Port: Democrats hoping Gov. Burgum doesn't, like, kill anyone

Rep. Kylie Oversen, 26, chairwoman of the ND Democratic Party, is the youngest chair in the U.S. Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

MINOT, N.D. — Yesterday, Gov. Doug Burgum announced that our state would begin the careful process of moving back from the coronavirus-inspired restrictions put on our society and economy.

For normal people, this news came as a relief. North Dakota has weathered the COVID-19 crisis better than most places, and it's time to plot a path toward getting back to work.

For the craven hacks in charge of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL, Burgum's announcement was an opportunity to position themselves for maximum political advantage.

"Gov. Burgum Ready to 'Dial Up a Little Risk' With North Dakotans' Health," read the headline of the press release the North Dakota Democratic-NPL sent out in response to Burgum's announcement.

Got that?


Burgum's putting people at risk, you guys!

Those cynical words were nothing compared to the statement from party chairwoman Kylie Oversen's which accompanied them.

“The governor said today he’s fine taking greater risks with the health of North Dakotans, and we hope people don't get sick or die as a result," it reads. "We’re concerned he’s caving to orders from Washington and those in his party who have publicly refused to follow his executive order any longer. We will hold judgment until the new rules and guidelines are announced.”

PHOTO: Screenshot of Democratic-NPL Statement

Read that again.

"He's fine taking greater risks."

"We hope people don't get sick or die as a result."


Anyone else left with the feeling that Oversen is absolutely hoping for some social carnage after Burgum's announcement so they can play the "I told you so" card?

Anything a political party does is, by definition, partisanship. It comes with the territory. They're team Democrat, and they're out to get Team GOP.

So it goes.

Still, they can advance the cause of party and ideology without an almost transparent wish for calamity.

This is the sort of nonsense you get from people who have no idea what it's like to lead.

People who don't understand that governing often means making policy that will hurt some even as it helps others.

We shouldn't be surprised that the Democrats in North Dakota are this clueless. Voters here are reticent to put them in charge of anything.

The last time one of their candidates won a statewide race was 2012, going on a decade ago.


North Dakota hasn't had a Democratic governor since Bush was in office (the older one), and the last time they controlled even one chamber in the state Legislature was the same year O.J. Simpson was taking his infamous trip in that white Ford Bronco.

The Democrats in our state have been out of power for so long they've been reduced to waiting around for something bad to happen so they can blame it on Republicans.

And they're not even being all that discreet about it.

There are plenty of grown-ups leading North Dakota. Some of them are even Democrats.

Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any grownups working for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL these days.

Maybe, when they find some adults to be in charge, the Democrats will start winning elections here again.

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

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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