Republican candidate for Congress Ray Meier is clearly wrong in his stand on the Iraq War. Meier supported the Iraq War when it began in 2003, and still supports it today, in spite of Abu Ghraib, in spite of Haditha, in spite of Bush's lies, and in spite of the two and half thousand dead American soldiers.
Now, what about Democratic congressional candidate Michael Arcuri? We know that Mike Arcuri criticizes the Iraq War now. In fact, Arcuri tells a story about why he decided to run for Congress, in which Arcuri's son asks his father why he wants to run for Congress. Mike Arcuri then looks over at his son and says, gosh, well, the Congress has the power to do important things, like decide when the country will go to war. Then, all dewy-eyed, Arcuri's son looks up at his dad and says, "Do you mean that if you get elected to Congress, you could stop the war? Well, golly. You ought to do it then, Dad."
It's a great campaign story, one we could easily see as a television advertisement. But, there's just one part missing: What did Michael Arcuri tell his son about the war in 2003? Did Mike Arcuri tell his son that the war was wrong, before the war started, or did Arcuri just go along with the crowd?
I'm not talking about public opposition to the Iraq War. It's become pretty clear that Michael Arcuri did not do anything public to oppose the Iraq War in 2003. He might have even supported going to war against Iraq.
Arcuri supporters say that their candidate just couldn't have taken a stand against the war, because he was holding public office as District Attorney. That's hogwash, of course. Eliot Spitzer, New York's Attorney General, took a public stand in support of the war. If Spitzer could do it, Arcuri could do it.
But, let's take that issue of public support or opposition to the war off the table for a minute, and discuss Arcuri's private stance back in 2003.
Michael Arcuri brought the subject up by telling the story about his son. Now, tell the whole story, Mr. Arcuri. What did you tell your son about the upcoming war against Iraq, back in 2003? What did you think back then?
The answer will tell us a great deal about whether we can count on Michael Arcuri to stand up against future unjust wars, as a Democrat should, or whether he will just float along with the crowd, as too many Democrats in Congress did back in 2003.