AIPAC Decides Next Week If California Senate Candidate Passes Muster on Israel

04/29/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • MJ Rosenberg Worked on Capitol Hill for Democratic Senators and House members for 20 years

The lobby that supposedly doesn't exist is being called in to determine if a GOP candidate for the US Senate, Tom Campbell, is sufficiently devoted to Israel's interests.

Those who reject the idea that the lobby is the 800 pound gorilla in American politics will say this is normal. I suppose it would be if the French, Italians and Japanese were able to throw this kind of weight around and get away with it. But they don't and can't.

The irony is that no one the Republicans come up with will be as loyal to AIPAC as Barbara Boxer, the Democratic incumbent. A progressive on every other issue, she is with AIPAC on all matters relating to Israel (including Iran). AIPAC will support her no matter who the GOP nominates.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting story. Every so often the curtain lifts and you see that on this issue -- as on most -- politicians are invariably forced into line by the special interests. I say forced because, never in a million years, would progressives support the AIPAC line if they were free to vote their conscience. They are not. (If we had public financing of campaigns, which will never happen, AIPAC would be down to 50 supporters in Congress, tops).

George Washington, who warned in his farewell address against Americans holding "unnatural connections to foreign powers" is not pleased. As for Madison, don't even ask!