M J Rosenberg writes:
I received an email from a Capitol Hill aide who thinks my criticism of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, is overly simplistic. He doesn’t dispute the fact that AIPAC has a disproportionate influence on our Middle East foreign policy. He argues, however, that AIPAC is no different than other powerful special interest lobbies.
I think his whole email is worth a read:
I work on Capitol Hill and I disagree with you about AIPAC. You make it seem as if AIPAC is the only lobby that gets what it wants through threats of cutting off campaign contributions, as if only AIPAC dictates legislation through intimidation.
WRONG! My colleague who handles the Israel issue confirms your analysis. But it’s no different on the domestic issues I cover. The issues of jobs, health, taxes, the environment, regulation to protect kids’ health, oil drilling, workers’ safety, education, guns…they are all dictated by lobbies just as overbearing as AIPAC. All we do up here is cater to rich, selfish people and their special interests. And their interest is cutting all social programs so we can keep cutting taxes to make them even richer.
True, most of them don’t brag as much as AIPAC but that doesn’t make them any better or worse, just smarter (AIPAC gets more negative attention because of its swagger). Big deal. The public is getting screwed eight ways to Sunday by special interests and AIPAC is just one of them. Don’t mislead your readers into thinking it is unique. Not only is it not unique, it’s insignificant in the sense that it’s not the guys robbing the poor to put money in their own pockets. They own US Middle East policy. But the real fat cats own everything else.
I agree with everything my correspondent writes. The American democracy we learned about in school no longer exists. It’s been sold to the highest bidders. And the highest bidder is not, as the Tea Partiers like to say, “We The People.”