In reading newspapers over a lifetime, I recall two very short headlines that captured the essence of a specific public figure.
The first was “Scumbag quits.” That probably appeared in late 1986 or early 1987. The second was “Scumbag dies.” That ran in September 1998. They both appeared in the Village Voice. They were both about George Wallace.
The Alabama governor ended his last term in January 1987. The stories in the mainstream press at the time were how the rabid segregationist of the 1960s had his come to Jesus moment later in life and admitted the venom he spouted and the hatred he inflamed was wrong. The stories, I guess, apparently tried to generate sympathy for the “fighting little judge.” I was in my early 30s then, and completely rejected that. I remembered the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” line. I remembered the stand in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama when he tried to block the entry of the school’s first black students. I remembered the evil he inspired, how he created a political force motivated by bigotry and hatred that was swept up and manipulated by Richard Nixon and the Republican Party for political gain for decades to come. So when he ended his term as Alabama governor, the headline, “Scumbag quits” was exactly what was called for.
And then he died a decade later. And the headline was “Scumbag dies.” What else could it be?
Which brings us to last week.
Andrew Breitbart died. I had nothing good to say about him when he was alive. I read the obituaries, the ones that played it down the middle noting that he had made enemies on the left and quoting his worshipers on the right saying he was a defender of freedom. I saw the Breitbart sympathizers say that then was not the time to highlight his controversies. Besides his family loved him.
But I was left with this feeling: Yeah, and Eva Braun loved Adolf Hitler.
Breitbart was a dishonest, lying scumbag. He destroyed honest, hard-working people. He and his minions lied about the organization Acorn, a group set up to help poor people, but in the Breitbart propaganda was a terrorist organization out to steal elections for the Kenyan usurper. He and his minions lied about Shirley Sherrod, a black woman who professed how her belief in God made her a better person, but in the Breitbart propaganda was a racist government employee out to get white people. He lied about a Planned Parenthood worker advising a pimp on how to traffic underage girls for prostitution. The worker called the police immediately after the “pimp,” a Breitbart crony, left the building.
I had to write something that explained the depths he would sink to to destroy innocent people who he considered enemies of his destructive and deluded right-wing dogma. But instead, I found the best explanation of Breitbart came from Driftglass and Blue Gal at The Professional Left podcast. Click the link and scroll down to the episode titled “Andrew Breitbart: Enemy of Democracy.” It was released on July 23, 2010. It captures the manipulation of Breitbart and his ilk, the weakness of moderate Democrats and the essence of bad decisions by people who are supposed to be good bosses.
Since Breitbart’s death, his minions are releasing a video that supposedly shows President Obama as a college student espousing some radical statements. From what I’ve seen, the only thing I can say about it is Brietbart would have done a better editing job distorting what was really going on at the gathering. The scumbag did know how to edit.
Anyway, he’s dead. Now, the only difference between him and George Wallace is that at least Wallace tried to repent for his sins.
- Breitbart.com Reveals Its Big Scoop And Everyone Thinks It Is Ridiculous (businessinsider.com)
- Andrew Breitbart: Big Deal, Big Coronary, Big Corpse (gawker.com)
- Hannity Debuts Breitbart Obama College Video: Media Hid Video Of Obama Hugging Professor (mediaite.com)
- Shirley Sherrod continues lawsuit after Breitbart death (thegrio.com)