President Obama was reelected for many reasons, but skepticism/hostility to Israel was not one of them. To the extent that the Hagel nomination expressed the president’s exasperation with Benjamin Netanyahu or a determination to downgrade the long and close U.S.-Israel relationship — well, to that extent the nomination was a peevish mistake. Hagel right now is paying the price of that mistake by his disavowal of, and apology for, a decade of poorly considered remarks…

Hagel inserted himself into a small bubble of people who have talked themselves into an ever more radical critique of Israel and American Jewry. Isolated inside that bubble, he lost sight of the real state of American politics. The “Israel Lobby” is powerful in U.S. politics for exactly the same reason that Mothers Against Drunk Driving is powerful: because the American majority supports motherhood and disapproves of drunk driving.