Sunday, April 16, 2006

Eliot Spitzer and Mike Arcuri on the Iraq War

Pro-Arcuri readers here have been justifying Michael Arcuri's apparent (still no confirming word from Arcuri either way) decision to take no stand in 2003, public or private, to help stop the Iraq War, by saying that Arcuri could not have taken any stand against the Iraq War because he was a District Attorney, and involvement in political issues is unethical for a DA.

Well, there are several weaknesses to that argument:

1. Michael Arcuri, using his position as District Attorney as a source of credibility, is taking public stands on many political issues right now, but remains DA. Why couldn't he do this in 2003?
2. Mike Arcuri could have taken private action against the Iraq War in 2003. Maybe he did - but his campaign won't say.
3. District Attorneys do often take political stands, and if they make a conflict of interest in a case by doing so, they simply have an Assistant DA take the case in their place.

Well, one of the readers here challenged me to name one District Attorney who took a stand for or against the war. I did that challenge one better, and named Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who is the equivalent of a District Attorney for all of New York State. Eliot Spitzer took a strong pro-war stand supporting the invasion of Iraq before the war began.

Well, now I've been given another challenge by another reader: Provide a link that shows Eliot Spitzer supported the Iraq War before it began. Once again, I'll do that challenge one better, and provide two links that show that Spitzer not only supported the Iraq War, but supported the rush to war, and continued to support the war after the invasion so much that he attacked other politicians who had opposed the war.

This first link is from the Village Voice, which describes the force with which Eliot Spitzer, through his position as Attorney General of New York State, declared support for the Iraq War. Here's the first paragraph from that article, written for late March and early April 2003:

"Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general whose everyday agenda is framed by gubernatorial ambition, went out of his way on the eve of the war to endorse it, joining the ranks of New York's Bush League Democrats. Four days before the first missiles were fired, Spitzer's top spokesman told the weasel-walloping Post that the AG 'supports the Bush administration on the use of military action to remove Saddam Hussein, and he would like to see it done as soon as possible.'

Spitzer's very public pro-war position was unchanged in June, 2003, when talked to the editors of the Press-Republican, up near Plattsburgh:

"State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, stops by Plattsburgh for a Press-Republican Editorial Board meeting, at which he opines that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, one of the early contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, is unelectable because of his outspoken stance as a dove during the Iraq war. The public will not cleave to any candidate against a war that had such popular support, Spitzer says."

If Eliot Spitzer used the power of his public office as Attorney General of All New York State to support the Iraq War, why couldn't the District Attorney of little Oneida County have taken a public stand for or against? The excuses don't wash.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can understand how important this question is to you, but I have to wonder if you're perspective is a bit off. What about the other candidate?

Where was Les Roberts on the war in 2003?

Why didn't Les Roberts use his position as an internationally respected figure to speak out against the war?

As of now there's no evidence that Roberts said a single word about the Iraq war in all of 2003, if we're to use published material as a guide. Why is it so vitally important that Mike Arcuri take a stand, yet Les Roberts seems to get a pass?

Anonymous said...

the fact that you think the positions of AG and DA are even on the same political playing ground shows just how silly you are.

24 Independent said...

Les Roberts doesn't get a pass, as you put it. Les Roberts has been on the ground in Iraq, and his work to bring the true extent of civilian deaths has been a significant resource for the anti-war effort. That study was how Les Roberts gained international recognition, whereas Mike Arcuri had local recognition BEFORE the war. Look online, and you won't find ANY documents about Les Roberts from before his 2004 study. (Don't confuse Cleveland author Les Roberts with the Les Roberts running in this campaign - they're two different people.)

Every time Arcuri's history on this issue comes up, there's an effort to change the subject. Why is that?

All Arcuri has to do is come out now and tell us whether he was for or against the war in 2003. Why won't his campaign do that? It's a simple statement to make.

24 Independent said...

I do NOT think that the positions of Attorney General and District Attorney are on the same political playing ground. I believe that they are equivalent positions in terms of the county level and the state level - and that they are ruled by equivalent ethical limitations. That's what's relevant to this discussion.

More excuses? Come on.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for those links on Les and Eliot that show they were so against the war in 2003 they did press releases. Moreover, I was against that war but like Les Roberts, nobody cared if I said so publicly. What would the headline have read? Epidemiologist Thinks War is Bad? Now on the other hand, I still cannot find a link to any DA OR the ATTY GEN making such a publicly printable remark in 2003. Why? Because they had no business doing so considering their positions.

24 Independent said...

Pardon me 8:57, but are you unable to read?

You're writing a comment on an article that has two links establishing that Eliot Spitzer was publicly pro-war for an extended period of time, and yet you say you're still waiting for the links?

Do you ever READ anything written here, or do you just skim, and then try to come up with a witty retort based on what you THINK has been written?

24 Independent said...

Spitzer for PRO-WAR, as I've mentioned before, not ANTI-WAR.

