Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Arcuri Supporters' Version of Listening: Democrats are Coffee House Fringe

Yesterday, I made a request that supporters of Michael Arcuri listen to the kind of language that they use, and reflect upon the ways that the things they say are provoking resentment and anger among Democrats in the 24th District. Arcuri supporters have been spending almost as much time belittling progressive Democrats in the 24th District as they have been spending attacking Ray Meier's position or promoting what little there is of Arcuri's positions.

In response, an Arcuri supporter complained that progressives are just upset "because he didn't come to your afternoon brunch at the coffee house."

Again, I ask Arcuri supporters to listen to the kinds of things they're saying to make Democrats in the 24th District lose trust in the Arcuri for Congress campaign.

Elsewhere, an Arcuri supporter wrote the comment: "We already have the fringe voters. We need to concentrate on the mainstream people to win."

Let's translate this supposedly pro-Arcuri statement, shall we?

First, the anonymous writer who supports Mike Arcuri categorizes progressive Democrats as "fringe voters" - once again repeating language that Michael Arcuri has used to attack liberals himself. When Arcuri supporters tell us that they "already have the fringe voters", what they're trying to say is that they think they have the support of progressive Democrats in the 24th District all sewn up.

Second, when the anonymous Arcuri supporter says that the Arcuri campaign needs to concentrate on "the mainstream people", that's translated as non-progressive Democrats and non-Democrats. Here again, the suggestion is that progressive Democrats are not in the mainstream, but that right wing Democrats, Republicans and independents are in the mainstream, and that the Arcuri campaign needs to speak their language.

This argument unravels fairly easily. First of all, Michael Arcuri does not have the support of progressive Democrats all wrapped up. The reason? Arcuri's campaign has not made an effort to earn the support of progressive Democrats. Yes, that support has to be earned. It is not enough for a candidate to be a Democrat in name only. That candidate also has to be a Democrat in deed. It would have been helpful if Arcuri had gained the appearance of legitimacy by winning a Democratic primary. Instead, we now have the situation where most Democrats in the district still don't even know who Michael Arcuri is.

Many of the most politically active Democrats in the 24th District were looking forward to a primary campaign, so that there could be a discussion about what kind of Democrat should serve us in Congress, and so that Democratic voters would have the chance to select their candidate for themselves. Now, 24th District Democrats are being told that Arcuri is "our" candidate "whether we like it or not".

Arcuri's campaign has made the mistake of assuming that progressive Democrats will turn out to vote for Michael Arcuri simply because he is running as a Democrat. The weak level of financial and volunteer support, that even Arcuri supporters admit is coming from our district's Democrats, shows how unfounded that assumption has been.

Michael Arcuri still has not earned Democrats' support, so please, let's not join in the rush to encourage Arcuri to lean toward the right wing in order to convince Republicans to vote for him instead of for their own candidate. Arcuri can only win this race by showing how the right wing is wrong.

If Arcuri embraces the Republicans' right wing agenda, or tries to avoid being specific on the issues in an attempt to avoid making Republican voters angry, he will continue to antagonize Democratic voters. The result will be more of what we've already begun to see. Democrats will not write checks to a right wing Democrat or a mushy politician who tries to avoid the issues. Democrats will not volunteer for such a candidate. And, come Election Day, if Mike Arcuri does not strengthen his appeal to Democratic voters in the 24th District, many Democrats who would have ordinarily turned out to vote will simply stay home.

I'm not saying this because I want it to be true. I'm saying it because Michael Arcuri's campaign is making a series of grave miscalculations that need to be corrected.

The pathetic fundraising performance of Mike Arcuri's campaign on ActBlue compared to other Democratic candidates for Congress has been noted by one of this blog's readers. Here's today's updated ActBlue fundraising numbers for a few Democratic congressional candidates here in New York State:

John Hall: $162,088.00
Eric Massa: $$117,073.14
Kirsten Gillibrand: $9,123.06
Michael Arcuri: $470.89

I'm not making these numbers up. The Arcuri for Congress campaign is in serious trouble because it's neglecting the Democratic base. The solution is simple:

#1. Shake up the campaign staff
#2 Convince Arcuri supporters to stop attacking progressives
#3. Begin a concerted effort of outreach to progressive Democrats in the 24th District - online and offline


Anonymous said...

"Instead of trying to silence those who don't agree with us, I think we ought merely to be grateful that we still live in a country where we have the freedom to write our opinions, whatever they are, no matter how unpopular."
Free speech is good says Jon.
Hold the phone....Speech critical of "progressives" by Arcuri supporters is bad says Jon. Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Good points all, but it seems that the Arcuri campaign won't admit being lost, let alone ask for directions.

