I've been hearing a lot of conversations regarding whether Michigan and Florida should have 'do-overs' regarding their primaries. The answer is simple: No, they should not.
There is overheated rhetoric that democrats in these states will be "disenfranchised" if their votes are not allowed to count toward the delegate totals for either Obama or Clinton. This argument is ridiculous for several reasons.
First, those states moved their primaries up because they felt that, as has happened in the past, states with later primaries are no longer relevant in the process. Did the Michigan or Florida democratic parties care about the disenfranchisement of voters from those states? Are die-hard John Edwards voters "disenfranchised" because he's no longer on their ballots thanks to early primaries?
Second, and more importantly, the nominating process of any
political party is up to that party. If the democratic party wanted to nominate its candidate by choosing the person who could stand on their head the longest they'd have every right to do that. Primaries are only about one hundred years old. Caucuses are much older. The parties themselves used to come together to choose their most viable candidate. Political parties themselves were disdained by our founding fathers. In Wisconsin we have open primaries and you can register to vote on voting day. Really, if you consider the intent of primaries, Wisconsin's system is a little crazy, too. Republicans are able, since McCain has all but tied up the republican nomination, to vote for Hillary here - a wise move on their part since polls show she could lose to McCain in the general election, but Obama would win handily.
In Florida, the state legislature determined that it wanted an earlier primary. Some, like Air America commentator Randi Rhodes, believe that it's not fair then to punish Florida voters by not counting their delegates. Florida's legislature enjoys a strong republican majority. Imagine a scenario where a legislature is really far-right wing. In a move akin to gerrymandering, that legislature could wreak havoc with the democratic party by imposing an election day that the party disagrees with. This year in Florida the democratic party was compliant, but it begs the question: what if they were not? State legislatures really should not have any right to formulate party business.
The fact of the matter is that Michigan and Florida broke with the national democratic party and were sanctioned for it. Of course, their delegates should be seated at the convention, they are needed there to vote on the platform and attend to other party business. But as far as apportioning the delegates, they either should not be apportioned or their numbers should be split 50/50 and given to Obama and Clinton evenly.
Hillary Clinton does not want a "do-over", and I agree that there shouldn't be one. She should, however, recognize that she was wrong to have her name on the ballot in Michigan. She should not try to get Michigan or Florida delegates seated in her column. If Obama leads her in the popular vote but holds a narrow lead in voted delegates, she should back off a strategy of asking for the super delegates to throw their weight behind her.
Hillary Clinton, and the dem parties of Michigan and Florida seem determined to act in their own self-interest before the interests of the nation as a whole. I'd hate to see them profit from that attitude.