The “Dear Ray” email got right to the point. The subject line read, “The Fascist BLM mob.” And the outrage poured forth:
“We were threatened with our lives, threatened with our house being burned down, threatened with my office being burned down, even our dog’s life was threatened.
“My name is Mark McCloskey and I’m proud I can say that when the mob came for me and my wife, we stood our ground. And the scariest part of all? What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you reading this email today.”
Well, only if we decided to play Rambo and terrorize innocent bystanders. And by “terrorize” I’m speaking of the McCloskeys’ tragic fashion choices. The guns they were pointing merely qualified as “menacing.”
Now, it was reassuring to learn that I didn’t inadvertently get to be on a first-name basis with this low-life scumbag. No, I received this email last week by landing on McCloskey’s radar as a fellow “conservative.” That’s because I’m a subscriber to the Daily Wire, a right-wing site that sells its list to anyone disgusting enough, apparently.
This was nothing more than a piece of garbage-in, garbage-out fundraising spam, brought to you by the nice people from garbage. But it did offer a glimpse into how wingnuts talk amongst themselves.
The headline didn’t leave any doubt: “URGENT: BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTERS BROKE DOWN MY GATE AND THREATENED TO BURN MY HOUSE DOWN.”
Now, I wasn’t part of the mob that came for Mark and Patricia McCloskey at their mansion last June 28. Actually, no one was, because no one came for these fools. Just like no one broke their gate down and no one carried anything flammable. (That’s your side that does that, moron.)
As we all saw on the videos, a large group of peaceful protesters was just trying to walk past the McCloskeys’ mansion on the way to protest at the home of former St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. No one cared about these losers and their house. Why should they? The protesters were in search of racial justice, not racists.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey were the only people doing any threatening that day. They were the ones who waddled out onto their fancy lawn to confront the protesters, pointing lethal firearms at them. Defending one’s home is of course a protected activity. Threatening the lives of innocent people walking by is not.
The McCloskeys deserved to be prosecuted by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who didn’t deserve to be forced off the case by the white legal establishment. Interestingly, however, Mark McCloskey’s email even got the part about Gardner wrong. Here’s what millions were told:
“When I was charged by the St. Louis County Attorney for exercising my constitutional right to bear arms – I fought back.” Yes, the email didn’t refer to the city “circuit attorney,” rather to the “county attorney.” Not certain what Beth Orwick is doing in this movie, but that’s what the email said.
Back to the McCloskeys’ big day, I’m not a fan of protests at people's homes, on either side of the great political divide. But no one was protesting at these jackasses’ precious domicile. Don’t take my word for it: Dozens of their neighbors signed a public letter denouncing the McCloskeys as the civic embarrassment they are. No one else in the posh neighborhood of beautiful historic mansions seemed threatened by the nonviolent protesters that day.
But Mark McCloskey isn’t just any old racist. He’s the one who has parlayed his fifteen minutes of ill-gotten fame into fifteen weeks as a Donald Trump campaign prop and now into fifteen months or more as a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Roy Blunt will be vacating at the end of next year.
It takes a special brand of bigot to qualify — on the first day as a political candidate — for a brow-furrowed sendoff on the top-rated Tucker Carlson “White Supremacy Hour” on the Fox News Channel. And McCloskey got it.
“On Tuesday evening I announced LIVE on Tucker Carlson my campaign for the United States Senate. I’ve never run for office before, and as political newcomer [sic], I’m now turning to conservatives like YOU for help.”
Scoring a Carlson sound bite on the first day of your campaign is like getting knighted with a tiki torch by Trump. Lots of persecuted white people tipped their hoods to McCloskey. Especially when he told Carlson, “God came knocking on my door disguised as an angry mob.”
So don’t sell this guy short. In a battle for the soullessness of the Trumplican Party, it’s political gold to be able to brag, “When the BLM mob came to destroy my home, I stood my ground. … You can count on me to never run, hide or quit when things get heated. I will never stop defending you.”
Not sure if that means the McCloskeys are offering to make house calls to others in St. Louis who wish to ward away BLM passersby. Maybe instead of door-to-door fundraising, the McCloskeys will show up to train their shaking weapons at any wandering Black person in your neighborhood.
As Mark McCloskey warned in his letter, “When the mob begins to march — whether it’s in the suburbs of St. Louis, Portland, OR, or Houston, TX — everyone is fair game, no one is safe from the wrath.”
The McCloskeys, of course, don’t live in the suburbs of St. Louis. But they also don’t live on a farm, and his first campaign video shows him in front of one on a tractor. No matter. He’s after the Trump base.
Presumably, this personal-injury lawyer from the big city figures he can con the rubes. But he does need to be more careful. One line in the email might not play well: It read, “Let’s be clear: Neither my wife nor I discharged our weapon. Not a single individual was harmed. We became the go-to villains for the cancel-culture left, simply for defending our home.”
Didn’t discharge the weapon? It’s not clear how McCloskey would be able to respond if one of his opponents — say, disgraced ex-Governor Eric Greitens — tells the folks he wouldn’t have been afraid to do some shooting on that day. And that he certainly wouldn’t be bragging if he hadn’t. As a political rookie, McCloskey must learn never to look short on testosterone in a GOP primary.
More visuals and fewer words will be needed by McCloskey if he’s going to compete on the big stage. But to be fair, that point wasn’t lost on whoever concocted his email fundraising pitch. The email stars that iconic photo of the barefoot McCloskeys in their mustard-stained Brooks Brothers outfits holding dangerous firearms with the dexterity of polar bears. Alongside the photo are these words, as if inscribed in the world’s corniest family photo album:
“THIS IS ME DEFENDING MY HOME FROM BLM.”
That’s just perfect. These are simply the worst people ever.
But I do feel sorry for their dog.
Ray Hartmann founded the Riverfront Times in 1977. Contact him at [email protected] or catch him on Donnybrook at 7 p.m. on Thursdays on the Nine Network and St. Louis In the Know With Ray Hartmann from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday thru Friday on KTRS (550 AM).