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Commentary: Florida, Michigan don't deserve revote

  • Story Highlights
  • Roland S. Martin: Other states followed Democratic rules on caucuses, primaries
  • Elected officials in Florida, Michigan to blame for moving up contests, Martin says
  • Columnist says he feels sorry for voters in both states over delegate debacle
  • Martin: Democratic National Committee must protect integrity of its rules process
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By Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor
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(CNN) -- For two weeks we have watched nearly every political hack from Michigan and Florida hit the airwaves to tell us that voters in those states deserve to have their votes counted, and new elections should be called for and paid by­ the Democratic National Committee.


Roland S. Martin says Florida and Michigan blew their shot in the delegate process by moving up their primaries.

One word they all keep tossing around is disenfranchisement. Because of this nation's sordid history on the issue of denying African-Americans the right to vote, those calling for a revote know the true power of the word, and just uttering it sort of backs the opposition up.

But folks, I'm sorry. Knowing full well how the two political hacks --­ also called governors of Michigan and Florida -- deliberately chose to ignore the Democratic Party rules and try to leapfrog the other states, I just don't have any compassion for them.

Just listening to Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Charlie Crist of Florida whine and complain on national TV is just too much.

They keep blaming Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC, for this debacle. But he's not to blame. They could have vetoed the bill, or told their state legislatures to stop the grandstanding and get on with the people's business. But they chose otherwise.

Yes, I do feel sorry for the voters in those two states because their votes should have mattered. It would have been great had they counted. But it was the elected officials in both states who chose to go down this terrible path. Had they just remained where they were, their delegates may have made the difference in this close presidential race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Now it's March, and less than a dozen states remain, and Michigan and Florida are demanding that the DNC, superdelegates, even the campaigns, do something to allow them to vote again. And by the way, come up with a way to foot the $20 million to $30 million it will cost for a full-fledged election.

If it were my call, I would tell them, "See ya in four years."

Sure, that's pretty harsh, but 48 other states followed the rules. There is no doubt some of those states thought this would be over by Super Tuesday on February 5 and wanted their state to have a say in who the nominee would be, but they chose to be patient and wait their turn.

Michigan and Florida didn't.

Senators and members of Congress from multiple states were clamoring to get in on the action. But with the DNC's threat looming large, they got with the program.

Michigan and Florida didn't.

So we are all supposed to feel sorry for Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Bill Nelson of Florida because they want this issue addressed by the DNC, but were they pleading with their governors to not sign the law changing the dates? Nope.

The compassion just isn't there for the arrogant folks from Michigan and Florida.

If this is all about seating delegates, fine. Split their numbers down the middle and give half to Clinton and the other half to Obama. There. We just saved $30 million.

But the DNC should protect the integrity of its rules process. If it acquiesces, how many states will pull the same trick in four years? The precedent would have been set, and anyone else could make the same argument: Please, please, give us another chance, even though we brought this on ourselves.

No. Enough. Let's end this madness and tell Florida and Michigan that they had their shot. They blew it. It's time to move on and let the people who know how to play by the rules get on with this process. They made their bed. Now sleep in it.

And the people in Michigan and Florida should throw out the bums who stiffed them. Somebody must pay for the sins of these two states, and they should look to the politicians who keep running their mouths on TV demanding a revote.

Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning journalist and CNN contributor. Martin is studying to receive his master's degree in Christian communications at Louisiana Baptist University. You can read more of his columns at

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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