Good riddance, Doug Bruce 

It's among the oldest and most revered sayings ever uttered or written, a precept of human behavior so poignant that it appears in the Bible, the Talmud, the Quran and throughout the writings of Confucius.

It is known as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Actual historical footnote: Socrates decided he could improve upon the simple yet brilliant saying, and he actually penned the words, "Do to others as thou wouldst they should do to thee, and do to none other but as thou wouldst be done to." That passage is long and poorly written, hardly makes any sense and expresses in an awkward way a thought lifted from countless previous writings. For that effort, Socrates was known until his death as "the Gazette of philosophers."

The point is this: If I was on the show Jeopardy and the "Do unto others" thing appeared on the board, I'd slap my buzzer and shout, "What is something El Paso County Commissioner Doug Bruce has never heard of?"

At which point host Alex Trebek, who had chest pains three weeks ago, would pause, look at his off-camera panel of judges and slowly, in a nearly inaudible voice, whisper to them, "Does ... anyone ... have ... my ... new ... heart pills?"

Sorry. That was rude, unkind, insensitive, tasteless, boorish and downright obnoxious.

Which brings us back, of course, to Doug Bruce.

Note: A few years ago, the longtime slumlord demanded the news media refer to him as Douglas. I don't know why, but all of us bowed to his demand. Although I have slipped a few times and accidentally referred to him as "Attila the Hun" and "lard ass." At the other extreme, the Gazette not only calls him Douglas but, as a bonus, also refers to the rats in his slum apartments as kittens. ("Police say tenants in the Douglas Bruce-owned apartment were attacked by a pack of filthy, disease-carrying wharf kittens.")

Anyway, anti-government, anti-social Doug is leaving us next week and will begin his new job as a state representative appointed by El Paso County Republican leaders while they were apparently experimenting with heroin. He announced his upcoming departure from the county board a few weeks ago, saying he had accomplished his goal here: ridiculing each of the county's 580,000 men, women and children at least three times.

His reign of terror started in January 2005 with a swearing-in ceremony for which he actually brought his own copy of the Bible. (It's just like any other copy, except for the part where the Corinthian children get pneumonia because the landlord turned off the heat.)

Then there was Doug's emotional, John F. Kennedy-like inauguration speech: "Ask not what your country can do for you," he began. "Ask why the hell those people in wheelchairs need the government to build sidewalk ramps. Let the lazy bastards build up a little speed and jump the curb."

At his first county board meeting, the 58-year-old lifelong bachelor a decision made by the estimated 3.3 billion women on earth Doug set the tone for his three-year run. As a resolution was read honoring retiring longtime county worker Laura Lowan a kind, traditional gesture, just a simple thank-you for her years of service Bible-toting Doug actually halted the proceeding. He called it nonsense and a waste of time.

The other four commissioners posed for a picture with Lowan. Doug stayed in his seat, glaring at them. A humiliated Lowan nearly cried.

His behavior remained consistent. A few weeks ago, kids from a 4-H group appeared at a meeting to ask Doug why he wanted to cut their group from the county budget. One of the kids was a 10-year-old girl, Maddie Jahelka. Doug gruffly told her and the other kids to stop wasting his time.

"He was really mean," said Jahelka. "He told us 4-H was useless. He was just so mean and annoying.

"You know those kids who do weird stuff just to get attention? That's him."

Listen to Rich Tosches most Thursdays on the Darren and Coba Show on MY99.9. Reach him at rangerrich@csindy.com.

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