17:04

      From the coverage of ukrainegate.info by consortiumnews, it is obvious that Biden has enough brain to arguably be the most corrupt (and thus most powerful) politician in Ukraine, the most corrupt country in the world! The best (surreal) part is that Biden has done this under the guise of anti-corruption. At every opportunity Biden spews: “Corruption is a cancer.” Meanwhile firing the least corrupt attorney general/ prosecutor general Shokin and replacing him with Lutsenko, a “solid” (meaning super corrupt) electrical engineer who replaced Shokin as attorney general/ prosecutor general, and thus protecting Hunter Biden and kids of other politicians.

  24. Cameron Kelley
    March 5, 2020 at 09:39

    She’s got the only real anti-MIC stance of any of them, which is great. Her attraction to Modi makes her a non-starter for me.

    • michael
      March 5, 2020 at 16:26

      Did you have any problems with the Vindmans supporting their parents’/ grandparents’ homeland of Ukraine?

    • TS
      March 6, 2020 at 11:29

      But she’s not running for a seat in the Indian parliament, is she?
      And are all the Jewish candidates for electoral office who are “attracted” to the Israeli government of Netanyahoo also non-starters for you?

  25. Vera Gottlieb
    March 5, 2020 at 09:35

    Isn’t America for “fair play”…or so the propaganda goes??? Yeah…fair play as long as the “fair” benefits the corrupt. If you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. And nor forgetting…Tulsi being a woman…The utter lack of integrity is pathetic and shameful.

  26. Skip Scott
    March 5, 2020 at 08:51

    This is why we need to wrest control of the election process back from the plutocrats who control the DNC, the RNC, and their lackeys in the MSM. The Forever War is a forbidden topic at the debates, except for occasional meaningless lip service. Even Bernie is guilty of toeing the line. The “evil Putin” and the “evil Assad” narratives are never seriously challenged, and the underlying motive of the money flow resulting from these narratives is never brought to light. Waging peace would mean a reallocation and fairer distribution of resources that would threaten the plutocracy and the MIC.

    There will be no real progress on any of the other major issues until we stop the war machine, and I fear that won’t happen until a nuclear exchange wakes up whatever remains of humanity, if we survive at all. Mother Earth will get over her 24 hour bug, but humanity will either evolve or join the dinosaurs.

  27. DW Bartoo
    March 5, 2020 at 08:32

    I was hoping that Consortium News might publish this Caitlin Johnstone article.

    My great appreciation that you have done so.

    I also hoped that 2016 would have sufficiently revealed the corruption of the War Party and its two wings, that the many might refuse to play the crooked game.

    Apparently, even 2020 has not yet encouraged the improved eyesight of the many, not yet brought into clear or obvious focus the level of corruption and propagandistic deceit that rule humanity today, primarily through the military and corporate empire of the U$.

    One hopes that U$ians awake from the stupor of mythology, bombast, and narrative manipulation, that they might understand the central role which the U$ plays in terrorizing the people of the planet with the threat of war, with sanctions, and with war.

    One hopes that the frightened, cowed, abused, impoverished “electorate”, long deluded with the false belief that they effectively participate in a process clearly, and from the beginning, rigged against them, against their needs, well-being, and aspirations.

    Yet, far too many U$ians in my generation, the Boomers and, in fact, most over the age of 50, still somehow believe that the media, the political leaders, the military leaders, the corporate elite can be trusted and care about the many.

    Somehow, these too many are unable or unwilling to see, to understand that they have deliberately been set against each other and against their own interests.

    Much of the blame for this inability to understand which, frankly, seems to have been the case for the many throughout the period we happily refer to as “civilization”, can be put down to inculcated cultural belief systems, whether religious, or “patriotic”, as well as, more recently, to educational systems designed not to encourage critical thinking skills and deeper understanding, but to treat education as simply a vocational means to social advancement and economic enhancement.

    Neither should it be forgotten that motion pictures (Hollywood) has held the human population in spellbound thrall from its beginning by creating a simulacrum (an alternative reality, a “virtual” reality) so enticing that escape becomes addictive and “real” enough to suggest that one has not “lived” until one has had their 15 minutes of “fame” when they entrepreneurially may turn their “brand” into a profit center.

    We are told that there is no such thing as society, that there are only individual winners and losers, that there is no alternative to brutal warlike competition, that wealth reflects capacity, intelligence, and, as Lloyd Blankfein proclaimed, doing “God’s work”, for the greater glory of wealth, power and control.

    A more rational perspective might suggest that what we are told is “normal”, and is lauded as “human nature”, is really pathologically destructive and a reflection, not of health, but of mindless destruction, hardly creative in any meaningful way.

    Obviously, Tulsi Gabbard must be silenced, must be removed from any platform from which she might encourage others, or even many, to consider, to grasp, that war is not a real solution to anything, however “final” it might actually prove to be.

    Likewise, Bernie Sanders, flawed, timid, and genuinely too willing to accede to Russiagate and other imperial fictions, represents far too grave a threat to the lucrative gigs of the fake “resistance” authoritarian “Democrats” who decide which candidates Team Blue partisans may “choose” among.

