Did you know there were county-wide Democratic caucuses last night? Neither did most people, it seems. Or if they did, they had the same collective response: meh.
The Daily Camera reports that only about 30 people showed up at New Vista High School to learn about and argue in favor of Democratic Party candidates vying for local posts. Most apparently preferred to stay home and catch up on The Biggest Loser (the show, that is, not the Super Tuesday results).
The same was true elsewhere in the county. In Longmont, only about 75 people showed up. In Louisville, it was 65 and in Lafayette, there were about 80. Only Broomfielders felt inspired enough to show up in any notable number, with the Camera reporting attendance by about 125 people.
Compare the turnout at New Vista, which could easily have fit on a school bus with room left over, to the throngs who swamped Boulder caucus sites in 2008, which the Camera puts at about 18,500. Of course, that was a historic election on so many fronts (and Colorado was in the spotlight like never before, with the Democratic National Convention held in Denver). This year, with Barack Obama not facing a primary and the Republicans staging a sideshow that would make P.T. Barnum jealous, the local Dems just weren’t feeling it last night.
Frank Smucker, one of the few who did show up, blamed it on the Internets, telling the paper that “it’s all Twitter and Facebook” these days and folks just don’t do their politicking the old-fashioned way, by hashing it out face to face.
Yeah, well. Facebook and Twitter aren’t exactly new phenomena. A more cynical view would be that Republicans, with their “leadership’s” newfound fixation on social issues they hope will return us to the dark ages, are doing just fine on their own ensuring the election of Democrats to every position from president to dog catcher. I mean, was it really necessary to get together and hash out where they stood on issues like contraception? How much effort, really, was needed to lie out a plan differentiating the D’s from the R’s for the upcoming election? OK, so there are various Democrats competing with one another for the chance to stroll into office, but the sentiment seems to be that anyone with a pulse will do. Wake us when it’s time to cast our ballots.
Maybe next time the Democrats are facing a party that’s formed a circular firing squad they should hold the caucuses in a bar rather than a high school. It’s just a guess, but there might be a better turnout if the occasion is to toast their imminent success.