I feel foolish about it, but I'm surprised at the reaction of other 24th District Democrats to the news that Michael Arcuri supports the Bush Administration's grab for dictatorial power through the Military Commissions Act. That reaction: If the Democratic candidate supports it, don't criticize him for it.
What are we working for, anyway? Just to get our team in power, no matter what it takes to do so?
The hunger to win this election has twisted the identity of the 24th District Democrats into something downright ugly. The 24th District Democrats have now accepted the ideological frame of Karl Rove.
In this new way of Democratic thinking, defending America's fundamental freedom takes a back seat. The Geneva Conventions aren't so important any more. Neither are habeas corpus, the separation of powers, and the Bill of Rights. Most Democrats now seem to believe that these things can be sacrificed, so long as it helps a Democratic politician win election.
It appears that I'm in the minority in the Democratic Party on this issue. I think that sacrificing American liberty in order to help politicians get elected is unacceptable. I'm different that way, I guess, in having limits beyond which I'm not willing to go.
Oh, I'm not saying that the Democrats who continue to support Michael Arcuri like torture, or that they don't care about the Bill of Rights or habeas corpus. I'm just saying that they've made plain that they're willing to go along with the sacrifice of these things, in the pursuit of electoral victory.
I didn't think that Democrats were like that. What a terrible way to find out that I was wrong.
The sad thing is that these Democrats will complain on and on and about George W. Bush and Karl Rove, even though, all the while, they've accepted the Bush/Rove frame. They have accepted the idea that voters will reject a political candidate unless the candidate embraces a totalitarian security agenda. They have accepted the idea that Americans will respond more strongly to fear than hope and an appeal to fairness. They have also accepted the idea that ideas and values matter less than winning. That's pure Rove.
We didn't get a primary this year, so it's in the congressional general election that we will have to make a statement about what we want the Democratic Party to be. We'll see, the morning after Election Day, whether Democratic voters are in it for the team, or are motivated by the idea that America can still be as it has been promised to us.