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Bender: Maybe I can mediate this McFeely/Port kerfuffle

I'd like to begin this week by saying, "That darn Heidi Heitkamp."

I'm referring to the column in which Mike McFeely ever-so-gently, in his curmudgeonly way, suggested Rob Port might try writing about someone other than Heitkamp. Like maybe Joel Heitkamp. I ain't exactly Sherlock Holmes, but if I were going after dirt, I'd start digging in his backyard. Someone once asked Willie Sutton why he robbed banks. "Because that's where the money is," he said.

Port's broken news over the years, but so far, all he has on Heidi is that she cheated at Parcheesi in fifth grade and is bad at handshakes. Meanwhile, I know for a fact that Joel Heitkamp once robbed Willie Sutton. His college years read like "Fifty Shades of What the Hell!?"

But you know what they say—"You can lead a columnist to water, but he probably can't swim."

Personally, I refrain from discussing other columnists except for Tammy Swift, who has the cutest curly blonde hair ever. And while I'm at it, I'd like to thank Roxane Salonen for casting out my demons, and I'm really sorry about the carpet. To paraphrase Reagan, I believe one should "Speak no ill of a fellow columnist", although these days in Washington I think it's "Speak no ill of a fellow communist."

But I'm giving McFeely a pass on this one. This was more of an intervention.

It's getting worrisome. When Jake from State Farm called to ask what Rob was wearing, the answer was "Heidi Heitkamp's pajamas." That can't be comfortable. Heidi's so folksy, she wears burlap, and according to the commercial I saw, Crocs. If you dealt with as much chafing as Rob Port, you'd lash out, too.

The problem with arguing with Rob is you're going to need a thesaurus. He has a propensity for using big words. Like propensity. On the other hand, McFeely knows just one—kerfuffle. I don't know what that is exactly, but it sounds like something you'd need a trained pig to sniff out in French forests.

Surprisingly, many liberals were critical of McFeely. They weren't exactly rushing to Port's defense, but they felt that it was too little, too late and that McFeely should have been even tougher on him.

Wow. Democrats have gotten so grumpy I can't tell them from Republicans, anymore. Except at coffee shops and in traffic. At Starbucks, Democrats are the ones ordering soy caramel macchiatos. Republicans are the ones making black people leave. Except for Kanye.

On highways, conservatives drive Cadillacs and liberals, hybrids. Democrats will stop to move a turtle. Republicans want to make it legal to drive over protesters or at least waterboard them. One of my hobbies is cruising Whole Foods parking lots with "Make America Great Again" bumper stickers. I put one on every Prius. I slap PETA stickers on Suburbans at gun shops.

In my own way, I feel I'm bringing us closer together. Maybe I can mediate this kerfuffle.

Bender is publisher of North Dakota weekly newspapers in Wishek and Ashley.