Andrew Breitbart Ignored the Pain

Everyone has something to say about the great Andrew Breitbart, including some nasty monsters I will get to shortly.  I was with Andrew in Los Angeles Friday previous, plotting the next wave.  He was sick with a cold and ordered salmon and asparagus while I had something frighteningly called a “marrow burger,” on his suggestion of course.  Just last night, I heard from him about his interest in a delicious story of the absurd I had, which I suspect will be available eventually, in a place and time so less important than last night.

In LA, I spent a day at the secret Bigs complex watching Andrew’s dedicated soldiers at war with the Institutional Left, lit by the glow of computer monitors.  I never imagined it would be the last time I saw Andrew, as he tore off to do a Lou Dobbs hit on Fox about which he nearly forgot.

Let’s face it, nobody has been doing more for the conservative and libertarian movement in the last two years than Andrew Breitbart.  Congressman Anthony Weiner and ACORN no longer exist because of him.  He is the zeal of the Tea Party movement, in one man.  Roger Simon calls him a whirlwind.  Great line.

I will be forever grateful for Andrew's blurb for the jacket of Injustice, a favor despite my editor’s 6 a.m. call from the east coast pestering him for the blurb.  Andrew also reported on photographs which did not make the book showing Senator Obama marching with New Black Panther Party head Malik Zulu Shabazz.  The story is in the book, but only Andrew published the photographs the photographer told my publisher not to publish.  Breitbart had guts.

That’s what so many in the movement lacked before Andrew came along.  That's what so many still lack.

Andrew called my house in July of 2010 to thank me for my courage in quitting the Justice Department and blowing the lid off the New Black Panther dismissal.  I had never talked to him in my life, but we spent the next two hours on the phone, talking and becoming fast friends.  We were born months apart.  We shared the same musical tastes, the same cultural references boys growing up in our era did.  He welcomed me to the fight and explained his deep love for his country, and his fear it was slipping away.

It’s funny how tough times make clear who your friends are, even if like Andrew, they had never been your friends before. Tough times let you know who the fighters are, and who the shirkers are.  Others I won’t name here could have called and wished me well, but preferred to shy away from controversy.

Over the next few years, there would be ballgames, and more outrages the dying media wouldn’t cover.  I learned something else about Andrew: he was a good person.   He had a sense of decency, of right and wrong that was the foundation for all of his whimsy and frenzy.  On many occasions, I talked to him in the middle of the day, with his kids making noise in the car as he shuttled them to or from school.

Like many of us, he believed the institutions which had built and sustained this constitutional republic were failing – whether the government institutions, the schools or the media. He cared deeply about the country and found himself in a unique position to help save it.

This is why, I think, so much venom was directed toward him by the indecent, the ugly and depraved on the Left.  Both PJ Media and Michelle Malkin are cataloging the venom.  Today, I had a lifelong Democrat attorney friend who knows I know Andrew jokingly emailed me: “butt flu?”  I won’t post his personal information, but Andrew would.

I asked Andrew last week, “why do you retweet all of the ugly horrible things people say about you?”  His response: “it shows what the Left really is.  How ugly they are.”

“Doesn’t that pain you personally?” I wondered.

Obviously not enough.  Andrew Breibart was an American who ignored the personal pain to defeat the enemies of liberty and justice, like the patriots at Kings Mountain or the righteous at a Greensboro lunch counter.  And that makes him a Great American.