Who Defeated AIPAC?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 4 2014 8:50 AM

Who Defeated AIPAC?

52973839-israeli-prime-minister-ariel-sharon-addresses-the-annual
Whodunit?

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mark Landler has a good read on how momentum for the new Iran sanctions bill stalled out last month, but the framing is even better for critics. As Landler sees it, the sputtering of the bill was the third defeat for AIPAC in a year. Defeat No. 1: the confirmation of Chuck Hagel, which AIPAC didn't come out and oppose but was clearly disquieted by. No. 2: The non-bombing of Syrian weapons sites, which AIPAC endorsed early. No. 3: being on the wrong side of the White House and watching a sanctions bill stop gathering signatures when it was eight votes short of passage.

I've written about this before and credited the stall-out to the overeager boosting of Republican aides (they bragged that there were more than 67 votes before they'd gotten that many co-sponsors) and to a stealthy campaign by the Jewish left. One factor I'd left out before: the White House's rear-guard effort to stop the bill, enabled by recent hires from pro-Israel offices on the Hill. Katie Fallon, formerly communications director for Chuck Schumer, is now at the White House. Robert Marcus, formerly the adviser on Middle East and North Africa policy to Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is now a special assistant at the White House.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 17 2014 1:04 PM The War Department's WWII Advice Booklet for Soldiers Headed to Syria
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Football Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.