Readers of yore know that I am suspicious when it comes to Congressman Michael Arcuri. Representative Arcuri is the kind of Democrat who leans toward being a Republican a lot of the time. He has, as a former District Attorney, a record of pushing a law and order attitude that sometimes fails to recognize people's legal rights. Arcuri's support of the Military Commissions Act is a form of this attitude writ large.
Still, there are some areas in which Mike Arcuri could be redeemed. On the matter of Iraq, for example, Congressman Arcuri seems yet to have formed a coherent position. During the campaign last year, Arcuri fumbled and fudged, and avoided giving specifics beyond such vague promises as "benchmarks".
As last week's change of heart on the House legislation to set an end date for the war in Iraq shows, we can influence Arcuri. The change of heart came after calls from constituents who requested that Arcuri take a firm stand.
Michael Arcuri certainly did the right thing in February, when he voted for the non-binding resolution disagreeing with George W. Bush's plan for an escalation in Iraq - a plan which has failed, as this weekend's carnage illustrates. However, that was just a non-binding resolution, expressing an opinion.
The campaign is over. It's no longer time to just say what you would do, if elected, or what opinion you have about what the President is doing. It's time for clear action.
Supporting this month's legislation with a specific end date for the war in Iraq is a good start, but with the Senate's failure to pass equivalent legislation, more action will be needed.
Let's keep an eye on Congressman Arcuri, and watch how he votes.