The Decline of Rick Berg and the Political Rebirth of North Dakota

Last week we all discovered Rick Berg really isn’t sure what company/companies he owns and/or represents. When you consider how content he seems to be boot-licking Republican leadership and failing to perform his duties in representing his constituents; it really makes me wonder if this guy has the mental bandwidth to be a US Senator. No, I am not saying Rick Berg is dumb. The guy obviously has the business sense to become North Dakota’s premiere slumlord and also savvy enough to get elected to the state legislature, and ensure the intricacies of being a slumlord, I mean “real estate developer”, are protected within North Dakota law.

I can think of many adjectives to describe Rick Berg, stupid is not one of them. Delusional? Ding, Ding, Ding. Berg may be confused with the Goldmark Property/Goldmark Shlossman debacle, but he is absolutely certain who his opponent is: a three headed liberalcrat, roaming the North Dakota countryside, crushing small businesses and spewing forth regulations. This vile, job killing demon goes by three names: Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

But here’s the deal, let’s try to keep this little secret between us. Imagine the look on Ricky’s face when he shows up to cast his vote and sees “Heidi Heitkamp” on the ballot, and not a picture of the Fourth Beast from the Book of Revelation. It is going to be classic! Yes I am aware, by putting this out there, it carries the risk of giving Al Jaeger an idea.

All kidding aside, one lesson Republican parents have hidden from their Republican children is the danger of crying wolf. For example, in 2009 and early 2010 if, as a candidate, you ran around telling folks when Obamacare is passed the country will collapse, abortions will be tax payer funded, and grandma will be death paneled. When those things didn’t happen, you lost all credibility, people remember that. In 2012 the ND GOP is trying to sell a product that expired two years ago and now it is beginning to stink up the joint. Compounding matters, the once powerful national GOP party is disintegrating into disjointed state organizations; powerless to build a cohesive, national bogeyman, that was so successful in electing the likes of John Thune during the dark days of W.

Make no mistake, Republicans still run this state. But the whispers sending shivers across Karl Rove’s exoskeleton are now picking up steam from the hinterlands. That is, the majority of citizens are slowly realizing: Barack Obama will be reelected. Contrary to what Harold Hamm’s has stated, the country will survive and in four years there will be another presidential election. North Dakotans may not like it, but that is reality. But here is the larger and more encouraging trend: North Dakota is beginning to get its political bearings back. Just in time to reject this notion that our federal delegation should only serve as a protest against Obama. We may be a small state, and that is why we need big voices and even bigger ideas, and certainly the last thing we need in trying to solve big challenges around flood control, farm policy, the debt is sending an unwavering “No” vote to Washington, DC. Those are the exact reasons, through Republican and Democratic administrations, historically we have looked beyond the “R” or the “D” and focused on character, trust, and most importantly who gets the job done. End of story.