I learned a few very important things from Michael Arcuri's strong victory last night:
1. My political opinions are not representative of the opinions of the Democrats in the 24th congressional district.
2. My political opinions are not represented by the Democrats of the 24th congressional district.
3. In our district, the huge majority of Democrats will not reject the Democratic candidate for Congress
4. Independents are a major force to be reckoned with in the 24th congressional district, even though they're poorly understood, and may not really be a force so much as a collection of tens of thousands of forces that occasionally move in the same direction
5. I really ought to stop making predictions about what will happen in the future
Most Democratic voters in this district seem to have been unconcerned that Michael Arcuri supports the Military Commissions Act. Heck, they may not even know what the Military Commissions Act is, or care to know. There may even be some Democrats in this district who know what the Military Commissions Act is and are glad that Michael Arcuri supports it.
This makes me part of that "liberal fringe" that Michael Arcuri blasted earlier on in the campaign. That bothers me, that it's just a tiny fringe of the Democratic Party now that cares about things like the end of habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, and the legalization of torture.
There is another group of Democrats in this district than those I've already mentioned, though, a small group: They're the Democrats who know what the Military Commissions Act is, know that Michael Arcuri supports it, are disturbed about that support, but voted for Arcuri anyway. This small group voted for Michael Arcuri because they were worried that, if they didn't help Arcuri get elected, they would be responsible for the Democrats failing to take back control of the House of Representatives.
This group of Democrats made a figurative deal with the devil. As with all deals with the devil, the devil came out on top. Michael Arcuri's win was actually not at all necessary to the effort to take back the House of Representatives from the Republicans. The Democrats needed 15 seats. By my count, they got at least 27.
Some of these Democrats may harbor fantasies that Michael Arcuri will be challenged from within the Democratic Party in 2008. I'm not going to predict for certain that that won't happen, because I've learned that I'm pretty bad at making political predictions. However, I will observe that the Democratic County Committees have learned a couple of nasty lessons:
1. If they don't let the voters have a political primary, victory results.
2. With a shift toward the right wing of the Democratic Party, victory results.
Given this learning, why in the world would the Democratic County Committees in this district abandon what gave them success, and support a progressive challenger? No, the Democrats are stuck with a decidedly unprogressive Michael Arcuri now, at least until he's defeated by a Republican.
But, then, I'm not a Democrat any longer. I started out this year blogging as 24 Democrat, but now end it writing as 24 independent. Clearly, a person like myself doesn't really fit well within the Democratic Party of New York's 24th congressional district. I'm re-registered as a non-affiliated voter, though that registration won't take effect until 2008.
Let the Democrats celebrate. As for myself, I'll be watching what Congressman Arcuri actually does in Washington D.C., for good and for bad.
Read on, if you like, when the next session of Congress begins in January.