Yesterday Andrew Breitbart got upgraded from “Conservative blowhard” to “controversial figure” in one easy step: he died. Suddenly places like MediaMatters and @LOLGOP were issuing statements about how they didn’t agree with him but he certainly had to be admired for his strong convictions. Even the usually fiery Matt Taibbi softened his article with an, “aw shucks, you gotta love the guy!” tone.
I had this to say.
I don’t have many followers on Twitter, and most of the ones I do have are spammers and joke accounts of friends. That particular tweet got a whopping 3 retweets. Nevertheless, I somehow ended up on a list of liberals celebrating the death of Andrew Breitbart at the Washington Examiner.
I’m not much of a party person, I admit, but even by my low standards I’d hardly call my tweet a “celebration”. What it was was, “not mourning”. I didn’t get up and dance a little jig, or wave my Liberal flag (it’s a yellow flag with a burning US flag on it, and they’re traditionally paid for with tax dollars from red states), or prepare my dancing shoes for a graveyard shuffle. My friends and I discussed this as we would any other celebrity death and then moved on to talking about this stupid “Inspector Spacetime” thing.
I had no idea about the Examiner’s list until someone brought it to my attention late last night. By then it had circulated to a bunch of wingnut blogs and the Death Star of the right-wing online empire, Free Republic, where me and the other folks were presented as examples of the hateful, intolerant left.
I’m going to give you a second to let that sink in.
Andrew Breitbart made a living being hateful and intolerant. His websites were nothing but frothing, sputtering anger at anything that he didn’t like, and he didn’t just write about it, he sent his toady, James O’Keefe, to destroy his enemies. The right wing decided that ACORN was some kind of Black Illuminati and Breitbart and O’Keefe went in and took it down. They tried to do the same thing with NPR but were unsuccessful. Breitbart got a bug up his ass about an unknown USDA official, posted heavily edited video of her, and got her fired. His last tweet before he died involved calling someone a putz. When Ted Kennedy died, Breitbart did, in fact, celebrate, and didn’t know why he shouldn’t. “Why do you grant a BULLY special status upon his death?” he asked. Good question there, Andy.
Apparently, even though this guy made it his life’s work to lash out and destroy things that had personally done him no harm, yet he was politically outraged by, we were all supposed to doff our hats and shed a tear at his untimely passing (he was the same age as me, by the way.) Failure to do so was vile, sickening celebration of the man’s death, a symptom of the derangement prevalent among the looney left.
As I’ve said before, in the right-wing mind, not only are you supposed to not complain if they punch you repeatedly in the face, you’re also supposed to admit you deserved it, compliment them on their punching, and show concern if their hand hurts afterwards. Anything less and you’re being an intolerant hypocrite.
Here’s some news for the right wing: tolerance isn’t what you think it is. Asking you to treat gay, female, black, and Muslim people like human beings is not the same as asking you to fix a sandwich for the guy who’s robbing your house and ask him if he needs a ride anywhere. Tolerance doesn’t mean you roll over and let attackers attack you.
The problem with liberals is not that they’re intolerant, but that they’re too tolerant. They always want to be polite and compromising and respectful, even when dealing with opponents who want to — often literally — see them destroyed in as humiliating a manner possible. They don’t even bring a knife to a gunfight, they bring flowers. They worry and fret about offending people who take delight in hating, bullying, oppressing, mocking, and embarrassing others.
Maybe saying “good riddance” to a giant, bloviating asshole was impolite and intolerant. If any of Breitbart’s family are bikini girls promising sex or fake superheroes who cuss and therefore saw my tweet about him, I suppose I’m sorry? But I’ll be damned if I’m going to rend my garments in pretend distress over losing this poisonous shitheel, or even praise his devoted activism towards wrecking democracy. I’m not even going to compliment him on what a splendid, hilarious asshole he was just so I can spare his adorers — many of whom I’m sure have prided themselves on being the biggest asshole in the Internet room on occasion — the pain of having to see someone not openly weeping for this tragic loss. I’m going to “tell it like it is”: he helped poison the country where I live and we are better off without him.
God fucking help us when Limbaugh finally kicks it.
(UPDATE: Andrew has a suitable companion piece here.)