A Commentary by Tea Party Patriot

Story links below (for those who don’t know the story)

They say diplomacy is the ability to tell a cowboy to go to hell in such a nice way that he looks forward to the trip.  But they also say that war is just diplomacy by other means.  But there are moments when diplomacy is just not applicable, and these moments come most often not by design but more by happenstance.  And I came face to face with just such a moment when I was invited to tag along with a few GJResult.Tea Party board members to an impromptu meeting with Mesa County Commissioner Craig “Don’t you know who I am” Meis which consisted of about an hour long dissertation on why Meis (who described himself as Joe Six pack) was more cynical today than he was when he first ran for office. Imagine that; what with voters coming out of the woodwork to whip up on him like a redheaded stepchild in the cyberspace world of internet comments.  Well, yeah!  

It was a mesmerizing performance.  I found myself leaning forward on the table.  All you ever wanted to know but were too afraid to ask about the inner workings of law enforcement and the judicial process and it all centered around Meis’ conclusion that the irresistible force of government power was focused on creating cookie cutter criminals.  

The example given, (believe it or not) was how laws against public urination (Democrat  CD3 candidate Sal Pace’s name did come up) or laws against underage drinking were designed (presumably by some misguided or malicious law maker) solely for the purpose of enlarging the pool of mandatory reporting of sexual offenders or creating lengthy criminal records for misguided youths.

By this time, even though it was crystal clear that Meis was about to make all of this hypothetical conspiracy somehow connected to his burn ban violation and ticket fixing attempt, (or more correctly attempts in the plural), I realized that right there in front of God and everybody I was doing an imitation of my Dash hound with my head tilted to the side (they like it when you do that); looking directly into Meis’ blue eyes in wonderment that this guy actually believed what he was saying.  

This wasn’t just some politician’s rant, contrived to elicit sympathy from a mob of ‘tea baggers’ whose media constructed persona is a one size fits all tin foil militia hat.  The moment was so poignant that diplomacy went right out the window and was replaced with an uncontrollable urge to speak truth to power. And before I could stop it, someone using my mouth uttered the decidedly undiplomatic phrase; “you haven’t got a clue do you?”

Well, to say the least I was totally taken aback as obviously were the other sit down participants.  To his credit, Meis came back almost immediately with the well thought out response of;” Huh”?  Which prompted the evil spirit (which by then had complete control of both my brain and my mouth) to repeat the declaration, slowly and distinctly so its meaning couldn’t not be misunderstood; and there it was; “yoouuuuuu haaveennn’t got a cluuue, have you”; followed by what could only be described by a pregnant silence and then a nervous chuckle which made the rounds.

Now to be fair to Meis, it must be said that he had a valid point about unnecessary laws that are often redundant and without applicable purpose. I guess he just didn’t realize how strange and surreal this whole conversation was coming from an elected official whose job included creating county ordinances and a bureaucracy that not even the most patient, mild mannered citizenry couldn’t navigate with the aid of a hand held GPS device.  

But I had already stepped in it and I had to do something to recover fast so I applied what I had learned from the politicians.  I went on the attack and I threw the trick question that I had written on the palm of my hand at him. “Are you a member of Western Slope Conservative Alliance Tea Party”?  Now he was looking at me the same way my Dash hound looks at me when she’s trying to create guilt at being ordered off the sofa.  But again a quick recovery and the absolutely priceless answer; “Not that I know of” with the follow up “I don’t ever remember joining that organization”.  

I saw my opportunity to reintroduce diplomacy into the conversation and remove the sword of Damocles which I had just placed, not only over my own head but Commissioner Meis’ also.  That’s when I offered to send him the link to the Denver Post article (link below) which was apparently the only official record of his membership in an organization that did not exist at the time the article was written, and was clearly based on disinformation provided by those left wing, tin foil hat people or more likely was a law enforcement, justice system, industrial complex conspiracy designed to discredit that non- existent organization.

As I recall it was at about that point that the meeting broke up.  And right now I’m thinking to myself and of course my Dash hound is in total agreement that sometime in September (a date yet undetermined) will come the opportunity for a road trip.  I hear Chaffee County is beautiful that time of year with what remains of the unburned forest.   And I think it would be a real fun outing (call it a getaway) for the wife and I (and of course the Dash hound) to drop over that way and maybe have dinner and take in a movie or maybe a mandatory court hearing.  Man, I wouldn’t miss that for the world.