Adios, Andrew Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart

New Orleans   Andrew Breitbart’s career speaks loudly to the ongoing American phenomena of the winking carnie barker, P. T. Barnum huckster who always had something to sell and could find the suckers that would buy it.  Breitbart’s passionate mission to destroy “progressive institutions” was clearly stated and there were plenty of rubes in cities large and small ready to fall for whatever tricks he had up his sleeve.  Truth or fiction hardly mattered as long as it drove traffic to his websites, dollars to his pockets, and stirred up a mess, which then drove more traffic.  That was his business and that was all he really cared about.  For him the rest was no regrets and road kill.  He built nothing, since hate, lies, and innuendo were the tools he wielded and they were only useful in trying to destroy.

I’m sorry he’s dead, but the plain truth is that he was already beaten.  The voices he attempted to silence were no longer as loud, but they still were raised for justice, including mine and many others.  Breitbart’s moment coincided with the Tea Party and fell as fast as they ebbed.  He watched and railed while strange things, like the Occupy movement filled up space, and his base became narrower and narrower as his allegations became wilder and more farfetched around the litany of his personal enemies list.   I was proud to have been high on his list, though I bore the buffoon no rancor.  I understood his game, and he played his part well.

His credibility was shot, and even a huckster needs a thin reed of fact to grasp in order to hustle the sale.  His obituary on the Associated Press (AP) wire minced no words in writing of the spurious editing behind the ACORN videos he promoted.  The New York Times was more circumspect because they are still smarting from having swallowed his bait hook-line-and-sinker as leaders of the sucker brigade and the media outfits he abhorred.  His attack on Shirley Sherrod and unconscionable editing of her remarks to the NAACP were harder for any fair minded person of any persuasion to stomach, and was the final coup ending his claim to any credibility.

When obits are reduced to saying that you cared about your family and were loyal to your spouse (“according to friends”), oh, and maybe you didn’t hate gay people, there can’t be any doubt that liberalism is still alive and well and searching for something nice to say.   Amen!

I’m sure he didn’t beat his dog either, and neither will I beat on him now that he’s down.  An early and untimely death is never a cause for any joy for anyone.  There is nothing to celebrate there, and I won’t.

But, Breitbart had already lost where it counted, and where he wanted to be counted, in the larger political and public life of the country.

Adios and vaya con dios!

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Bringing Down Occupy NOLA

New Orleans               Front page headlines in the Times-Picayune had trumpeted the curious court battle around the removal of Occupy NOLA from Duncan Plaza across from City Hall to parts unknown.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu had summarily pulled up the encampment only to have his hands slapped by a federal court judge ruling it was illegal and giving Occupy NOLA a surprising legal reprieve and allowing them to relocate for an additional seven (7) days while he considered whether they could come or go.

We went by the General Assembly to hear the news Tuesday night.  The 40 or so folks left were sitting or lying on a small mound of grass in the Plaza listening to the legal team report on the judge’s decision, which, predictably, was grim and go.  In a short order Judge Lance Africk simply wrote with no elaboration that “…the Court finds that plaintiffs have not carried their burden of establishing a substantial likelihood of success on the merits….”  Mark Gonzales, one of the volunteer lawyers, told them plainly that more detail from the Judge was not going to provide better news.

There was concern about goods and property lost by the police’s illegal eviction and whether there would be any compensation.

There were offers of new locations.  Empty lots in the lower 9th ward, still devastated and 80% vacant since Katrina, was one suggestion.  Another speaker suggested an Episcopal Church that seemed to be closing on Canal Street.  People drifted around the meeting.  Others listened carefully.  There was calm.  Two people had decided to be arrested at 10 PM when the police were scheduled.  Some would watch from across the street and down the block as witnesses.

This was dénouement.   Ground conceded.  Point long made.  Future uncertain.

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