Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Andrew Breitbart's Death

I might as well just change the title of this blog to "Andrew Sullivan is often wrong." (Which puts him ahead of Megan McArdle, who is always wrong.)

See, Andrew Breitbart died at only 43 years old, but what a full life he had, trying to sabotage ACORN and Shirley Sherrod and anyone or thing that seemed liberal. Sullivan's posts on this matter have been to say that Breitbart was a fallible political actor (which is a tragedy that we should all feel bad about) and that we shouldn't forget to advance some sympathy towards him as a human being.

Which is all well and good, but this isn't Sullivan being generous--it's Sullivan covering up one particular truth about Breitbart (in public life, he was a jerk) with another truth that Sullivan says is more important. (Oh, Breitbart is human; oh, Breitbart loved pop music.)

I agree with Sullivan, that it is surprising and sad to think about Breitbart's sudden death when we consider him as a private person. But as a public figure, I can't consider his death as a tragedy. (Not all surprises are tragic.) Breitbart did enormous damage to the political discourse, and we're better off without him.

(Or rather, Breitbart took part in that damaging. He surely wasn't alone.)

Also, do you ever notice Andrew Sullivan always wants us to extend sympathy towards the single powerful person; but when it comes to airing questions of racial superiority, Sullivan never wonders if there's anything unsympathetic about it?

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