On the morning of March 1, 2012, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart died, at the age of 43, of unexpected natural causes.
That same afternoon, on the floor of Congress, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) payed tribute to Breitbart, in which he refers to as a “marvelous gift” from God. He also claims Breitbart “gave a good dose of chemotherapy to the cancer.”
The “cancer” that Gohmert is referring to was former community organization named the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, otherwise known as ACORN.
ACORN was dismantled due to a firestorm of political controversy and negative publicity, stemming from a highly-edited videotape that portrays ACORN employees engaging in criminal activity, apparently counseling two conservative activists, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, on how to hide prostitution and avoid taxes. James O’ Keefe was an employee of Andrew Breitbart, founder of the website biggovernment.com. ACORN was defunded by Congress and other private donors, and ultimately had to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidate in 2010.
Congressmen such as Louie Gohmert and Steve King (R-Iowa) express a great debt to Breitbart. Rep. Steve king said, “I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for the influence of Andrew Breitbart. In fact, we might not even know about the threat to the underpinnings of our Constitution … if it hadn’t been for Andrew Breitbart.”
There’s one thing in particular that Gohmert and King have in common: They are members of the TEA Party.
There is overwhelming evidence which shows that the TEA Party owes a lot to Andrew Breitbart. Here is the incident that brought Breitbart to TEA Party greatness.
During the summer of 2010, NAACP president Benjamin Jealous challenged the TEA Party to sign a resolution, asking the TEA Party to “expel the bigots and racists” in their ranks or “take the responsibility for them and their actions.”
The TEA Party responded with counterclaims of racism. The St. Louis TEA Party released its own resolution, while condemning the organization and demanding its “bigoted, false and inflammatory resolution” be withdrawn.
In May of 2010, a Washington Post/ABC News poll suggested that nearly a third of Americans see racism as an underlying current of the TEA Party.
The TEA Party appeared to be losing this fight with the NAACP, until Andrew Breitbart came to its rescue.
On July 19, 2010, Andrew Breitbart releases a video of Shirley Sherrod, who was the USDA Director of Rural Development for the State of Georgia, on his website biggovernment.com which appeared to show Sherrod admitting discrimination against a white farmer. The video was a two and a half minute clip of a 45 minute speech that Sherrod gave at an NAACP convention, earlier in 2010. The video created a firestorm of controversy and media coverage through major media stations like FOX and CNN, as well as commentary from many right-wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, Laura Ingraham, and others.
On that same day, Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign by the USDA, but was later vindicated of any wrongdoing and offered a new job, and was offered apologies by USDA and the White House.
In February of 2011, Shirley Sherrod filed a defamation lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart for the misleading video posted on his website that cost Sherrod her job at the USDA.
Here are three reasons why the TEA Party owes Andrew Breitbart so much:
1. Breitbart’s video may have smeared Sherrod and made her a political scapegoat, but it succeeded in laying cover for the TEA Party, in regards to the NAACP and its challenge to the TEA Party to sign their resolution denouncing all of the racist elements in their party. The video fabricated an equalizing narrative that portrayed racism within the NAACP, although it was a false equivalency since it was a mischaracterization of Sherrod’s statements.
2. Breitbart proverbially “took a bullet” for the TEA Party, by opening himself up for a civil suit, where there is a good chance he may lose, even in his passing. Sherrod has continued her lawsuit against his estate.
3. Even though Sherrod was cleared of the charges of racism, Breitbart succeeded in creating such a political circus, and distraction, that the TEA Party escaped the NAACP challenge to a resolution that would have likely exposed the TEA Party, and since the NAACP denounced Sherrod’s statements when Breitbart’s video was first released without researching their own video, the NAACP hurt its own credibility. NAACP president Benjamin Jealous later admitted that they were “snookered” by Breitbart’s video.
In conclusion, the TEA Party certainly owes that conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart for his loyalty and political courage, but the debt is one the TEA Party can easily pay. Just continue protecting the racist element of the TEA Party, even if you have to destroy the lives of the innocent to do so.
For a timeline on the Breitbart-Sherrod saga, click the link below:
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