TPM Reader HW has a question …
From my point of view, it’s hard for me to understand why any Democrat is opposing this bill, but the ones I really have trouble understanding are the two NY Dems in opposition: Michael McMahon (NY-13) and Arcuri (NY-24). The laws in NY are such that a challenge from the left doesn’t simply mean having to survive a tough primary, which may be eminently doable, it means a third party challenge on the Working Families ballot line that would sink any Democrat in a swing district, which would describe both McMahon and Arcuri’s districts. What am I missing here? It seems to me that both of these guys just signed their guaranteed political death warrants, and in Arcuri’s case, he’s already voted for a very similar bill. What could these two possibly be thinking? I just can’t understand it. Would love to get some perspective on this from a TPM reporter in the know.
Not sure I have a good answer.
TPM Reader JL chimes in …
Just wanted to respond to reader HW’s comment on NY state’s congressmen who oppose the HC bill. I live in Arcuri’s district and attended one of his town hall meetings last summer at the community center down the street. The room was packed with angry wingers holding protest signs, and I was sure there would be a lot of screaming. But there was none. Arcuri seemed passionate, engaged, and well-informed, and people really listened to him. And while he was clearly not entirely happy with the HC options on the floor, he was very persuasive about the need to pass at least a half-decent bill.
Eight months later, and he’s not making any sense at all. When you look at his official statement on the bill, it’s just gobbledygook—it reads as though he’s looking for excuses to say no. I wrote him quite a long email, trying to convince him, among other things, that this palette of little tiny bills he’d prefer to pass will never get to the floor if the dems cave now. And I’m sure many of his other constituents are writing him the same email. But for the first time in my entire history of writing to elected officials, I received no response at all, not even a form letter.
I find his position completely mystifying.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.