(The Military Commissions Act is a new law soon to be signed into effect by President Bush that revokes habeas corpus, ends enforcement of the Geneva Conventions, gives legal amnesty to war criminals, legalizes torture, gives the President power to imprison people without criminal charge, and sets up kangaroo courts with absurd rules designed to railroad defendants into conviction without a fair trial.)
"Here is a Democrat, trying to say that electing a Democrat to Congress will make a difference. And yet he supports torture? Who needs Democrats like these?
Now, is he really a Republican? Is he a sicko? Does he hate freedom and the rule of law? Does he think the Geneva Conventions are quaint like the rest of his ilk?
Probably not. Instead, he is trying to appeal to independent voters. It's like he thinks he has the left fringe of the Democratic Party in the bag, so he is going for independents in a district that is sixty percent registered Republican (I think; I didn't look it up).
So, what is an Independent? Paul made a great point while we were at dinner last night. He said that Arcuri's fantasy of an independent is of a someone in the middle. Arcuri presumes an Independent is the split in the hair that separates Republicans from Democrats. This is a truly stupid thing to think. Why presume Independents are there? Why not guess that they are actually Independent because no party represents their views? And, why not try to give these people a reason for voting? A reason grounded in political difference, political will, an opposition to, why not, FASCISM???"
The point Jodi makes is one that I've made before. Political independents are often not at all centrist or moderate in their political opinions. They're often looking for strong, principled, intelligent voices and regard the Republicans and Democrats as disturbingly similar: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
When Michael Arcuri gave his support to George W. Bush's Military Commissions Act, he didn't just make Democrats angry. He earned the wrath of independents like Jodi too. These are independents that he cannot win the election without...
... unless Mike Arcuri's strategy is to swerve so far to the right that he'll earn the votes of a group of Republicans along with Democrats too loyal to the name of Democrat to notice the difference.
Writer Adam Elkus reacts to what Jodi has written, saying, "It's depressing that we've gotten to the point where opposing torture and the revoking of habeus corpus automatically makes you a 'fringe leftist.'"
I agree, Adam.