There is a new street art poster that’s being emailed around and will no doubt eventually be spotted on a street corner near you. It’s a gritty black and white image of Andrew Breitbart looking both battle-worn and ever vigilant with the caption: “BREITBART IS HERE.”
Those three words express the instant connection many of us feel for our fallen friend. They express our identification with him, and our need to continue his fight for the good of our republic.
With the death of Breitbart, the conservative movement didn’t just lose a General – we lost an entire Special Forces Division. But he didn’t leave us without the tools and the knowledge we need to fight. This website – Breitbart 2.0 – is the culmination of his study of the technology and aesthetics of new media. The team Breitbart assembled under the leadership of Steve Bannon, Larry Solov, and Joel Pollak will advance his mission with courage and integrity.
Breitbart’s most immediate mission was the belated vetting of Barack Obama. This obviously is an issue very near and dear to my heart.
During the ’08 campaign, the same media that reported breathlessly about an old used tanning bed I purchased to get some sun during the dark Alaskan winter, couldn’t be bothered to investigate Barack Obama’s associations, statements or even his voting record as a state senator. Suntans and what I wore on the campaign trail were more important than Obama’s political background. Unbelievable.
But when you come to think of it, the media didn’t investigate either of our actual political records very closely.
Barack Obama and I both served in political office in states with a serious corruption problem. Though there is a big difference between serving as the CEO of a city, then a state, and regulating domestic energy resources, and being a liberal Community Organizer, bear with me on the comparison. The difference between my record and Barack Obama’s is that I fought the corrupt political machine my entire career (and I have twenty years of scars to prove it) on the local, state, and national level. But Obama didn’t fight the corruption he encountered. He went along with it to advance his career. Graft, cronyism, and quid pro quo are the methods of the Chicago political machine from which he emerged.
You would think the media – those watchdogs of the public trust – would be interested in this. But they refused to vet Barack Obama. With tingles up their legs, they shielded him.
If the media had done their job of vetting him, we wouldn’t have been shocked that within days after Obama’s election, his close political associate Rod Blagojevich was caught trying to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat.
If the media had done their job of vetting him, we wouldn’t be astonished to see all the billion dollar green energy kickbacks going to his campaign cronies as the nation heads towards bankruptcy.
If the media had done their job of vetting him, we wouldn’t be surprised that Obama brought these same Chicago “pay-to-play” practices to the White House.
This corruption was entirely predictable. But the mainstream media, who work under our Constitutional right of freedom of the press which our sons and daughters fight in war zones today to protect, dropped the ball and failed America by refusing to vet their chosen candidate.
So, as Breitbart declared in his last CPAC speech, we – the everyday patriotic citizens of the United States – will do the vetting the media refused to do.
This is a first step. Ultimately, Breitbart’s goal was to expose what he called the corrupt Democrat Media Complex. He wanted to break it up because he understood how the left uses its dominance of the mainstream media and pop culture to advance its objectives and marginalize its political foes.
Standing up and defending those who are being unfairly targeted and maligned was also the mission. Is it any wonder Breitbart titled his autobiography “Righteous Indignation” when you consider his deep-seated sense of justice and fair play? He was on the side of the little guy and ready to run to the aid of those who needed it. He possessed that old fashioned virtue of courage, compassion, and decency that we once called chivalry. He inspired that in others.
When you’re in the political arena serving for the right reasons and taking flak from all sides, there is nothing more discouraging than when your fellow conservatives sit on their thumbs or worse yet, join in the attacks. Breitbart understood this because he experienced it himself at times, so he was determined to stand by others in need.
He was a genius at new media, but his real gift was that he was fearless at a time when too many people are afraid and are retreating. Courage inspires courage. Fearlessness emboldens others to follow your lead.
Lately conservatives are picking up the mantle from Breitbart’s absence on the air and in places like Twitter. Watch for tweet jousts with liberal outlets like the weird and creepy Media Matters and re-tweets of leftwing hate using the Twitter hashtag “#IAmAndrewBreitbart” as the battle cry.
Soon we’ll see others imitating Breitbart’s gift for disbanding leftwing protests by simply asking the rent-a-mob, “Hey, what are you protesting?”
And I am confident we’ll soon see more conservatives boldly come out of the shadows in Hollywood without fear of retribution.
The task may seem daunting, but a whole new generation of conservatives has been inspired. I’ve seen it first hand. When my daughter Bristol saw the video of Breitbart’s speech at a Tea Party rally in Madison, Wisconsin, she was fired up. She turned to me and said, “Breitbart is cool!”
Yes, he is cool. And “Breitbart Is Here.”
Now let the vetting begin.
Sarah Palin is the former governor of Alaska and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee.