Upon starting up my iPad, this post from State Representative Mark Mickelson greeted me in my facebook feed this morning:
Obviously, this was Mickelson making a declaration as to his reasons why he was opposing a second amendment bill. The thing that struck me was that it’s not often that you see a prominent Republican voting against a gun bill.
And it wasn’t just this measure on permitless carry. Representative Mickelson cast a “No” vote on House Bill 1116; a similar bill which has the full backing of the National Rifle Association, and will likely be used in rankings for this next election.
It’s not just on guns that you see Republican legislators deviating from a strong conservative viewpoint. State Representative Steve Hickey has allied himself with Democrats on several measures related to eliminating the Death Penalty in South Dakota, one of which has other notable Republicans joining him on the measure with Democrats. Hickey has also notably allied himself with former Obama campaign staffer Steve Hildebrand to take on payday lenders.
This past summer, we had a committee of mainly Republicans led by State Senator Mike Vehle propose a $100 Million dollar tax increase, arguably the largest tax increase in state history, Since then, it’s been considerably watered down from the “shoot for the sky” proposal, but the fact is that a package of tax increases ares moving forward.
All of this leads me to speculate – are we coming around full circle to when I first got into politics, and we regularly had moderate Republicans in office?
Over the past few cycles, We’ve had holy wars between candidates all the way up to the US Senate level over who was and was not adhering completely with the Republican platform to the letter, and faux scorecards painting some candidates more in adherence… and others would get robocalled.
Now that the dust is settling from last election, those who wanted to marginalize some Republicans find themselves marginalized themselves.
I have to wonder, are we moving away from burning down the Republican village to save it, and closer to a point of live and let live, and a time of more civility where people won’t worry about bringing their best ideas to the table?
What do you think?