How powerful is the Pro-Israeli Lobby?

Watching all the presidential candidates (save the only JEWISH one) all pander shamelessly to the Jewish/Pro-Israeli lobby, it makes me wonder just how powerful they are.

Are they the kingmakers? Can you get elected without putting your nose up their ass?

(For the record, I am about as staunchly pro-Israeli as one can get. They are the only democratic, free-market country amid a sea of dead theocracies. But seeing Ted Cruz cite story after story from the Talmud and how it relates to modern Iran/Palestine is god-damn unbearable. He opened with “GOD BLESS AIPAC!”…just shut the fuck up you pandering sack of shit.)

Are there any lobbies candidates* don’t *pander to?

The atheist lobby, for one.

It is powerful. Like the NRA, they are an organization that has four very important attributes: (1) many millions of dollars; (2) 100,000+ members; (3) very narrow focus; (4) national presence. I’m hard-pressed to think of many organizations that fit those criteria.

AIPAC also has one more attribute that the NRA lacks: they lobby on an issue on which the opposition has no organized presence in Washington. At least with the NRA, there are less powerful groups like the Brady Center. AIPAC has no serious rival.

So, that makes the political calculus pretty easy. Sure, you piss off some progressives and some Muslims (and especially the Muslim progressives!) by supporting an organization with some questionable history and goals (e.g., misleading support for the Iraq War). But it’s a small price to pay.

AIPAC is not The Jewish Lobby.

The Jewish Lobby is in charge of protecting the American corned beef supply, ensuring a steady supply of Seinfeld reruns and making Sandy Koufax’s birthday a national holiday.

It is very very powerful. Don’t mess with it.

I’ll add that they have a simplistic and one-sided (but not wrong) view of a very complex topic.

Our lobby sucks. The chairs are hard and there’s nothing to read but old issues of The Humanist.

They have nukes but will never admit it.