The Andrew Breitbart Seance

I didn’t post about the death of Andrew Breitbart, or the post-death-of-Andrew-Breibart blogospheric flame war, for a number of reasons. Yes, perhaps because I am a fogie, or perhaps because I am a Christian, I do tend to find the immediate heaping of hot coals on the cooling body of the recently deceased distasteful. And yes, I’m generally leery of making definitive moral judgments–the kind that are so often made in obituaries, positive or negative–about total strangers. Truth be told, the things about Breitbart’s highly dubious contributions to journalism, if you want to call it that, which outraged his enemies and thrilled his friends all struck me as stuff that was pretty much ephemeral.

But the case for letting Breitbart rest in peace would be stronger if he had left the rest of us in peace in exchange. Instead, from the grave, he is still trying to make headlines, and succeeding at least with his brethren on the Breathless Right. His apparently-long-in-the-planning new website, which seems merely to combine his old websites, is now featuring the alleged dynamite so powerful in its impact on the World As We Know It that conspiracy theories about his death are at large in the fever swamps.

So what’s the direction of Breitbart’s last big epochal project? Yet more splashing around in the right-wing kiddie pool of Barack Obama’s community organizer days in Chicago. It appears then-state-senator Obama attended, and participated in a panel discussion about, a play on Saul Alinsky in 1998.

Needless to say, this is a smoking gun only to people who (a) have anything more than the vaguest idea of who Saul Alinsky was; (b) subscribe to the idea that talking positively about the ideas and contributions of a writer/activist means slavish subscription to every word he or she ever uttered; and (c) have come to belief that Chicago in the 1990s or even more recently was a hellish rehearsal ground for the enslavement of America by Alinsky-inspired secular-socialists primarily operating through the marginal organizing group ACORN, which even then was planning the destruction of the U.S. housing market, the collapse of the global financial system, and the theft of the 2008 elections.

In other words, even if future installments of Breitbart’s sadly threadbare yet immensely self-important last will and testament have even more breathtaking revelations, they will be of interest only to people whose worldview is precisely the same as Andrew Breitbart’s. So by virtue of the wingnut feeback loop which lifted this man into celebrity to begin with, nothing he says from the grave will have any impact at all beyond confirming what these people already think.

Hope they enjoy their seance with Breitbart, for however long it lasts.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.