So… what else is new?
The Rapid City Journal is reporting tonight that Rapid City Republicans are squabbling with each other at the moment. Conservative Rapid City Republicans are at odds with Ultra-Conservative Rapid City Republicans over many things, including some of the name-calling that has gone on in the past.
One of the event’s organizers was Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City. He acknowledged a split among local Republicans and said it is has been caused by those who lay claim to an exclusive right to label themselves as conservative.
“They’ve branded themselves as conservatives and anybody who is not in their clique as something other than conservative, and it’s offensive and it’s ridiculous,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the seven legislators who organized the event wanted to hear nonpartisan ideas from local leaders about community and economic development. Johnson said the organizing legislators also wanted to set aside — for one evening — heated arguments about controversial social issues including transgender bathroom use and gun rights, which have been frequent topics of debate in recent legislative sessions.
Johnson said there are many other opportunities for the discussion of such issues, including cracker barrels (the annual wintertime public forums in legislative districts statewide) and local Republican Party meetings.
“That’s where those issues can be discussed, and they have been discussed,” Johnson said. “The point is that we didn’t want those controversial social issues to override the economic and community development issues that we wanted to talk about at this event.”
The controversy over the Friday event is the latest of several conflicts between local Republicans who consider themselves true conservatives and other Republicans who are accused of being insufficiently conservative. The animosity was particularly apparent during last year’s local and area primary election campaigns, when some Republicans accused fellow Republicans of taxing and spending wildly, dodging decades-old military drafts, and even enabling rapes by being insufficiently committed to gun rights.
If you’re at all familiar with Rapid City Republican politics, you’re quite aware that this kind of thing has been going on for years, which has been the home of slash & burn politics pitting Republican against fellow Republican.
And over the years as the Liberal Republicans have been pushed out, those who consider themselves as more conservative are still working to push out those they deem less conservative. (Reagan’s 80% rule be damned.)
As it is, and ever shall be.
Rapid City Republicans battling each other? All is normal.