    Thus, frightened old folks, and particularly black folks of a certain age, who mistakenly believe that they own Team Blue but are, in fact, owned BY the Blue wing of the war party (war, since Obama, now far more palatable to a population long generally opposed to it) are happily willing to rally behind someone who, despite having done all working people, of whatever “color” (those contrived and enforced “race” divisions put in place ever since Butler’s rebellion, long ago in Virginia) great and lasting harm, through enhanced incarceration and bankruptcy provisions aimed to strength the two-tiered legal system to a consistent embrace of perpetual war, the intended gutting of Social Security and Medicare among other things designed to benefit the elite at the cost of everyone else.

    How, one may wonder, can this happen?

    Could it be that the Corpoate MSM just happens to see that certain things are not allowed to be discussed?

    That “polite conversation”, the Overton Window, simply does now permit (encourage) certain things to be talked about?

    Or, if they are discussed, to be presented negatively, as threats, as dangers?

    Consider the coverage of Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning.

    Consider Medicare for All.

    Consider that among those who came out in support of Biden are such stellar wisdoms as Brennan and Comey.

    Consider how many of the voters who have, apparently, flocked to Biden (assuming that there was no voting machine “malarkey”) have ever looked beyond the media narratives about anything? Have ever read Consortium News, heard of Joe Lauria, Caitlin Johnstone, or Chris Hedges (who some consider “too depressing” to read or listen to), or Ray McGovern, and many others whose perspectives ought be welcome and mainstream but are not, for they discomfit, not the many, but the few?

    Could a lack of useful information and perspective be intentional?

    What do you think?

    • michael
      March 5, 2020 at 16:37

      “Consider how many of the voters who have, apparently, flocked to Biden (assuming that there was no voting machine “malarkey”) have ever looked beyond the media narratives about anything?”

      Funny, Jimmy Dore noted that Sanders won Massachusetts by exit polling, but lost by 6.9% officially. With the technology available today (championed to keep the DNC safe from “Russians” by Robbie Mook, CrowdStrike/Arena-1 and New Knowledge (which won the US Senate for Doug Jones by interfering as “Russians” according to the NY Times), and others, it is easy to manipulate vote totals. How would anybody know? Debbie Wasserman Schultz vs Tim Canova was another gross manipulation.

      Oh well, Federal Judge William Zloch ruled the DNC can pick their candidates as they see fit. Voters are just window dressing.

    • Skip Scott
      March 5, 2020 at 16:43

      There is no doubt that the lack of useful information and perspective is intentional. That is why the plutocracy has concluded that Tulsi must be excluded from the debates. She has already upset the applecart one too many times. I would like to see Bernie and Tulsi run their own independent ticket. As flawed as Bernie is, he has significant numbers and a large grass roots organization behind him. Tulsi would fill out the ticket nicely. I think together they would be unstoppable. The hard part would be getting their message past the MSM blockade. With 40% not even voting last election, there is a demographic that could be tapped that would turn the tide. Of course they would need overwhelming numbers because of potential rigging, not to mention a very capable independent security team.

      I figure if you’re gonna dream, dream big.

    • John Wright
      March 6, 2020 at 20:17

      DW Bartoo –

      Consider editing for clarity


      keep you pitchfork handy.

  28. March 5, 2020 at 08:28

    The DNC is disgraceful!

  29. March 5, 2020 at 07:59

    Tulsi’s recent piece about smears of Sanders regarding Russian support calling for leakers and the complicit media to account was powerful not only because it needed to be done but because of the impact this leaking has on the behavior of a President.

    Tulsi makes a strong case that the Trump presidency might have been very different if he hadn’t been ambushed beginning before he could make his inaugural speech and that it so weakened him that he had to take actions contrary to what he promised in campaign in order to survive.

    I think the case can also be made that his embrace of Israel regarding Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and his Middle East policy generally were influenced by the relentless attacks on him. Israel, through its supporters in America, served as a shield.

    There are of course other influences on this very political President but I think Tulsi Gabbard’s point were very powerful nevertheless.

    The leakers and their complicit media partners do need to be exposed.

    As to Tulsi, the American elites just were not willing to allow her a national forum any longer. She threatens too many just by her words. Kind of like the little boy and the emperor.

    • March 5, 2020 at 09:30

      You’ve hit the nail on the head.

    • John Wright
      March 6, 2020 at 20:49

      Herman – I would like to posit an alternative analysis for your consideration:

      Trump is an ignorant, narcissistic dilettante who sold his soul to Russian oligarchs who carefully laundered their billions in “loans” through Deutsche Bank.

      The Deep State, fully aware of this fact, selected Trump for the WH and has set him up to take the fall for the coming economic collapse. Trump is nothing more than a stooge for the Deep State in the ongoing theater that is U.S. politics. He has done nothing substantial which conflicts with the Deep State agenda and his policies are increasing their wealth and power.

      Tulsi Gabbard, on the other hand, has clearly stated her rejection of regime change wars, which are one of the principle tools of the Deep State in maintaining its empire. Thus, the corporate Democrats and the corporate media lackeys have done everything possible to keep Tulsi from gaining a wider platform to express her anti-imperial views.

      As for Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the Israeli faction within the Deep State always gets what they want, no matter who the president is.

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