The North Dakota political party that worships the non-politician in the White House and swept the non-politician in the governor's mansion into office with more than 75% of the vote is shocked that the latter is doing non-politician things.
Hats off to Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, who has the doddering old Republican men in the North Dakota Legislature sputtering with indignation about the separation of powers and an executive branch run amok.
Such quaint notions in the age of Donald Trump, don't you think?
Much of the sputtering came on the same day the lawyer for the president they venerate argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that said president is, literally, above the law and can, literally, do whatever he wants and not be investigated for it.
Reap. Sow. Etc.
In case you missed it, and you might have because North Dakota Republican politics has become little more than an incestual insider soap opera because the opposition party is sadly irrelevant, Burgum is in hot water with his fellow GOPers because he's started a political action committee that has the express purpose of whacking members of his own party he doesn't like.
Gov. Tony Soprano has a nice ring to it.
Burgum is filthy rich so he's put $195,000 of his own money into the PAC. Because he's filthy rich, he's connected to other filthy rich people around the country and they've put in their pocket change to the tune of about $200,000. The governor and his young minions intend to use this money to defeat Republicans in the primary who've either crossed Burgum or have been deemed ideologically unsuited to his tastes.
- Burgum gives $195,000 to PAC aligned against longtime Republican lawmaker
- Burgum talks COVID-19 response, Bison with Trump at White House
- Port: PAC aligned with Burgum rallies out-of-state money, including from COVID-19 testing leader, to defeat Republicans
Burgum is backing six legislative hopefuls and a state treasurer candidate, but the governor's main target is Jeff Delzer, a longtime House member who represents a large area north of Bismarck. Delzer, tighter than a cork in an unopened bottle of wine, has openly maneuvered to scuttle Burgum's more liberal budget proposals and was a loud critic of the governor's beloved Theodore Roosevelt presidential library in western North Dakota.
The governor, in other words, wants legislators who will do his bidding and be beholden to him for getting them elected. Sort of like when Trump backs primary challengers to Congressmen he doesn't like. Same playbook. Wonder where Burgum got the idea?
In the old days of communist regimes, this was called "consolidating power."
Gov. Nikita Khrushchev, anybody?
This Republican-on-Republican savagery has the GOP, Democrats and academics twittering about "checks and balances" and the "unusual" nature of Burgum's play. They've apparently not paid attention to Washington, D.C., in the last three years.
This is the new world of Republican politics. You elect "outsiders" to shake things up and light a fire under "career politicians." There's little loyalty to the establishment, except where it suits their needs. Power by hook, crook or PAC.
You went to the polls like starry-eyed teenagers for Trump and Burgum, North Dakota Republicans, and now you're offended by the governor's power play?
Suck it up, snowflakes, this is what you bought.