Over the years I have often heard North Dakota politicos of the Republican persuasion joke that if the Democrats in our state aren’t going to use their party for anything meaningful it ought to be taken over by conservatives, leaving us with a political divide between conservative and moderate Republicans.

State Rep. Rick Becker, a Republican from Bismarck and the leader of what he calls the Bastiat Caucus of libertarian-minded Republican lawmakers, considered turning that old saw into a reality this legislative session.

Sort of.

“Someone floated the idea by me to start up our own caucus and supplant the Democrats as the minority caucus,” Becker told me this morning.

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