Last week, conservative activist Andrew Breitbart died of “natural causes.” I am really curious about this because he was pretty young — 43. I wonder what those “natural causes” were.
Now, I was not a fan of Breitbart. Full disclosure: I started work at Acorn Housing, which was not actually part of Acorn proper and had nothing to do with voter registration, three weeks before the video scandal broke. You know the one. When James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles produced a series of videos showing Acorn and Acorn Housing staff saying incredibly stupid things to prospective clients on tape. One of those videos was shot in the office where I worked. That was a great day at the office for me. I heard about the first video and asked the counselors in our office this: I know this is going to sound crazy and you don’t really know me but did the following ever happen…??? Oh, yes, they said. Those people were here. I told them they had my ever-lasting love for having shown the duo to the door and felt that genuinely — until I saw the video. That scandal didn’t kill Acorn Housing right away as it did Acorn but they have since closed their doors after a painful two years of struggle.
Breitbart funded this venture. So, I was not a fan.
Still, there was something a bit refreshing about him. When I was in college and put together pro-choice rallies, I was always at the back — where the counter-protesters were. I always felt the need to be on what I thought were the front lines of things. I wanted people to not like me. I wanted to make enemies. Whatever it took to get my point across. It may be why I love hate mail so much. If I anger someone enough that they take the time to email me about it, I did something right that day. It seems, Breitbart had the same opinion. He didn’t care if I liked him, he already didn’t like me.
I think some liberal broke Breitbart’s heart and that is what made him so angry and bitter about liberals and our causes. And he did always seem really angry and very bitter. So he made it hard to find anything redeeming about him yet his honesty — he was all about making liberals look bad and would do just about anything to accomplish that — was refreshing. James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles are both idiots but Breitbart wasn’t.
Now, I would be lying if I said I cried when I heard the news of his untimely death, I did not. I never like to hear that someone died, especially at 43 or whatever. I won’t miss him but I have a lot of respect for people who act on their convictions even when I disagree with them. Patricia Heaton, who played Ray Romano‘s wife on his sitcom (and had the best line ever uttered by an actress: When I speak, what is it you hear? Is it backwards talk? Dolphin speak? What is it? I feel that way when I talk to my mother.), is very active in the pro-life world. I am very pro-choice but appreciate anyone who takes the time to put their money where mouth is, so to speak. I have the same respect for Breitbart.