Arizona Ruins GOP Primary Schedule

What new, irritating things have recently gone down in the fire-soaked hell fields of America's anti-best state, Arizona? It's always important to check in, in case, say, Steven Seagal is riding a tank en route to a chicken/puppy massacre. The latest news doesn't involve any murder, thank goodness. Only the possible collapse of the Republican primary schedule. Hooray!

Every four years, several states that aren't designated by the national parties to hold their primaries or caucuses early in the schedule try to do it anyway, in the face of sanctions, to win more influence in the nominating process. Perhaps you remember the 2008 cases of Michigan and Florida, whose convention delegates were eliminated after the states moved up their primaries. It became a big issue late in the Democratic primary season, when Hillary Clinton tried to get them re-seated after she started losing.

Any state that moves up threatens to sends the whole process into chaos, as other states move around to try to preserve their influence. That may be underway now, after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer lit the spark yesterday. From Politico:

South Carolina Republicans are reacting swiftly to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's decision to defy the Republican National Committee guidelines and move her state's primary to the same date they've got for theirs, promising they won't remain on the calendar together for long.

South Carolina Republican Party Chair Chad Connelly says if his state can't be alone in picking a presidential nominee on Feb. 28, they're going to change to do a date when they can - setting off a likely domino effect of early state timing changes.

"We're not going to share our date with anybody," the South Carolinian told POLITICO. "Especially, not with any state that violates the rules."

If South Carolina moves back, New Hampshire and Iowa are likely to as well. Connelly predicted strict consequences for any states - Florida is also looking at moving up its primary, as are others - which push the beginning of the official voting season back into early January.

So we're looking at a much longer primary season and a whole lot more lawyering, because Jan Brewer wants to have an early debate in her state. Why can't the GOP just skip all of this and nominate Herman Cain by dictate already?

[Image via AP]