Conservatives Need to Start Thinking of Themselves as Mainstream


MINOT, N.D. — It began to dawn on me when I saw the smirk on disgraced state lawmaker Luke Simons’ face.

The man had no reason to be smiling.

He made history as the first member of North Dakota’s legislature to be expelled. His exile came after a long history of complaints about harassment, first revealed publicly in this column, from many women working at the state capitol, including four House lawmakers, two of whom were, like Simons, Republicans.

As I watched Simons make his unrepentant exit from the floor of the House, seeming to suppress his glee, I realized that the man and his fellow malcontents in a small but rambunctious faction of the North Dakota Republican Party were going to use this turn of events.

Sure enough, Simons quickly postured himself as a martyr on social media. Per his version of events, he was expelled not because of aggressive misogyny perpetrated on his colleagues in Bismarck, but because of politics.

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