Monday’s celebratory photo op for signing a minimum wage bill was among the more bizarre political sideshows to come out of the North Dakota legislative session. Conducted by a Republican governor and Republican lawmakers, the lead participants pretty much soft-pedaled the fact that the original minimum wage bill was a Democrat initiative. Indeed, all the majority Republicans did was amend the bill to say it would not take effect until the federal minimum wage is raised, which Congress is expected to do this year.
If a minimum wage hike was anathema to Republican legislators in the past, why would they think it’s a good idea now – even if the president apparently thinks so? Why did they appropriate what clearly was – and has always been – a Democratic initiative? Free-market, conservative Republicans have no business lining up behind a wage philosophy that contradicts everything they say they believe.