Great Falls Republican legislator Jesse O’Hara on the extremists running the Republican Party in Montana:
Somewhere along the way extremists have anointed themselves the arbiters of all things Republican. The failed leadership team of Art Wittich and Jason Priest, along with their mouthpieces Jeff Essman and Ed Walker, illustrated their 10-year plan to purge the party in a series of leaked emails. Other extremists have proposed candidate purity tests further limiting the electorate’s choice in elections, often recruiting Libertarians to run as Republicans to further drive their agenda. Extremists engage in this duplicitous behavior because they recognize it’s their best chance for a successful coup.
I have been active in Republican politics for five decades. In the most recent decade, the extremists have begun to pursue a hyper-partisan policy of divisiveness while formally rejecting the benefits of statesmanship and compromise. We now risk becoming a fringe party, misaligned with the needs of the electorate and incapable of sustaining a governing majority.