Political Radar

`Clear-eyed view'

September 4th, 2013

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a freshman navigating the implications of her first decision on a military strike, has asked her constituents for feedback on Syria.

The Hawaii Democrat, who serves in the Hawaii Army National Guard, had called on President Barack Obama last week to seek congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria.

From Gabbard:

The civil war in Syria has claimed over 100,000 lives. Last Wednesday, the situation got even worse: at least 350 people died and over 3,600 were hospitalized after a suspected chemical attack. The use of chemical weapons is atrocious and violates international norms and basic human rights.

Over the next week, I will be reviewing the facts of what is occurring on the ground, the factions involved in this civil war, what the objectives are for U.S. involvement, and what the follow-on actions and unintended consequences could be. Before taking a vote on this very important issue, I want to have a clear-eyed view of our endgame and outcomes, understanding the impacts in Syria, the region, and those that extend far beyond.

I want to hear from you. Please click here to let me know where you stand on this critical debate.

Thank you for taking the time to consider and weigh in on this important and timely discussion. I am honored to represent you in Congress and value your feedback. I will keep you updated as we move forward.

18 Responses to “`Clear-eyed view'”

  1. Manoa_Fisherman:

    If she doesn't know how to make a decision without taking a poll from her constituents, then she lacks the maturity, knowledge and experience to represent the people of Hawaii. Sorry kid, we need someone who knows what they doing in Washington, not another pretty face on TV or Vogue.

  2. WooWoo:

    Oh come on, Manoa. You said it yourself, she represents us. So nothing wrong with asking us. If you are accusing her of not being able to mind-read, then I'm sure she's guilty.

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Stop the use of Sarin Gas.

    As far as stopping the Civil War, forget it.
    Too many groups and people involved.
    One can cause a domino effect and one
    by one each country will become victim
    and this confrontation will escalate into
    World War III.

    Stop the Civil War in America before one
    can preach to the World. America is not
    made of Missionaries.

  4. hossana:

    I DEFINITELY concur with Manoa_Fisherman re: Gabbard's lack of maturity and leadership. Taking a poll is an easy way out...show me leadership for goodness sake and take a stand....they call it Profile of Courage in Leadership. Don't be wishy washy trying to pander to the public's opinion.

  5. kamaaina808:

    Haters gonna hate. Asking for constituent's views is not pandering - it's called being inclusive, and as a constituent, I find that refreshing.

  6. innocent observer:

    a congress person is elected to make hard decisions based on the facts. glad that she is attempting to study the facts, etc, but in the end, it is her decision to make - yes or no. polling constituents is not a good idea because they do not have all the facts and most of the time their opinions are based on emotion (subjective) rather than objectivity. her decision is not what is best for constituents but what is in the best interest of America, not just Hawaii.

  7. Manoa_Fisherman:

    To Kamaaina808:

    Refreshing is a good shave ice. An elected representative should be able to communicate clearly to their constituents:

    1. The pros and cons of the issue at hand.

    2. Explain the basis for the decision made or position taken.

    3. Be able to take the "heat" for what ever decision is made.

    4. Leave office if numbers 1, 2 and 3 cannot be accomplished, because that is the minimum requirements for the job.

  8. kamaaina808:

    @ Manoa_Fisherman - Did you know that there was a hearing with Gen. Dempsey, Sec. of State Kemp and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee this morning? It was to inform Congressional members of that committee the present situation in Syria & allow questions from them on the same: the consequences, the assurances, the ability to take control of WMD, etc., that the US government is going to provide to the American people and to our Veterans if they indeed choose to strike Syria. I suspect we'll be hearing from our Representatives very shortly on their decisions, addressing your concerns.

    Some people fault Hanabusa for taking a "No Way" stance up front, knowing it's possible she will change her mind when more evidence is produced. Which is worse? Changing your mind after the fact or gathering information before you make up your mind? In the public's eye - I'd say the former, because you're immediately labeled a 'flip-flopper.' I see no rush to make snap decisions, so I support Rep. Gabbard, Sen. Schatz and Sen. Hirono's stance at this point. If you check WaPo, they're not alone by a long shot.

    One more thing: I think this Administration has made up its mind to strike, Congressional approval, be damned.

  9. KKawa:

    Taking a poll on whether to launch a military strike? Very poor judgment, indeed. On many levels. ..... Gabbard continues to have my support. This, however, was a major mis-step.

  10. Sayer:

    Kamaaina808 is spot on on this issue. Tulsi Gabbard is an elected official not a despot. Obviously she will be taken multiple viewpoints and information into consideration - including the views of the electorate. I find it refreshing and inclusive that she asked for constituents' views on the matter. If more of our elected officials genuinely considered their constituents' viewpoints on specific issues, our country would be in much better shape than what it is.

    Far too many back room and closed door policies is what leads to corruption and mismanagement. The NSA program is a perfect example of this.

  11. Jerem:

    Some people will complain about anything. If you turn left they will say you should have turned right. If you turn right they'll say you should have turned left.

  12. melancholyone:

    Hard to figure.

    Inclusion is nice, however, the information access is not equal for leadership and the populace.

    To poll citizens who don't have the same access to leadership's information doesn't seem productive, as they could be making poor judgments based on information asymmetry.

  13. Manoa Kahuna:

    I'm glad she asked.

  14. Kolea:

    While Tulsi asked for feedback from her constituents, a good attitude for an elected representative, I would think, it is clear from her questioning of Kerry, et al., during the hearing, that she has well-developed concerns of her own, as well as a deep understanding of the possible consequences of an attack on Syria. Why wait to learn later the "unforeseen" negative consequences when an honest discussion, in advance, can force us to think about them in advance.

    I appreciate that all four of our delegation are asking questions and expressing skepticism rather than rushing to "support the president." I ask they vote against authorizing an attack. I think it is unwise, counter-productive and likely to entangle us in a long, messy war at great cost in lives, money and national prestige.

  15. Pollster:

    A "representative" that doesn't find out what their constituents want isn't really a "representative" & a poll's actually a better way to get to know what constituents want than partisan constituents calling the office requesting support for their desired positions.

  16. Goober:

    Seems those who can afford to make two cent comments
    also have the money to pay for a War in the makings.

    If conservative and liberals want war, let them go to Syria and fight
    or shut up. Put their money where their mouth is.

    I wonder how many gays will go to fight since, they are
    not liked by Russia or Muslims. Let them talk.

  17. Especially Incognito:

    Maybe those gay and straight will end their
    Civil War. Maybe conservatives and liberals will
    marry each other. Que Sarin, Sarin.

  18. Especially Incognito:

    It seems that those elected are supposed to be experts.
    No mistakes can be made and that history is a big mistake
    and America keeps repeating.

    Shown is leadership by "The Little Red Hen". Yet everyone
    wants to eat the bread. Tough cookies for those and eat
    my crumbs.

Leave a Reply

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.