MINOT, N.D. — State Rep. Rick Becker is a lawmaker from the Bismarck area who caucuses with Republicans but is also the founder of the controversial Bastiat Caucus in the Legislature.

Becker has claimed there are as many as 30 members of the Bastiat Caucus, but the group also won't release the names of its members, so who knows.

Anyway, recently Becker pulled off a little stunt in which he, an anti-masking fanatic, set up a table and invited the public to convince him that Governor Doug Burgum's mask mandate didn't impact the state's trajectory with the COVID-19 virus.

He's mimicking a much-meme'd gimmick performed by comedian and political commentator Steven Crowder.

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We're supposed to believe that Becker, a public servant, is just making himself available to the public for discourse and debate.

As if anyone is going to convince a fanatic of anything.

Critics might suggest, rightly I believe, that this is less a good-faith effort for dialogue than a political stunt.

If you look closer, though, it's even shallower than that.

The sign for Becker's stunt is advertising his new TV show. Meaning this isn't about serving the public. It's about serving Becker's nascent career as a political pundit.

A career that, as I've written previously, is wholly inappropriate for someone holding elected office.

If Becker wants to be a professional political pundit then he should resign from elected office. Because you cannot be a member of the news media and a public servant at the same time. These are occupations that often work at cross-purposes.

Not that Becker, whose thirst for attention rivals that of no less a narcissist than President Donald Trump himself, is likely to care for such scruples.

Perhaps the voters in District 7 ought to take note of their representative's priorities.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com.