Details. Read, and pay attention to the details, please.

Anonymous said...

Les Roberts doesn't get a pass, as you put it.

Then why aren't you asking where Les Roberts was in 2003? You've now done, what, three features, asking where Mike Arcuri was, yet you haven't asked that question a single time about Les Roberts. If that's not getting a pass, what is?


Les Roberts has been on the ground in Iraq, and his work to bring the true extent of civilian deaths has been a significant resource for the anti-war effort.

Thats nice, but it still doesn't answer the question. Where was Les Roberts in 2003?

That study was how Les Roberts gained international recognition, whereas Mike Arcuri had local recognition BEFORE the war.

Thats nice. It still doesn't answer the question.

Look online, and you won't find ANY documents about Les Roberts from before his 2004 study.

Well, there's the answer. Les Roberts never came out against the Iraq war when it really mattered.

When it was time to stand and be counted, when it was time to stop the bloodshed when it began, when it was time to put the brakes on Bush's insane quest for power Les Roberts was...uh...doing something else.

See, that wasn't hard.

(Don't confuse Cleveland author Les Roberts with the Les Roberts running in this campaign - they're two different people.)

The difference being that the other Les Roberts actually did say something about the Iraq war. The "internationally recognized" foreign policy expert kept his mouth shut.

Every time Arcuri's history on this issue comes up, there's an effort to change the subject. Why is that?

Oh, believe me, I think Arcuri's a spineless political coward too. I'm just amazed that you can't point out that Les Roberts was just as spineless. They're two peas in a pod, desperately trying to make themselves into politically acceptable primary candidates without any real commitment to a single issue.

Anonymous said...

Oh look! We are at the Principal's office. Saying you are have been for or against something for a long time is not the same as PUBLICLY saying so at the time. I and several others have challenged your statement that you have made here on this blog that he came out publicly against the war in 2003 and you want to know how come Arcuri didn't. I asked you to name me ONE DA who was foolish enough to make such a statement from that elected position...and you gave me the name of Eliot Spitzer. So I guess you have changed your mind then? Good. So the question still remains. Name me ONE DA who publicly made a statement against the Iraq war. It is YOU who keeps hammering that Arcuri didn't do so. So Where are those 2003 links on DAs who made public statements about the war in 2003? In fact, where is the 2003 link that says Les was against the war? Once more with feeling: You keep asking how come Arcuri didn't publicly come out against the war in 2003. You said Les and Eliot did. Now you have changed your mind about Eliot. Where are those 2003 links on Les or ANY DA who made a statement against the war in 2003? There aren't any, which is clear here, since now you have changed your mind and state Eliot was Pro War in 2003. So once again, I am continuing to askg that you name ONE DA that made a political statement against the war in the year 2003. If you cannot name ONE, then why is it you would expect Arcuri to make a statement from a DA's slot?

There, I said it several times, so it's easier to read. Words are easy, links are proof. I want those 2003 links that lead you to imply that Arcuri would have any business making a statement about the war in 2003.
What you are doing here is dodging the orginal question, yet you continue to ask what Arcuri's public stance was on the war in 2003. What part of that aren't YOU able to read?

If you can't answer this question and you want to give me ducks when I am asking for bears, then the answer is: THERE ARE NO OTHER DAs WHO MADE PUBLIC STATEMENTS OF WHERE THEY STOOD ON THE WAR IN 2003. So, once again, wny would you expect Arcuri to do such an unethical thing?

How many times would you like me to repeat it? So long as you keep asking what his public stance was, I will keep asking you to name me ONE DA WHO PUBLICLY SPOKE OUT AGAINST THE WAR in 2003.

If the answer is NONE, since it would be inappropriate for a DA to do take a stand, then maybe you ought to try your NEXT subject of attack, since Abortion and Iraq War aren't cutting it. I'm sure you can find another topic.

Yes, I do read. I read you VERY well.

Anonymous said...

10:36 wrote: "'Look online, and you won't find ANY documents about Les Roberts from before his 2004 study.'

Well, there's the answer. Les Roberts never came out against the Iraq war when it really mattered."

Don't be too hasty. Keep in mind that most of the millions of Americans who took direct political action to stop the war in Iraq never got their name mentioned online, or in a newspaper, or even if they did, the sources have since disappeared from the Internet.

That's why the author of this article has been extremely fair about saying that Michael Arcuri may well have taken private, or even public, action against the Iraq War before it started - but there's no evidence of such a thing.

There was really only one article on that subject - the two following were really responses to silly excuses dreamed up by Arcuri's supporters.

Be patient. I imagine that the blog author will deal with your question, much as he dealt with the questions about Spitzer. All in good time - nobody writes all day long on Easter . Patience.

Anonymous said...

10:56 - You're incoherent. Babbling. What is your problem?

Anonymous said...

