By now, some readers may have noticed there is no Democrat I have linked to or mentioned more often than Loudoun County Supervisor Stevens Miller, even before he had his own blog, and most of these references have not been negative. For one thing, I happen to be able to communicate with him because he is usually pragmatic, in conversations he will consider different points of view regardless of the ideological underpinnings, and he has a self-deprecating sense of humor. These traits set him apart from the caricature I have in my mind of the typical liberal. In addition, he is an articulate tech guy – not a common specimen.

As our readers certainly know, civility has always been the coin of the realm here at NOVATownHall (and now more than ever): It is a standard I try to foster. Not much over a month ago, in fact, Mr. Miller and I shared a pleasant exchange. All well and good.

But I must say, I was somewhat irked to see that the good Supervisor has gone ahead and launched a unilateral salvo of goodwill which caught me completely off guard, stating “Budzinski …. Insults are beneath him.”

Of course, the statement is completely true – save for rare, uncharacteristic and utterly forgotten references to certain national political figures, certain local political figures, certain late-night commenters, and representatives of a certain government agency which, ahem, sometimes delivers letters.

Insults: I barely understand how they even work, much less can I formulate them.

Yet how am I to respond, to keep pace with this exhausting regimen of friendly banter and well-deserved praise emanating from my now-archrival in conjuring up totally appropriate compliments?

Mr. Miller: Is it your belief, sir, that I have somehow tapped into a bottomless well of good-tidings? Do you imagine that the cup of my vocabulary over-runneth with synonyms for “love”? Is the entry for “thesaurus” in your dictionary, sir, accompanied by a drawing of Joe Budzinski? Do you imagine, sir, that I live in the land of unicorns and rainbows where the weather is always mild and our hearts perpetually bathed in the warmth of a golden light?

Well I stand here to inform you, sir, that I do NOT live in that land. I live in Sterling. And I have a mortgage. And my landscaping is sub-optimal. At best.

Yes, I absorbed your preliminary artillery barrage of professional amity. And while I admit it has left me bruised and battered, I am far from defeated, and you mark my words, sir: I shall restock my cache of positive adjectives, I shall reload, and I shall rise to fight another day.