One year ago, Andrew Breitbart died suddenly at the age of 43. Stunned and rattled, I mourned my friend's loss and grappled with his life and legacy:
Andrew was fearless. A reformed Leftist, he made a conscious decision to devote his life to fighting his former ideological brethren with every ounce of his being -- and never looked back. Throughout his lamentably truncated career as a professional political provocateur, his targets came to loathe him with a rage rarely seen, even in today's polarized climate. As I explained in my introduction of him at last year's CPAC gathering, Andrew had attained near-hero status among many conservatives simply for amassing such an impressive roster of enemies. He targeted Planned Parenthood for their noxious criminality, brought down ACORN over similar transgressions, and last year took out a sitting Congressman, almost single-handedly. Andrew's impromptu hijacking of Rep. Anthony Weiner's New York press conference remains one of the most surreal media events in memory. He delighted in rattling liberals' cages. He relished attacking their sacred cows. And he never once shied away from a fight ... What a loss. Rest in peace.
If you haven't already, be sure to read Brandon Darby's moving Breitbart tribute -- the unabridged version of which appears in the current edition of Townhall Magazine. One can't help but wonder how things might be different if Andrew hadn't been taken from us so soon. With the Republican Party and conservative movement in a state of embittered disarray, his absence is felt more acutely than ever. On this grim anniversary, let's revisit Andrew's remarks at last year's CPAC conference, delivered mere weeks before his untimely passing. He exorted the audience to relentlessly and courageously fight the Left, and to do so as one:
This man's mischievious spirit and unifying passion are sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew's loved ones, who are also grieving the very recent loss of his mother. RIP.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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