Monday, May 7, 2007

2008 Rematch?

It's deja vu, all over again.

It could be Meier vs. Arcuri again in 2008.

Former state Sen. Raymond Meier, a Republican from Western, says he's considering a rematch against the man who defeated him in last year's race for Congress, former Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri.

"I haven't decided yet," said Meier, who is now a private attorney. "But I do think it's a decision I would probably make before the end of the summer."

If he does run, it's likely he'll have the backing of the Oneida County Republican Party.

"I'm sure Ray would certainly be my first choice," Republican Chairman Mark Scheidelman said.

Upon reading this, I'm almost tempted to invoke Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment and just let it slide. Luckily, Mr. Arcuri provided me with the motivation to go on:

"The things I promised, I delivered on," Arcuri said. "NYRI, minimum wage, doing what I could to oppose the war, I've done that. Education, student loan reform. All of the things we've talked about we've done." You haven't. Not a single piece of legislation dealing with any of these issues has been enacted into law. Bills have been passed, to be sure, but despite having complete control of both houses of Congress Mr. Arcuri's party has been unable to send a single finished bill regarding any of them to the President's desk.

Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip.

They're all trapped in legislative limbo, that terrible emptiness between the House and Senate where legislation just kind of floats around until congressional staffers get around to hammering it into shape. About the only legislation they have been able to pass is the emergency appropriations bill for Iraq, and that ended up being larded with so much pork that even many Democrats were embarrassed by it.

But I digress.

I think Ray Meier is a good and decent man. I also think he's considerably smarter than Mike "New York is not a border state" Arcuri. That's why I found the total meltdown of his campaign, primarily at the hands of the NRCC, so damnably infuriating. I, and a lot of other Republicans, never felt like we were anything more than a source of funds during the 2006 race. The campaign never generated a sense of urgency or excitement and, as far as I know, never made any attempt to reach out and motivate party members at the local level. I don't blame Mr. Meier for that, since I think it was an inevitable result of the kind of top-down effort the party was running, but I think he needs to take a good, hard look at what happened in 2006 in order to avoid having the same thing happen in 2008.