Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nevada caucuses: a few have spoken, again...

What if Nevada Republicans gave a caucus, and more or less nobody came?

"OK, OK, the Nevada caucuses are over, folks, nothing to see here, nothing to see, move along, go home, move along now…."

This ain't what we claim democracy is supposed to look like.

Less than 33,000 of Nevada's 400,000 Republicans bothered to show up for their party's caucus on Feb. 4, that's an 8% turnout, which by any stretch is a pretty small number….and keep in mind, that's only about 1.5% of the 18+ population of Nevada, which is also a pretty small number…

Nevada caucus results

…and I hasten to guess that if we had a Republican in the White House, and the Dems had a burlesque crowd of primary candidates like we have now, we'd be seeing a similar turnout at the Democratic caucuses.

Folks, let's honor the conscientious Nevadans who came out to cast their votes. They did their democratic duty. Let's also say this straight: the measly turnout does not honor our democratic ideals.

An 8% turnout is a degrading, pathetic, despicably dangerous denigration of the shining dream of participatory representative government that we hold up to ourselves and to the world.

Remember the Iowa caucuses?

Nevada was a hollow victory for Romney—he got 16,486 votes. There were more people than that queued up to buy beer at the Super Bowl…

Santorum racked up 3, 277 votes. There are more people than that playing the nickel slots in Vegas right now….The cable news talking heads forgot to ask Rick the right question about his actual vote total.

What happened to all the "likely voters" who were interviewed in the never-ending stream of pre-caucus polls that were reported breathlessly day after day?

It's just politics as usual, you say?

Well, look, let's get angry about it, we're watching a sideshow of the few, the partisan, the desperate, some responsible concerned citizens, a handful of the "I always vote" worthies and some wealthy folks with big bags of money.

But this ain't what democracy is supposed to look like.

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