Israel, the Democrats, BDS, and who Congress Works for

The bulk of this piece actually relies on data provided by Mondoweiss:

‘92% of House Democrats condemned BDS, but new poll shows many Dem voters support movement’

92% of House Democrats condemned BDS, but new poll shows many Dem voters support movement

Specifically, the article points out…

‘In July, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution that condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and effectively tags the movement as antisemitic. The final vote was 398-17, with 209 Democrats voting for the legislation and just 16 opposing it…

New polling from Data for Progress suggests that no such overwhelming consensus exists among Democratic voters. According to a poll carried out for the group by YouGov Blue, 44% of Democratic voters support BDS, with just 15% opposing it. 53% agree that the movement is legitimate, with just 12% disagreeing. 48% of them are opposed to anti-BDS laws, with just 15% supporting them…’

The totals of both opposed and unopposed add up to only 59%, 65%, and 63%, so obviously many are unsure — but the fact remains that a plurality, if not a majority, of Democratic voters support BDS.

Yet Congress — obviously including the Democratic Congressmen who purport to represent those Democratic voters — overwhelmingly opposes BDS. The vote among Democratic Congressmen was 209 to 16: more than nine out of every ten Democratic Congressmen opposed it. Yet among their supporters who had an opinion, the ratio of those supporting BDS to those condemning it ranges from three to one to four to one, depending on precisely what is asked. 44% to 15% actually support BDS, while 53% to 12% at least agree the movement is legitimate.

So there is — ahem — a discrepancy here. Most of us are not so idealistic as to expect our Congressmen to be paragons of virtue, or even integrity. We do, however, expect them to respond to the wishes of those who vote for them. Perhaps they would accede to the desires of some corporation or special interest on a matter most of us are simply unaware of — but if our wishes are expressed, and made known, surely any sensible democratic politician would hasten to at least pretend to respond to those desires.

In the matter of BDS, are Congressmen privy to some secret information unknown to the rest of us? Would they have some legitimate but secret reason to oppose BDS when most of us support it?

I think not. When their supporters are for something three to one, and Democratic Congressmen oppose it ten to one, we can reasonably ask who it is that our Congressmen actually serve.

Obviously, it’s not us.

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