Once upon a time there were these two states, Michigan and Florida, although sometimes they called themselves Florida and Michigan.
And these two states were situated in the middle of a bunch of other states, and all of these states made up the United States of America.
Except not so United. Because: all of these states hold either a primary or a caucus in order to nominate Party candidates to face-off in a general election, and all of these states want their primary or caucus to be one of the first primaries or caucuses so that the candidates will shower their babies with kisses, and so lots of CNN trucks can litter their town squares, and so their citizens have the chance to vote before the other states dictate which losers drop out of the race.
And so in 2003, Michigan began exploring ways to move their primary date up so they could compete with New Hampshire’s early primary. One year later, Michigan drafted a resolution, which was all, Whereas this, and Be It Further Resolved that—and this resolution established a commission whose purpose was to study the timing and scheduling of the Presidential nomination process, which has a little something to do with why it was named the Commission on Presidential Nominating Timing and Scheduling.
And in 2005 this CPNTS decided it wouldn’t be such a lousy idea if a couple of states moved up their caucuses, just like they decided it would be half swell if a couple of states moved up their primaries. But the CPNTS decided that they would consider which states could make this shift based on that state’s racial and ethnic and geographic and economic diversity.
In 2006, Michigan applied to be one of those states under consideration, but Florida was all, “La la la,” and they didn’t bother to apply.
Later that year, the Rules and Bylaw Committee studied all of the proposed states under consideration and made recommendations to the Democratic National Committee and those recommendations went like this: Nevada was the perfect state to shift to an early caucus date, and South Carolina was the perfect state to shift to an earlier primary date.
Note: Nevada and South Carolina do not mean Michigan and Florida.
Except in the summer of 2007, Florida decides it really wants to move its primary date anyway, and they draft something to that effect because that’s what states do: they draft.
And then Michigan decides it’s still going to move its primary up, and they submit state legislation to that effect because that’s the other thing states do: they submit legislation.
Within a month, the Democratic National Committee met with Florida and told them to come up with an alternate plan within thirty days or the Rules and Bylaws Committee would enforce automatic sanctions, and those sanctions would be very bad, and would include the loss of all of their state delegates. The DNC figured their Florida decision would also serve as a warning to Michigan and other states threatening to move their primary dates.
Late in the summer, the four states that were approved for early primaries and caucuses—New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina—asked the Democratic Candidates to sign a pledge which was all Whereas this and Therefore that, and promised that the candidates would not campaign in those states looking to break the rules and hold early primaries.
All of the candidates agree to the pledge.
In September, Florida moves forward with plans to hold their early primary anyway. Michigan moves forward with the same plan.
In October, the Democratic candidates agree to remove their names from the Michigan ballot in order to honor the pledge they signed about not campaigning in states that weren’t being compliant—except Hillary Clinton leaves her name on the ballot. “It’s clear, this election they’re having is not going to count for anything,” says Hillary.
A couple of months later the Rules and Bylaws Committee issues one more 30-day warning to Michigan to submit a different primary plan but Michigan was all, “La la la.”
On January 15th, Hillary Clinton wins the Michigan primary. Also: she was the only Democrat on the ballot.
On January 29th, Hillary Clinton wins the Florida primary.
But the Democratic National Committee was all, “Not so much, because it doesn’t count. We warned your arses.” And then suddenly Hillary is all, “Those votes should count.” And Michigan was all, “Our votes should count.” And Florida was all, anyone? Anyone? “Votes. Should. Count.”
So this past Saturday, the DNC agreed to seat Michigan and Florida delegates, but they are only allowing them a half VOTE each, which is more like a V-O.