There’s no reason for toasts to exist if we fail to clink your bottles and tipple for the dearly departed and eternally fearless Andrew Breitbart. Some of us Knickerbockers squeezed into the Sanctuary in Hell’s Kitchen Monday night to reminisce between sips as his fans have done everywhere since the dreadful news of his death. It was the sort of event he not only would have loved but would have merrily taken over during better days just a week ago.
Andrew’s health problems were exacerbated by having to lug around huge balls. But he did so much more in less time than the rest of us could ever hope to do, and still makes us feel ashamed of our relatively leisurely lives even as he finally rests. The number of people who still feel devastated no matter how well or even if they personally knew Andrew is a sad yet glorious testament to his life.
On the other sinister hand, his enemies never changed. Andrew’s death gave some sad people a chance to show how vile they are in life; those who expressed glee at his passing were piles of excrement to him when he was alive, so why should anything change now? The only difference now is that they’re especially craven for attacking someone who can’t fight back.
Some particularly astute observers thought he was fair game because he pointed out what Ted Kennedy did to Mary Jo Kopechne. Remember when Breitbart was lionized after drowning that woman? No?
But the decent people thankfully prevailed, as we should remember often happens when righteousness is concentrated. The quick, brutal, and thorough condemnation of all the dastards who wallowed in the horrid news was actually a cathartic way of coping with the instantaneous pain of his loss; we should thank those awful jerks. Mess with Andrew, and you mess with all of us.
Defending him wasn’t the end of the good work by the good guys. Countless admirers shared innumerable tributes in tweets and blogs, each worth savoring for the profoundly heartfelt manner in which they were delivered. It’s been a joy to see so many people capture his gutsy charm, as we’re reminded to cherish amazing moments and people that are always gone too soon.
Those blessed to have been on the receiving end of his two-hour-long phone monologues seem to have particularly enjoyed sharing anecdotes about his offbeat, unfocused, and demented style of multitasking that was exhausting just to ponder. Meanwhile, fans feel grateful to have had even a quick meeting with him.
As for me, I was lucky enough to meet Andrew once at a book signing. He had just flown from a Tea Party speech in Wisconsin and was operating on approximately zero sleep, and was nonetheless charming, funny, and beyond generous with his time. We joked about what a fine fellow Eric Boehlert was and spoke of how Twitter was more of a lifestyle than a hobby. All you need to know about the left is that they despised someone so likeable.
Dahlhalla and I were already proud of the signed copy of Righteous Indignation we picked up at the event, and sadly now have a reason to treasure it even more forever. Most memorably, he included advice with his autograph that will always remain wise.
And I was certain we’d cross paths again. I foolishly just assumed there would be more chances to interact with Andrew, as he was an ubiquitous adrenaline shot at conservative events here in New York City and many points elsewhere. We can only be thankful that he was everywhere while he was here.
But death won’t stop Andrew from leading his army. Recognizing that his passing means that there’s tremendous slack to pick up, the right is now organized and hungry to fight the opposition’s organized vitriol. Fittingly, his last piece of work began the process of vetting our junior varsity president in what served as his career’s perfect epitaph. The devastating look at Barack Obama’s shady background is merely a topic sentence, as if you needed to be told to continue his work.
Even brief encounters with Breitbart have taken on significance. In one of the handful of interactions we had on Twitter, Andrew and I expressed a mutual fondness for “Ghost Town” by the Specials when he was playing DJ. The conservative movement sure feels like that song title now.
But anyone who appreciated the relentless way he did what he did should take up the task of tormenting those who desperately need the political equivalent of a noogie. We’ll always have Andrew’s face-forward stance as an example; death can never take that from us.
And we’ll always appreciate his legacy, and not in some abstract passive way that fails to involve destroying leftist lies. Strike down Breitbart-Won Kenobi, and he shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
So, raise a glass and take a stand. In Andrew’s honor, we have serious mischief to perpetrate.
Anthony Bialy is a writer and “Red Eye” conservative in New York City. He tweets at http://twitter.com/AnthonyBialy.