Wednesday, January 09, 2013
AIPAC Sitting Out The Hagel Fight
As Eli Lake reports, AIPAC, one of the most prominent pro-Israel American lobbying groups has decided not to get into the battle of Chuck Hagel's nomination as Secretary of defense, at least openly.
AIPAC has a long standing position of not weighing in publicly on presidential cabinet nominations, although Chuck Hagel and this administration are unique circumstances that you would think might have changed things.
I don't think they're being cowardly as much as attempting to make the best out of a bad situation. Like me, they've probably looked at the numbers and realize that unfortunately, Chuck Hagel probably has the votes to get confirmed barring something crazy happening. The Democrats have the Senate plus Vice President Biden as a potential tie breaker, President Obama has put a lot of weight behind getting this anti-Israel, pro-Iran nominee in and most of the Democrats will go along, to their shame.
Like it or not, American support for our ally Israel is now becoming a partisan issue especially when it comes to the left, largely thanks to President Barack Obama. This poll, done by Pew is interesting:
The way AIPAC figures it, there are plenty of people shocked enough by the Hagel pick willing to fight this every step of the way, but if AIPAC stays out of it they may at least be able to keep the lines of communication open.
Unfortunately, they're likely mistaken in my view, but it's probably worth a try from their standpoint, especially if they see Hagen's confirmation as a forgone conclusion anyway.