Rep. Kim Koppelman’s loss in District 13 is another blow for the Bastiat Caucus wing of the NDGOP

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MINOT, N.D. — One of the challenges of writing about Republican politics in North Dakota right now is how we go about describing the factions.

It’s not that hard for one side of the NDGOP split. They’re the “establishment.” The traditional Republicans. The normies.

But what do we call the very Trumpy, self-styled “True Conservatives” who are making a lot of noise but not, ultimately, finding a lot of success?

Are they the ultra-conservatives? Some reporters like to use that term, though as an actual conservative I take umbrage to its application to a bunch of rank populists who aren’t out to limit government so much as to use its power to prosecute their culture war.

Are they the Bastiat Caucus? I’ve used that term a lot, though I admit it’s problematic because it’s the name of a specific group of Republican lawmakers. They keep their membership a secret, for the most part, and membership isn’t necessarily open to the general public.

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