Don’t Do It, Tulsi

Tulsi Gabbard is considering boycotting the next Democratic debate to protest the Democratic Party’s attempts to rig this cycle’s primaries just like they did in 2020. I get her point, I understand where she’s coming from, and I certainly don’t disagree that they are trying to rig the nomination process again. But, from a political point of view, I think it would be a bonehead move.
She is rising in the polls, but she’s not rising by that much, and the debate is the best chance for her to keep her face in front of the American public, and besides: she has proven that she excels in the debate format, even if it is, as she pointed out, more like a reality TV show than a proper debate.
If she boycotts this debate, after having been excluded from the last one, she will become nearly invisible.
The major networks will spend zero time discussing her boycott, and everybody else on stage will get about an extra 30 seconds of talk time. Maybe less, if Biden rambles on, as he tends to do.
On the other hand, maybe her plan is to make a dramatic exit from the race. I would be of mixed feelings about that. I like Tulsi. On some subjects (Julian Assange, Venezuela, foreign affairs in general) I like her even better than Bernie. But, her exit would benefit him as most of her supporters would move to team Sanders. Some might go to Yang, or Williamson. A handful might go to Warren, but I doubt it.
A thought I just had now, while writing this, is that maybe she thinks (and maybe thinks correctly) that the plan is to steer the conversation towards the Kurdish situation in Syria, and all the centrist Dems are going to gang up on her. I don’t think that’s the scenario. I, I wouldn’t put it past the DNC and whatever network is hosting the debate to plan some trap like that. But I think it highly unlikely Tulsi would run from it.
In any event, she’ll have to decide fast. The debate is Tuesday night.

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