Do you ever see the gross incompetence of government and wonder how on earth we get along as easily as we do?  Here’s one of those moments.

Gavin Clarkson, a man who recently ran for New Mexico’s secretary of state, applied for a marriage license in the nation’s capital earlier this month.  Congratulations to Clarkson on his upcoming nuptials to his fiancée from the District of Columbia.

But when they went to the Courts Marriage Bureau on Nov. 20 to apply for their marriage license, things went south. Like too far south. The clerk there didn’t realize that New Mexico was an actual state.  In America.

Here’s more:

The clerk wouldn’t accept Clarkson’s driver’s license – from New Mexico – as proof of his identity. Rather, the clerk, who mistakenly believed Clarkson was a foreign citizen, said he would have to provide an international passport to get the marriage license.

After Clarkson objected, the clerk went to check with a supervisor, who confirmed Clarkson would need a passport.

“You know you are from flyover country when you are applying for a marriage license, give them your New Mexico driver’s license, and they come back and say: ‘My supervisor says we cannot accept international driver’s licenses. Do you have a New Mexico passport?'” Clarkson posted on Facebook recently.

Unbelievable.  Clarkson reported that the other people in line were laughing about the incident, which only lasted about twenty minutes.

Clarkson’s wife, Marina, immigrated from Argentina in the 1990s, becoming a legal permanent resident and then a naturalized U.S. citizen. She speaks English fluently, though she has a slight accent. But the clerk complimented Clarkson, not Marina, on how well he spoke the language. He said his wife was in disbelief, wondering: “Why are you complimenting him on his English?”

Of course, we all make mistakes. But these moments do remind those of us who advocate for self-governance that bureaucrats rarely are the type of people you would want to entrust with major life decisions.

Image Credit: Good Free Photos

Hat Tip: WBIR

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.