Greenwald, in a long post on why it is important to hold team Obama to the fire, provides an example of what happens when only one side of a debate has anyone working for them:
We just witnessed the results of that dynamic with the ugly spectacle last week of a virtually unanimous Congress approving a completely one-sided Israel/Gaza Resolution. That Middle East war is an issue which, whatever else one might want to say about it, generates intense controversy, division and passion around the world. But not in the U.S. Congress. There, virtually the entire Congress (510 of the 535 members) — from the furthest left precincts of the Democratic Party to the furthest right-wing of the Republican Party, from all four corners of the U.S. and everywhere in between — looked at this war and just-so-happened to reach the same exact conclusion: not only is Israel 100% in the right, but the U.S. should involve itself publicly and squarely on Israel’s side.
Does anyone actually believe that, in the absence of extremely effective political pressure, 510 ideologically diverse members of Congress — at exactly the moment when worldwide opposition to the Israeli assault is growing in response to documented civilian horrors — would all have jointly decided that Israel was right to bomb and invade Gaza and that it is in America’s interests to insinuate itself on Israel’s side? Even Governors, such as Democrat Martin O’Malley of Maryland, ludicrously popped up to follow the pro-Israel script.
That happens for one clear reason: because one side of the debate (the AIPAC faction) is strong and aggressive in its criticisms and pressure tactics and the other side (the faction wanting an even-handed U.S. approach) is not.
And, just to drive the point home a little bit more, Ehud Olmert takes to the media to show us who is boss:
In an unusually public rebuke, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel said Monday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been forced to abstain from a United Nations resolution on Gaza that she helped draft, after Mr. Olmert placed a phone call to President Bush.
“I said, ‘Get me President Bush on the phone,’ ” Mr. Olmert said in a speech in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, according to The Associated Press. “They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care: ‘I need to talk to him now,’ ” Mr. Olmert continued. “He got off the podium and spoke to me.”
Israel opposed the resolution, which called for a halt to the fighting in Gaza, because the government said it did not provide for Israel’s security. It passed 14 to 0, with the United States abstaining.
Mr. Olmert claimed that once he made his case to Mr. Bush, the president called Ms. Rice and told her to abstain. “She was left pretty embarrassed,” Mr. Olmert said, according to The A.P.
I am not sure what Israel has on us that they can extract billions of American taxpayer dollars every year and dictate our foreign policy, but it must be something pretty good. The craziest thing about this is the silence of the jingosphere. Had this been any other nation bossing around Bush’s Secretary of State, or, god forbid, France, can you imagine the wingnut Voltron that would have been formed in outrage? As it is, crickets.