The front-pagers have established a decorum on this site about how to respond to the illness or death of prominent Republicans. Good for them. Here's my decorum.
Many Republicans are essentially decent people, or at least no less indecent than we ourselves are on the whole. We're all human.
But some Republicans are beyond the pale, utterly reviling people. Andrew Breitbart was one of those. That kind of person is contributing to the decay of our country and turmoil the world over, ruining many innocent lives in the process. It's not just Republicans who are capable of such infamy, but mind you that the meaning of our great orange brand is that we stand against Republican injustice in particular. That is why we are here. I think this informs what our appropriate response should be to Republican illnesses or deaths.
Where health problems are concerned, I do not personally wish bad health on anyone. Have you ever had to deal with getting sick? It sucks. I consider it vindictive to wish bad health on others, and, at its worst, I think it is even a little bit psychopathic.
So when a Republican gets sick, I feel no pleasure at it--usually just a touch of sympathy. In most cases I don't think it is appropriate for us to comment here on Republicans' health problems when they do not influence politics. Our sympathetic silence would be more meaningful than a fake platitude that most people privately disbelieve. I, personally, adhere to my own decorum and I stay away from acknowledging or commenting on sick Republicans.
Where deaths are concerned, however, I think it is a perfect occasion for people to exercise their judgment. The passing of a decent Republican can be met with silence, or even with condolences when they are sincere. But the passing of one like Breitbart, whose evil acts are not in dispute, deserves a few words from the depths our honest convictions. The end of a life is a time to be thoughtful, even when those thoughts are not flattering or kindly. Here are my thoughts:
Andrew Breitbart was a brutal, revolting, disgusting piece of trash who undermined this country and represented the worst of American politics. None of us will ever have to worry about the workings of his evil ways again. He is done. He will be remembered not for whatever good was in him but for being a destroyer of our way of life. He wasted his life and made our lives that much harder. The world is better off and brighter without him. Good riddance.
Don't mistake my relief for glee. I'm not glad he's dead. I am relieved. It is a great relief to me to be able to say those few words--whose relevance and veracity no one can honestly dispute.
I sympathize with the bereaved. Most of us know what it is like to be personally bereaved. It sucks. Other people, by their bias or ignorance, saw Breitbart in a different light. We are all entitled to our own perceptions. I would never give my opinion of Andrew Breitbart at his funeral (as if I would even go), and I don't support dancing on other people's graves.
Rather, Breitbart's passing is a one-time occasion to condemn him for the evil he did to this world, and then to let go of our resentment of him for his crimes. With these few words I hereby accomplish exactly that, at least for myself. The people who say "now isn't the time" or "it isn't respectful" can go suck a lemon. They do not know what they are talking about. If we would ethically show quiet respect for a person in death, then our enmity toward that person in life was wrong. And if the enmity was not wrong, then quiet respect is hypocritical, and an abrogation of our obligation to bear witness to history.