The Sweeping Mandates Of Low Turnout

Reverend Michael S. Piazza (presumably not related to the New York Mets catcher), president of Dallas-based Hope for Peace & Justice, said today, “Ninety-two percent of all Texans either voted against Constitutional Amendment Two [gay marriage ban] or didn’t vote at all.

No, no, no, no… Democrats (make no mistake Piazza’s organization are partisan Democrats) can’t have it both ways. Either victories in the Governors races in Virginia and New Jersey (governorships they already occupied) are a sign of some heretofore unnoticed Democratic renaissance or they’re not. Where ballot referendums dealing with redistricting (sponsored by Republicans) in California were roundly rejected, those in Ohio (sponsored by Democrats) were also massively rejected.

If guys like Piazza are going to claim that a ballot proposition loss of massive proportions on a hot button issue like gay marriage is somehow not a victory because the voice of the silent majority was not heard, well that’s just going to confuse everyone. While exposing the “man behind the curtain” of off year state and local elections [hint: low voter turnout], might be technically correct it does damper the celebrations of those who win. Don’t think that 36 vote victories (out of 1,742 votes cast) are all that uncommon in off year elections. What races like that say about national politics is the great unknown. I suggest that by this time next year they will say very little.

Piazza’s complaints are not unlike those about the Indianapolis Colts 8-0 record. Until last week the Colts had played a schedule filled mostly with cream puffs, but in their defense they could only play (and beat) the teams on their schedule. They played the hand that was dealt them – just like the people and propositions on this years ballot did.

Update: Minor grammatical errors corrected.

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