When Did Tulsi Gabbard Secretly Join the House Progressive Caucus?

Nov 30, 2017 · 2 min read

After voting with Republicans to make it virtually impossible for Syrian refugees to come to the U.S., proposing legislation that would discriminate against Muslim refugees, voting to allow mentally ill veterans to buy guns, lying about rejecting Wall Street donations in the past, failing to support single-payer until mid-May 2017, making common cause with mass-murdering dictator Bashar al-Assad and his Egyptian counterpart General Sisi, appearing on Fox News to attack President Obama for not using right-wing catchphrases like “radical Islamic terrorism,” supporting the right-wing anti-secular and anti-Muslim neoliberal BJP in India, and voting down the House Progressive Caucus budget in both 2014 and 2015 on the only occasions it came up for a floor vote in recent years, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard finally joined the House Progressive Caucus some time in late 2017.

But you would never know this by looking at Gabbard’s website where there is zero mention of either the House Progressive Caucus or her decision to join it.

So how do we know when Gabbard joined the House Progressive Caucus? A site called the Internet Archive has a feature called the “Wayback Machine” that periodically indexes websites which allows people to view older versions of websites. When we visit the House Progressive Caucus’ member page that was archived on September 17, 2017, Gabbard’s name is not listed but when we visit the page that was archived on November 7, 2017, she is listed:

So Gabbard joined the House Progressive Caucus sometime between September 17, 2017 and November 7, 2017 without an announcement or press conference informing her constituents. The most likely explanation for why she joined the caucus in silence is because an announcement would draw attention to the fact that she was not a member previously, that she has a decidedly centrist and not progressive voting record, that she failed to co-sponsor two out of seven bills promoted by Our Revolution’s “Summer for Progress,” that she voted repeatedly against the budgets the caucus drew up in opposition to the Republicans’ spending bills, and that she is far to the right of her district which is among the safest seats in the country for a Democrat.

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Groupthink is a contradiction in terms.

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