There is a local lawyer, who is a little older than I am, who came back from college on the East Coast with that absurdist line in his repertoire. (I think it is from some long forgotten TV show in the 60’s.)
I pulled it out of my memory bank a few years ago when confronted by a Kansas City Star reporter demanding to know why I had registered the name “The Mainstream Coalition” with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office for clients of mine to keep Dr. Bob Meneilly and his high-tech hate group from using it.
A year later during the general election my clients asked me to record the following message:
“I’m Dwightie from Olathie. I’m calling you on behalf of the Mainstream Coalition. The Coalition stands for religious and racial tolerance and pluralism. It is our diversity, after all, that makes the gorgeous mosaic that we call America. That’s why it was especially disappointing to hear Democrat Dennis Moore attacking Kris Kobach’s religious faith, as well as falsely accusing him of racism. There is no room for such divisive political tactics in our community; pitting Catholic against Protestant, Christian against Jew, black against white. Say no to bigotry. Say no to hatred. Say no to candidates like Dennis Moore who seek to divide us along religious and racial lines for their own advantage. Let him know that hate is not a family value.”
This went out the Sunday night before the general election in an “auto-dial” recorded telephone message to 15,000 households in North-East Johnson County. (I purposely used my cell phone number and name on the caller ID so if anyone was upset by what was obviously a political prank they could call and vent to me personally.)
But I had forgotten a cardinal rule.
The Left feels that it alone stands for Justice, Peace, and Federally Licensed and Funded Day Care. (You know the formulation; “Why are we spending money on weapons when we could be funding federally licensed and funded day care?”) They can be insulted, reviled, impugned, etc. BUT DON’T LAUGH AT THEM! (Especially by parroting their own clichés back to them.)
As soon as the call went out at 8:00 p.m., I started getting hundreds of calls on my cell and my landline. These kept up for at least 36 hours, at all hours of day and night. The next two days the calls also came in to my law office by the hundreds as well, jamming our firm’s switchboard.
All but a handful of the calls to me were anonymous. All said one of two clever things, i.e. “You are a right-wing piece of (excrement)!” or “You are a piece of (excrement) right winger!” Dr. Bob “his-self,” as we say in “Olathie,” called me, as did his wife: “Shirley and I…”
My call was obviously tongue-in-cheek. Over a year earlier the Star had reported that the Mainstream had forfeited its name. No one who was familiar with the organization would believe for a moment that it was attacking Dennis Moore, who went on to win reelection by a record margin. (Moore’s staff called to tell me they thought my auto-dial was a funny stunt!)
It turns out that Meneilly and his people had sent out thousands of e-mails, most of which went to people who never even received my auto-dial, urging them to call me at home and at my law firm. The one caller I could get to stop screaming long enough to have a rationale discussion admitted he never even received the offending message but still wanted to call to protest the “most immoral and unethical thing” he’d ever heard of. I’m still scratching my head as to what was so “immoral” or “unethical.” Registering an opposition group’s name after they let it lapse? Making fun of a self-righteous group like the Mainstream? Criticizing a political opponent?
Needless to say the calls stopped within fifteen minutes after I made a complaint with the Prairie Village Police against Meneilly and the former Mainstream director, Carolyn McKnight.
The reason I mention this incident is that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was attacked at length by the K.C. Star’s new “token” conservative, Steve Rose, for daring to be upset at an even more outrageous campaign of harassment and intimidation against his family recently.
Three hundred angry demonstrators went to his house in Wyandotte County last month and stood on his front yard and front porch, shouting and waving signs protesting his policies on voter fraud. Fortunately he, his wife, and his children were not at home. It’s clear, though, that it was meant to harass and frighten them, just as was intended with me by Meneilly and company.
Whatever you may think of Kobach this kind of tactic, pioneered by left-wing groups against members of the Bush administration at their homes in Washington, is one we don’t need to bring here.
Why does the Left think they can harass and intimidate people for daring to oppose them?