They thought it would be easy hen they hijacked the primary. "Unravelling" is a perfect use for the word.

Anonymous said...

Jon - What the Arcuri people are saying, in a nutshell, it that the majority of 24th District voters are conservative leaning. Funny, that's what Meier is saying too. And Meier is a real conservative, so who do you think those voters are going to go for - the real conservative or the guy with a lot of progressive statements on his website who's supporters want him to be a conservative?

The conservatives have enabled the middle class slide to economic despondency. It's time to end that horrific experiment.

Anonymous said...

Tompkins and Cortland progressives have other work to do. If Mike Arcuri wants to blow them off - fine. Now Barbara Lifton has a challenge and might need their help instead.

Anonymous said...

Discuss, 12:12???? Uh, this blog doesn't call for the ELIMINATION of other blogs like that creep Weekly Democrat does! This blog just asks people to listen to themselves and consider what they write!

Anonymous said...

You know, if I were working for Meier, I would claim I'm an Arcuri supporter and then start posting lots of provacative comments on blogs as a way of dividing my opponents.

But no Republican would ever stoop that low, would they?

9i7ox3 said...

To 12:12.

I think the speech critical of progressives is a good thing because it reveals that they are critical of progressives. That, on the other hand, is a bad thing. The reason that it is bad is that it reveal a campaign that is going to squander an opportunity that comes at best every 20 years.

To the Arcuri campaign:
You need to shore up your base (or at least come say hi.) There is still an opportunity to get this effort moving, and a big team that is willing to help. But if the Arcuri campaign doesn't ask, they will help someone where it will make a difference.

Anonymous said...

The 24th is not a deeply ideological district save for a few nutballs on both edges of the fringe. Yes, FRINGE. You only need to see the amount of support Les Roberts got to see how foolish it is to bring up sore subjects that can cost more votes than they can garner-just for looking ornery like Roberts did. If the advice of this blog would be followed, we would see Meier in a landslide in November.

Anonymous said...

"You only need to see the amount of support Les Roberts got..."

Just a little less money than Arcuri and I wonder what he is doing with it?

At this point Arcuri is doing nothing in the western part of this district and doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell in November.

Biggus Dickus said...

You know, if I were working for Meier, I would claim I'm an Arcuri supporter and then start posting lots of provacative comments on blogs as a way of dividing my opponents.

But no Republican would ever stoop that low, would they?

A Rove-worthy theory, except you have Arcuri supporters saying the exact same things in public. Just ask some of Robert's former campaign workers.

Of course it's divisive, but it's the inevitable result of a failure of leadership. What's really galling is that it's essentially true- you're stuck with Mike whether you like him or not. Can he afford to ignore the base? Sure, if he's relying on a burst strategy and the union guys.

That also makes him particularly vulnerable to negative campaigning during the burst as well. With the negative issues that are already out in the open, like Anderson and the kiddy donations, he's taking a very big risk.

Sadly, I'm afraid we'll be having this very same conversation the day after the election. Can you guys get Roberts back?

Curious said...


"The 24th is not a deeply ideological district save for a few nutballs on both edges of the fringe."

That's so interesting, because it's clearly what the campaign thinks. And yet, when I pass out MA's horrid, issue-less palm card, people invariably give it a glance and say, "But where does he stand on X?" and then I have to say, "Beats me, maybe you'll get a chance to ask him someday." It's a lot of fun petitioning for an invisible man. Makes me feel like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Im not agreeing with everything I read up here, but it looks like the Arcuri supporters are a bunch of whiny wannabees. They seem so concerned with inconveinient truths, and lame lies aimed at their candidate that they attack anyone who differs from their views.
If this is the crew that works for Mike Arcuri, I'd LOVE to meet this loser in person. His last attack at Meier (for supporting powerline Oright Of Way repair and upkeep) shows he can't even read legislation!
While the Anti-Arcuri rants are many, the Official Arcuri response to these accusations are non-existant! That makes me think that there's something to this!

No-one from Arcuri's camp is doing anything to defend him against all this "false/harsh prosecution" noise, and whats worse, all you see up here is a bunch of Arcuri supporters trying to claim "Thats ONE GUY!!" and acting like a mob!

Bull--- Where there's smoke, there's fire!

In a campaign, you must meet this BS head-on! Unless there's something to all this! Then, you do like the Arcuri campaign is... You let low-mentality Blogs like "Monthly Democrat" do all your defense for you.
Keep at it Jon...
Mike's going to lose Big Time, and then they'll all whine just like after the Bush/Gore mess!