Andrew Breitbart died last night. The newspaper said he died of “natural causes.”
What does one say about someone like Andrew Breitbart, liar and provocateur, cavorting crazy jester and gadfly for the right?
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy” comes to mind, along with “good riddance to bad rubbish,” but I think there’s more to the story.
He was one of my followers on Twitter, and I confess, I have thoroughly enjoyed heaping well-deserved abuse on his head 140 characters at a time over the last several years. I found his patronage of the ridiculous Li’l Jimmy O’Keefe, Boy Reporter, to be despicable, just as I found the heavily edited smear job he attempted to perpetrate on Shirley Sherrod. I laughed my ass off at Andy’s most recent – and, as fate would have it, final – wine-fueled rant directed at the Occupy protesters which was filmed outside CPAC, while I angrily tweeted rebuttal after rebuttal to his partisan and extremely inaccurate and slanted portrayal of the Occupy protesters as “rapists.”
I can safely say that the truth and Andy only had a nodding acquaintance. Truth, to Andrew Breitbart (and most conservative graduates from the Karl Rove School of Conservative Politics) was a flexible substance, like Play-Doh, to be stretched and molded and twisted into whatever form suited the situation or to achieve the maximum gain (in whatever form that gain manifested, whether it was hurting someone on the left or in the form of what I call “wingnut welfare,” i.e., monetary patronage from well-heeled conservative think tanks). One wonders how 8 year old Andy explained missing cookies or undone homework, or if, perhaps, his truth-stretching came later.
Altogether, I found Andrew Breitbart to be a thoroughly despicable character who richly deserved the jaundiced eye through which he was viewed by those of us on the left.
On the other hand, someone must have loved him. The article I read about his death this morning mentioned that he was a husband and father; so somewhere, there is a woman who has lost her lover and her husband and a child who has lost his or her daddy. I am sincerely sorry for their loss, whoever and wherever they are.
It’s regrettable that he never had the chance to see the error of his ways or apologize to those he had harmed; let that be an object lesson to us all.
Rest in peace, Andrew. I’ll miss kicking your ass all over Twitter.