It’s ironic given that the current chairman of the Bastiat Caucus, founded by Becker, is Senator Oley “snail trails” Feedback de Minot, who, based on his winding speeches on the floor of the State Senate, is no one’s idea of an intellectual giant.
History is littered with seemingly intelligent politicians who lose track by spending too much time believing their own bull. Becker seems determined to join them.
But I digress.
The Bastiats and their traveling companions are not representative of most North Dakotans, or even most Republicans, in our state.
Most of our state’s voters are moderate Republicans, a fact attested to by NDGOP’s consistent political success under moderate political figures like Ed schafer, John hoeven, Jack Dalrymple and Doug Burgum.
The Bastiats, et al, claim to want more ideological purity, although it is difficult to discern that in their own ranks, populated as they are by a mangy coalition of milquetoast libertarians, Bible fanatics and conspiracy theorists. Qanon still fooled into thinking the 2020 election was stolen.
What binds these people together is not a common ideology, but the resentment of the “establishment” (and, in Becker’s case, a heavy but so far largely unrequited political ego).
At the polls, this confederation of dunces is a non-factor. However, in the most picturesque surroundings of party politics, they are a puzzle, and this worries some NDGOP leaders.
So much so that there is serious talk of skipping the State Party’s approval agreement next year.
It does not mean that it is something that is going to happen, only that serious people with influence in the party are talking about it.
Why would they do such a thing?
Because if the Bastiats, etc., etc., are not likely to move the needle in the ballot box, they are able to put enough cigarette butts in the seats of a congress to embarrass the party. They control local leadership in around 16 legislative constituencies.
These districts could accommodate a lot of delegates ready to boo, say, Representative Kelly Armstrong and Senator Hoeven for voting to certify the 2020 election results.
They could boo Governor Burgum, who is not on the ballot this cycle but would be forced to speak at the convention like the former governors did.
They might boo Senator Kevin Cramer, also on the ballot but also obliged to speak, for having voted for the recent bill on infrastructure.
Some NDGOP leaders are worried about these mortifying possibilities, and they should be.
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Rob Port, Founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Contact him on Twitter at @robport or by email at [email protected]