Post mortem for a scumbag

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.

One diversion out of the way

Weiner and little weener are gone, thank goodness:

Rep. Anthony Weiner announced his resignation Thursday, following revelations that he sent sexually explicit messages and photographs of himself to women he met online.

In a packed news conference at a senior citizens’ center in Brooklyn, Weiner (D-N.Y.) said it was impossible for him to continue representing his district because of “the distraction that I have created.”

Speaking above the repeated interruptions of a heckler, Weiner said, “So today I am announcing my resignation from Congress.” He said he was stepping down because he wanted his colleagues to be able to “get back to work” and so that he and his wife could “heal from the damage that I have caused.”

Here’s a guy who was good at attacking Republicans, saying a lot of the things folks on the left wanted to hear. And he was so effective, the Democratic leadership let him have a platform … made him the face to appeal to a younger, more politically aggressive constituency. He was a high-profile Democrat, essentially being groomed for some kind of leadership role down the road.

That means he was going to draw scrutiny.

So the fact he’s texting his johnson to women he never met over the Internet and providing us with online porn (see the dramatic reading by Bill Maher and Jane Lynch — and it’s definitely NSFW) doesn’t mean he’s necessarily a perv. It means he’s an idiot. And we’ve seen what happens when an idiot runs the country for eight years.

When you turn Andrew Breitbart into a beacon of truth and your pretend sexcapade makes David Vitter look like someone who actually can close a deal, you become a burden, not an asset.

Weiner is gone. Good riddance. But he’ll be back. He’s television material. Let’s guess: Which cable news network will give a former prominent New York Democrat caught in a sex scandal his own show?