Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Andrew Breitbart, the quintessential happy warrior of the contemporary Conservative blogosphere. Others who knew him will do a better job of memorializing him. Although I never met Mr. Breitbart, I greatly admired him for his intelligence, his humor, his moxie, and his staunch defense of Conservative prinicples. I think one of the purest example of of his combination of humor, cojones, and all-out brains came when he wandered into a press converence meant for Anthony Weiner, former Congressman from NY (and currently best know for Tweeting inappropriate photos to the world at large) and basically took over and defended himself against allegations then-Rep. Weiner had made against him. It is pure 24-carat gold however you look at it. This is our happy warrior at his very best and brightest.
Mr. Breitbart is not our only lost warrior, however. As I reflect on the loss of his Conservative voice, I can’t help but remember a few other clarion voices gone far too soon.
Cathy Seipp was probably the best writer you’ve never heard of. A first-class writer and blogger from California, Ms. Seipp passed away in 2007 from lung cancer, which, as she was a non-smoker was both tragic and ironic. As she wrote during a period of remission, “I just want to let everyone know having cancer hasn’t made me a better person.” Andrew Breitbart was one of many friends, and he remembered her as a “package of joyful contradiction.” What a fantastic description! Charlotte Hays mentioned her as “ lovely in person and wicked in print.” For me, Ms. Seipp never expressed herself better (or more entertainingly) than when she went head-to-head against uber-liberal Lawrence O’Donnell. I wish the video were available, but you can read about it here and here (scroll down to the “neck-vein popping moment”).
Dean Barnett‘s was one of the first blogs I ever read regularly, and I think it was there that I made my very first blog comment as Stoutcat. I followed his Soxblog from its early days, up until the time he passed away in 2008, finally succumbing to cystic fibrosis. In his blogging career, he wrote very frankly about his illness, but he never let it stop him from climbing up the ladder from small-fry local Sox-fan-blogger to big-time writer for National Review Online, the Weekly Standard, Townhall, and finally as a regular guest host for the mighty Hugh Hewett, whose fans affectionately referred to Dean as “Chowda” for his unmistakable Boston accent. Dean was intensely loyal, strongly conservative, and funny as heck.
He was also a very early, extremely staunch Romney supporter back in 2007. I can’t help thinking that if Dean had still been around in November of last year, we’d be talking about President Romney right now.
We lost our very own Gerry Ashley in January of this year, due to complications from heart surgery and a very aggressive brain tumor. I still can’t say much about him, as my heart is still too sore over his loss. Fortunately, as with the souls mentioned above, the essential Gerry is still available to anyone who cares to hear his voice via his prolific and entertaining writing.
But right now, we’re still trying to deal with the Gerry-shaped hole in our lives where the man himself used to be.
Remember them all with a smile of gratitude, and gear up. We definitely need more happy warriors to rise up to take their places!