Fred Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, GOP presidential candidate, Watergate attorney and actor who starred on the television drama "Law and Order," died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 73.You probably lost track of Thompson after his 2008 presidential run, but he kept himself active on social media nearly to the end -- and he was really kind of a jerk until the end. His specialty was the wingnut one-liner -- this one, for instance, a month before his death:
Mr. Thompson died after a recurrence of lymphoma, according to a prepared statement issued by the Thompson family. Mr Thompson ... was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004.
Robot to be featured speaker at a Clinton Foundation event. Must've needed someone with more warmth and sincerity than Hillary. #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) September 28, 2015
His second-last tweet was a nod to the gun-rights crowd:
NYC reports it's struggling to keep booming population of stray cats under control. Tough one. Have they tried cat-free zone signs? #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) October 5, 2015
And this, about Richard Branson, was his final tweet:
Branson wants world "powered by sun, powered by wind". Ohhhh...like in the Dark Ages when everyone used sailing ships and clotheslines #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) October 5, 2015
A few more:
Obama at a school in IA: students "shouldn't silence" guest speakers who are "too conservative". Yes. That's what the IRS is for. #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) September 23, 2015
U of CA considering ban on "expressions of intolerance". Sounds idyllic. Everyone throw another book on the bonfire & sing Kumbaya. #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) September 22, 2015
Undercover vid shows Hillary staffers violating voter registration laws.Well looky there...trouble Hillary really CAN blame on a video #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) September 18, 2015
Now on Hillary's campaign site: "Hillary's emails in 4 sentences." Clears that up. Only question left is: concurrent or consecutive? #tcot— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) September 16, 2015
They say that a near-death experience can give a person a perspective on what really matters in life, that coming face-to-face with one's own mortality can make certain squabbles in one's life seem small and petty. Thompson got a cancer diagnosis in 2004. I don't know when he became aware of the recurrence that killed him. But it seems as if none of this ever made him think, "Y'know, I want to do more with my remaining days than script an ideological social-media Hee-Haw." He did this almost until the end.