MINOT, N.D. — It’s time from another dispatch from the trenches of the civil war in the North Dakota Republican Party.
For those of you just tuning in, there’s a power struggle between hardliner Donald Trump supporters, who consider themselves the only authentic Republicans, and the more traditional and pragmatic Republicans who have guided the NDGOP to decades worth of political dominance.
For the sake of simplicity, I call the hardliner wing the Bastiat Caucus, which is also the name of a secretive caucus of state lawmakers who are aligned, politically, with this faction.
The Bastiats tried to take over district-level leadership this spring and mostly failed . They attempted to elect one of their own as party chair, running anti-vaxxer and prolific Facebooker Robert Wheeler against Mandan businessman Perrie Schafer, and they lost that race as well .
Now some of the state’s legislative districts are reorganizing again because of the new district map approved by lawmakers in November. And, again, the hardliners are losing.