Roger L. Simon

The Party of the Rich

Back when I was a kid, we used to assume the Republicans were the party of the rich. It was a given — all those plutocrats with chauffeurs shuttling them between the penthouse in Sutton Place and the weekend manse in Southampton.

Of course that was pretty idiotic then (a Kennedy was in the White House), but it’s outright moronic now.

We live in an era — the worst economically since the Depression — when the daughter of the first couple of the Democratic Party has a multi-million dollar, Marie Antoinette-style wedding with port-a-potties almost as luxurious as a toilette in Baden Baden; its self-proclaimed environmental leader, the first global warming billionaire, sprouts “green” McMansions from Nashville to Montecito; and its already multi-billionaire senator from Massachusetts moors his yacht in another state to escape taxes we hoi polloi could only dream of paying.

But wait, as they say, there’s more. At this moment, two of their leaders from a supposedly disadvantaged minority are about to be tried for ethical transgressions (read: thievery) even Congress couldn’t sweep under the rug. Never mind that these transgressions mostly exploit the very minority these people purport to represent. It’s part of the game. Convince minorities they should act like victims. Extort guilt payments from the majority and keep the change. Meanwhile, nothing improves for the minority because it would interrupt the system.

This all occurs during the administration of a president who once trumpeted “transparency” and “change,” pronouncements that seem to have been made so long ago now you can’t remember if it happened before or after the fall of the Roman Empire. This same Democratic president, however, continues to collect big royalties from books he may or may not have written. He’s certainly not the first.

Furthermore, in recent days, some Grub Street drones have been revealed to be enablers, or perhaps cheerleaders, of all the above. Particularly clueless, this crowd does the low-paying grunt work for their truly plutocratic Democrat employers from Huffington to Sulzberger. At least the Dems’ Hollywood supporters are making some decent money off their useful idiocy.

Talk about a confederacy of dunces.

And they used to say that hypocrisy was the homage that vice paid to virtue. Forget all that. This is beyond hypocrisy. It is prima facie thuggishness and noblesse oblige beyond our wildest imaginations. Well, maybe not for readers of Balzac, but close.

What is the explanation for all this?

I used to think, as I wrote in my book on Hollywood of a couple of years ago, that these limousine liberals created “mini-me” clones out of the Austin Powers flicks to proclaim publicly their undying support for the common man; so that, in their private lives, these same “progressive plutocrats” could go on raping and pillaging as before. Barbra Streisand is a typical example, but George Soros, more than any movie star, is the poster boy for that kind of behavior.

But these days, it seems, even the “mini-me” is being abandoned. The pretenses are gone. No more Mr. Good Guy, phony as he was. No more obeisance to Mother Teresa (she’s dead anyway) or special concerts for African AIDS. It has evolved to another stage. Chelsea Clinton gets her multi-million dollar wedding no matter how it looks to the rest of us. John Kerry acts as if having tax issues for your yacht is just another average problem for Joe Normal and Al Gore … well, the less said about him the better.

When I say it has evolved to another stage, I also mean that our political leaders now behave more or less like members of competing Mafia families. The Clintons do not invite the Obamas — or the Gores, for that matter – to their wedding. That Jenna Bush’s wedding cost a paltry one hundred grand is forgotten, a thing of the past barely commented upon. Chelsea marries into a family whose connections are no more savory than the Corleones, as Ron Radosh reminds us.

Meanwhile, the tea partiers are accused of racism that no one can prove. The illusion that the Democrats are the party of the people continues. And the beat goes on.

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