David Frum

01.18.12

Newt's Newest "Elite": Subway Riders

Courtesy of Matt Yglesias, I read this hilarious Newt Gingrich declaration of cultural war:

“Those who, you know, live in high-rise apartment buildings writing for fancy newspapers in the middle of town after they ride the metro, who don’t understand that for most Americans the ability to buy a home, to have their own property, to have a sense of belonging is one of the greatest achievements of their life, and it makes them feel like they are good solid citizens,” he told the crowd."

I love the bit about elites who ride the subway. It takes a real common man like Newt Gingrich to incur half a million dollars in unpaid bills for private jets.

Yet I can never escape the feeling that Gingrich is spoofing his audiences when he engages in these culture war tirades. They always remind me of Dan Aykroyd's Bob Dole on Saturday Night Live:

"Bob Dole grew up in Kansas in a small farm town, he didn't have the prep school education, or the sterling silverware, or the bumper pool table in the basement.. didn't have the shower & massage with five-way adjustable heads.. or the sit-down lawnmower. Bob Dole didn't have these things!  ... So why don't you just go back home to your summer home in Maine, your automatic garage door opener, your electric steak knife, and run around Kennenbunkport, Maine in your powerboat, while I take care of real issues in the White House!  ...  Bob Dole didn't grow up with a 150-foot yacht, I didn't have the convertible for graduation, the sterling silver cocktail shaker, or the machine that tears the tennis balls at you..."