The bitterness of Andrew Breitbart's premature departure may be tempered if his courage inspires conservatives to press the case that President Obama's life story, as accepted by the media and McCain campaign in 2008, contains a series of discrepancies, frauds, and lies-by-omission. Americans have been had by a manufactured biography that does not bear close examination. Breitbart knew it, talked about it, and was the foremost public advocate of re-vetting the candidate who escaped serious scrutiny in 2008.
The overwhelming consensus of the GOP establishment is that Americans like Barack Obama. There is no profit in attacking him personally. Shut up about all the disturbing signs that he was groomed by a series of troubling mentors, centered his adult life on the Alinsky Left in Chicago, and had his career managed by ruthless pros who saw the electoral potential of an "clean, articulate black guy" with Ivy credentials, a slim build, and a terrific smile.
A substantial portion of the GOP base is with Breitbart faction of Obama skeptics. They are tarred with the label "birthers" even if their skepticism is limited to Bill Ayers' role in authoring Dreams from My Father or the troubling anomaly of Obama's Social Security number. The vehemence of the media left in slurring anyone who questions any aspect of Obama's legend is evidence of the underlying fear of exposure. After all, their current strategy is to distract the electorate from Obama's failures by manufacturing from whole cloth a phony notion that the GOP wants to deny women access to contraception and health care. Skeptical inquiry of any sort is anathema to this crowd. After all, skepticism is contagious in a time of disillusionment.
One less visible aspect of Andrew Breitbart's work was his important role as a networker on the right. I am one of many people Andrew reached out to over the years, emailing, having serious, long conversations on the phone, analyzing, strategizing, collaborating, advising, and networking. Andrew loved putting like-minded people together. He loved the Big Picture -- what he called the institutional left, and its takeover of American culture. He knew that unless we take back the culture, politically we are doomed.
Andrew grew up in the comfortable, affluent Hollywood left. He knew all the flaws in its argument because he had reasoned his way out of the left when the Clarence Thomas hearings opened his eyes to the ruthlessness of the media-Democrat machine. He perceived that by puncturing the lies of the left with evidence, humor, and audacity, the very might of the left could be turned upon itself, devouring its public credibility. He understood that hypocrisy is now the deadliest of sins, and that the left was rife with hypocrisy, corruption, and lies. He saw that the opportunities were limitless.
I suspect there are many people in politics, the conservative media, and activism who are troubled by the anomalies in Obama's story, but have kept their mouths shut out of fear of criticism for violating a taboo. No doubt many of them spoke with Andrew, and were as in awe of his energy, humor, enthusiasm, and guts as I always was. Now that he is gone, we can no longer rely on him to do the job for us.
The question naturally occurs: what are you going to do, now that Andrew's incandescence has burned out prematurely?
I can't answer for the others, but I do know that one of Andrew's legacies for me is an injection of fortitude.
The biggest issue in the coming election is Barack Obama, himself. In his last major speech at CPAC, Andrew promised a full vetting of Obama this time. His colleagues, who include many smart and very capable people, promise that we will not be denied the Obama college tapes of which Andrew spoke, and that they will carry his legacy forward. I wish them every success.
It just so happened that yesterday saw Sheriff Joe Arpaio release the results of his Cold Case Posse's investigation of Obama documents and his opinion that the law has been broken. The media cofferdam around Obama's biography has been breached again.
It may turn out that Andrew Breitbart will be the very rare sort of man who leaves a legacy beyond his family, friends, and the organizations he created. His ability to inspire may be his greatest impact on history. In this critical election year, his shining example of courage may inspire conservatives to focus their energies on exposing the lies in Obama's official biography.
Perhaps providentially, this election season features a vast role for Super-PACS, unaffiliated with and uncontrollable by the official campaigns. If enough people are willing to donate money for TV commercials, the serious, documented contradictions, omissions, and inaccuracies in Barack Obama's background can be placed on the national political agenda, no matter what the GOP establishment wants.
I do not think Andrew Breitbart is quite done with us. He lives a little bit in my heart, and I don't think that I am alone.
Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.