In a political era that is becoming more and more like a “hold my beer” joke in regards to outrageous statements, the bar was set high by Hillary Clinton last week when she accused failed 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein of being a Russian asset, and for good measure, she tossed in Tulsi Gabbard:
They’re also going to do third party again. And I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary. And they’re grooming her to be the third party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far, and – that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she is also a Russian asset — yeah, she’s a Russian asset! I mean totally
I think it is safe to say that were this anything more than Hillary Clinton blaming other people for her own epic incompetence in 2016, the Mueller investigation, which was empowered to investigate Russian campaign meddling, would have uncovered tracks of the support for the Stein campaign–unless, of course, President Trump has been right all along and it was simply part of a scheme to remove him from office without any basis is truth. But Clinton’s fluffers dutifully jumped on the bandwagon:
What is interesting is that, as far as I can tell, exactly two Democrat candidates have come to Gabbard’s defense and both of those have done so rather tepidly.
Tulsi Gabbard deserves much more respect and thanks than this. She literally just got back from serving our country abroad.
— Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) October 19, 2019
.@BetoORourke on @TulsiGabbard: "Tulsi is not being groomed by anyone. She is her own person. Obviously has served this country, continues to serve this country in uniform, in Congress, as a candidate for presidency so I think those facts speak for themselves." pic.twitter.com/dKnOVExx3H
— The Hill (@thehill) October 19, 2019
What should have been said was that either Clinton was mentally debilitated, batsh** crazy, or day drinking yet again. But the fear of the Clinton machine is too much for Democrats to stand up to even when confronted point-blank with this outrageous allegation. Such was the case when Chuck Todd confronted “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg on Meet the Press (h/t to Byron York for the transcript):
Buttigieg’s supporters are claiming that his last sentence, that he wasn’t “comfortable” with the accusation, is a defense of Gabbard. If so, it is about as weak as one can get. In fact, reading his whole response, he could just as easily have meant that he wasn’t comfortable with a situation in which Russia was “grooming” a Democrat candidate.
This is not one of those occasions when an opponent is in trouble and you just punt on your opinion on the issue. This is a case where a major (shame on us) US political figure has accused a Democrat candidate, who just happens to be both an officer in the Army National Guard and a congresswoman, of being a agent of Russia. Mere decency requires the allegation against both Gabbard and Stein, but in particular against Gabbard, to be denounced as utterly whacko. And yet, he couldn’t bring himself to break with the Clinton machine even on an issue with a moral bright line such as this.