The purpose of this blog is to make Les Roberts look good by trying to make Mike Arcuri look bad. Can't you guys make Roberts look good all by himself? And since you can never get more than a dozen or so people to vote in your polls, I realize I am wasting my time even bothering to read this blog. It just doesn't have any hits except a few people answering themselves in different voices. Its intent is only to spill rumors, lies and innuendoes for your own Googling pleasure. Says a lot about the Roberts campaign. So the blogger may or may not post the response I left to this thread earlier, but really why should I care? The blog is so transparent it's laughable, and since it won't work in the end, it really doesn't matter. In fact, I have decided to start a blog asking all kinds of off the wall questions you already know the answer to on Les Roberts. If I can't find an answer I like, I will create more innuendos and avoid it. I will avoid answering any questions that don't suit me and tell the poster to sit down and shut up by implying he can't read. And like the owner of this blog, I will only selectively post responses. I will create push polls with questions like, "If you knew Les Roberts was in favor of the war in 2003, would you still vote for him?". I will also brag about how successful I am ad nauseum.

Hakuna Metata.
Now I shall go have Easter Dinner.

P.S. Where the hell is Trumansburg?

Norway said...

This whole issue is an unfortunate red herring. Time to move on. How about looking at what Ray Meier stands for? His voting record is likely to make some of you leave the district in despair. And I still don't believe MA can beat him in November. Let's think about THAT.

Anonymous said...

This is the silliest argument ever. Here we have the spectacle of Democrats tearing each other apart over who was opposed to the war first. I really do think this blog is a Republican plant. If you really wanted to take back the district, why don't you start a "Republican" blog devoted to getting them into pissing matches over who was a conservative sooner than whom.

24 Independent said...

Silly?

Well, I haven't had a single Arcuri supporter come on here and offer a substantial refutation of my points.

Curiously, the Arcuri campaign has continued to neglect the issue, not offering any clarification. All Arcuri has to do is clarify: Was he for or against the war in 2003?

There's no need for this to become a ripping-apart issue.

But, I think it's pretty insulting for you to say that Democrats discussing the issues, and the merits of the various candidates, is harmful. It's what the democratic process is supposed to be all about.

If Roberts and Arcuri couldn't take an open debate among voters, they wouldn't be worthwhile candidates, would they? They're big boys. I think they can take a couple questions.

Anonymous said...

Let me ask you something Jon. With all of this mud slinging that you are doing, conflicted with your claims of a primary be good for democracy; what are you going to do after Arcuri wins the primary? Will you support him, and if so, how will you justify these character assinations? Or will you just crawl into a hole and hide?

It is people like you that are ruining our party.

24 Independent said...

12:53 - The difference between people like you and people like me is that people like you seem to think that the Democratic Party would be doing just great if only progressive Democrats would stop complaining and start marching in line like good little soldiers. People like me, on the other hand, believe that the Democratic Party is in serious trouble because it has lost touch with the grassroots of the Democratic voter and allowed itself to descend into an ideological mush in which anything that might offend anybody in the Republican Party is avoided like poison.

I don't sling mud. I sling information. I'm asking questions about the Arcuri campaign because the Arcuri campaign needs to do a much better job at getting important information about Arcuri out to the voters. You seem to think that if Arcuri's a Democrat, that's all we need to know. In my opinion, that's never enough.

Believe me, if I wanted to go after Arcuri and conduct REAL character assassination, there's plenty I could go after. My goal is to get the Arcuri campaign to do a better job and work harder for the Democratic vote, instead of treating the campaign like a cakewalk and taking Democratic voters outside of Oneida County for granted.

Michael Arcuri is asking to represent us in the United States Congress. The burden is not on me as a Democratic voter to march along with the drumbeat he sets. The burden is on Michael Arcuri to prove that he's worth Democratic support.

If he can prove that, I'll support Arcuri. If he doesn't even bother trying, which is the approach he's taking now, well then, why should I bother supporting him?

I judge candidates on the merits, not on the party line. It's up to Arcuri to win me over. It's not up to me to kiss on the first date.

Anonymous said...

"People like me, on the other hand, believe that the Democratic Party is in serious trouble because it has lost touch with the grassroots of the Democratic voter and allowed itself to descend into an ideological mush in which anything that might offend anybody in the Republican Party is avoided like poison."

If that's your belief, then why don't you get involved with the party and make some changes from within. I'm all for that, however, airing the party's dirty laundry in public will only hurt this very unique chance of taking back the House and some state seats.

You can do as you please, but don't claim it's in the best interest of the party, because it's not. I've met Les Roberts a couple times and he seems like a true gentleman, I don't think (or atleast hope) he would encourage this blatant division of the party.

Anonymous said...

3:52 - you really don't get it, do you? This entire blog is about exercising the democratic right to participate in the political process. The blogger IS getting involved to try and make the Democratic Party better according to your vision - and then you complain about it, calling it "airing the party's dirty laundry".

You can't have it both ways, 3:52.

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