Friday, September 04, 2015

Did AIPAC just waste tens of millions fighting the Iran deal?

Vox wonders Did AIPAC just waste tens of millions fighting the Iran deal? Not really. Here's what it got.

"The big mystery, then, is why the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spent between $20 million and $40 million on television ads opposing the deal, which aired in at least 23 states. Anybody with a basic understanding of party politics could see deal opponents would very likely lose. Why waste so much money on a long-shot fight? Doesn't that now make AIPAC look weak, having spent all this money and lost?"

And they start playing the cynical 11th dimensional chess game for answers:

"AIPAC now operates with a $110 million annual budget, and wants to double that budget over the next five years. To do that, it needs to raise considerable money. That means giving donors a strong reason to contribute."

"If AIPAC had decided to hold its lobbying fire, by contrast, it would have left itself open to charges that it had softened, that it wasn't a true supporter of Israel. If it abandoned the hard-line position, it's quite possible that some of its biggest donors would take their money to a new organization that promises to be that hard-line voice."

"Consider that national security groups that sprang up to oppose the Iraq War saw their giving tumble once Barack Obama was elected to end the war. By contrast, the Sandy Hook shootings — and the threat of gun control that they brought — were a great gift to the National Rifle Association's revenues, which increased almost 40 percent between 2012 and 2013."

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