A resident of the 24th district that I know, a sincere progressive, has voted for Michael Arcuri both in 2006 and 2008. He dislikes Representative Arcuri's Blue Dog right wing slant as much as I do, but he has kept on holding out hope that adding another vote to the Democratic majority in Congress will help to bring about progressive change even as Arcuri himself resists that change.
Back in 2006, he said to me, "Can you imagine John Conyers as chair of the House Judiciary Committee, with subpoena power? Do you realize what that could do to Bush?" Actually, it accomplished almost nothing. Conyers was hobbled by the Democratic leadership of the House.
In 2008, his argument shifted to, "Can you imagine what will happen with a stronger Democratic majority in the House, and a veto-proof majority?"
We've got that Congress he wanted now, and still, that progressive agenda is not being enacted. The problem: In its pursuit for power, the Democratic Party has morphed into a timid copy of the Republican Party. Some say that the Republican Party has lost power. What I see is that the Republicans have won, by convincing Democratic politicians to act like Republicans. Mike Arcuri is part of that trend.
Consider, for example, the Conyers bill that attempted to establish a national commission to investigate President Bush's use of war powers and abuses of civil liberties. Only about one-fifth of all the Democrats in Congress support that commission. The rest support sweeping all the Bush crimes under the rug - after all, the Democrats' leader, Barack Obama, is now engaged in the use of the same extreme war powers and abuses of civil liberties that the Conyers commission would investigate.
Guess where Congressman Arcuri stands on the commission. That's right, he's among the right wing Democrats who want all the problems to be swept under the rug.
It's time that we 24th district progressives admit that the Democrats are not what we hoped they would be. It's time for us to begin organizing a true progressive challenge to Arcuri, from a true progressive party - the Green Party.