Frank Bruni just plain doesn't know: We think Frank Bruni’s new column is instructively clueless.
Newt has been railing against “the elites.” Bruni is puzzled by this stance. This is clueless stuff:
BRUNI (1/24/12): With Gingrich, the distance between reality and rhetoric isn’t shrinking but growing, and the incongruities mount. He has lately fallen in love with his rants against “the elites,” and casts himself as their most determined foe, but I can’t for the life of me figure out a definition of elite that doesn’t include him.Gingrich is constantly full of crap. But when Bruni can’t locate his "elites,” we think that’s instructively clueless.
Are the elites those hyper-educated intellectuals who use big words? Gingrich has a Ph.D. in history from a prestigious private university, Tulane, and when it suits him, he plays Cerebellum in Chief with nonpareil diction and derision.
Are the elites rich people with fancy ZIP codes? He and his third wife, Callista, made more than $3.1 million in 2010 and have an estimated net worth in excess of $6.5 million. Since 2000 they have lived in the posh enclave of McLean, Va., not Appalachia, and have personally stimulated the economy with expenditures at Tiffany, not Zales.
He lashes out against secularists and trumpets his and Callista’s Roman Catholicism, though the two of them lived for six years in explicit defiance of its tenets.
When Gingrich rails against “the elites,” who does the gentleman have in mind? Granted, he’s often full of crap. But who is he talking about?
For unknown reasons, Bruni thinks first of folk with degrees—but Gingrich has a degree! Then he thinks of folk with money. But Gingrich has lots of swag too!
Finally, he thinks of “secularists,” and he plays some sort of hypocrisy card. At least he has finally come somewhat close, although he’s still in the dark.
When Gingrich talks about “the elites,” who does he mean? Why do so many voters respond?
Duh. If we were chasing the most basic explanation, we would say this: He's talking about the type of people who look down on average Americans and their values. Before your lizard brain reacts, let’s note that there are many such people around and about. Some of them can ever be seen on the TV machine thingy!
Were we the only ones who saw Rachel Maddow’s “week of dick jokes” in April 2009? (It was really a week and a half.) This was one of the most appalling bits of broadcasting we’ve ever seen. Were we the only ones who saw it? Was it just us and Jon Stewart?
Gingrich is relentlessly full of crap, but he draws on a genuine grievance. When we read Bruni’s column, we thought of a film we watched again last weekend. It’s our least favorite film: About Schmidt.
About Schmidt is a film designed to ridicule average people. We hadn’t seen it for several years; watching again, we were amazed by how much worse it was than we had recalled. It’s set in Omaha (we know!), and it ridicules every character. You see, none of the characters are Hollywood film-makers. This seems to place them somewhere below the status of Mitt Romney’s dog.
Bruni can't figure out who Newt means! Right there you have your problem.