Denver Bar Association
March 2005
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Cease Fire

by Diane Hartman

My friend Doug McQuiston and I disagree about as much as two people can about politics and religion. We’ve had a few "exchanges" over the 20 years I’ve known him. I finally get it that I’m not going to change him, nor he me, in those arenas. But we do have common areas — I love his bagpipe playing and the way he writes. He likes my sense of humor. We both agree that lawyers should write much more clearly and to the point. He has suffered the slings and arrows of The Docket Committee where he’s in the minority politically. Our common thread is that we like to laugh.

I asked him to write an essay about healing the country after the election. Basically he said: "presidents come, presidents go, but the nation endures," and the next few years "will be less scary for Democrats and less revolutionary for Republicans than either expect." He urged us all to relax, get back to work, save money, spend it, go shopping and write a check to charity — and, I think he implied: Please get over it and let’s move on.

We got some heated responses, printed in February. The writers were concerned about the war, judicial appointees that will last a long time and the world’s opinion of us. They believed presidents do matter hugely, that shopping is not the answer and told Doug he should read some history books and do some volunteer work.

Okay, now. Doug, in his response, would like to point out that he would have signed up to go to Iraq if he wasn’t so dammed old, that he reads history voraciously (including the revered Tocqueville), he gives plenty to charity and that he believes more unites us than divides us. "If these people came to a few Docket meetings and got to know me, they’d probably find that out." Everyone, of course, is invited to do that.

The Big Boss Chuck has called a cease and desist to hostilities and indicated that from this point on, any fight will be at dawn, in Civic Center Park, with wet writs. Perhaps civil discussions over coffee could happen afterward. In any case, the arguments, while fascinating, won’t continue in The Docket.

And God bless America.

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