Just Call Mitt Gatsby!

mel brooks

Mel Brooks in "History of the World, Part 1"

The rich truly are different than the rest of us, as Dorothy Parker observed many decades ago, and they proved it Sunday afternoon at a trio of Mitt Romney fundraising events in The Hamptons on Long Island.

Revlon chairman Ronald O. Perelman, Clifford Sobel who is a former US ambassador to Brazil, and David Koch opened their doors to the uberwealthy Sunday afternoon, who paid up to $75,000 a couple to shake Romney’s hand and hear him proclaim his concern for us ordinary proles as the guests nodded in silent approval. Reports say that the campaign raised about $4 million.

No doubt, the guests related to the problems facing the unemployed, the uninsured, the elderly, the homeless and the poor. For example, Carole Simmons, whose husband Ted Conklin owns The American Hotel in the area, urged him to tell a reporter from The Los Angeles Times  “… who’s on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!”

It was a senior executive from Miramax who couldn’t find a room at the inn so was ensconced on the couple’s 75-foot yacht.

Conklin had just described Pres. Obama as a “socialist” to the Times reporter.

At his blog this morning, Paul Krugman found this otherworldly gem:

A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

I’m not sure that Mel Brooks could write anything this funny – or sad. Actually, maybe he did: The Roman Senate scene in The History Of The World Part I.

How out of touch is the unnamed lady in the Land Rover that she doesn’t get why her manicurist – I assume that’s who she meant by “the nails lady” – refuses to share the woman’s 1% view of the world? Fortunately, if her college-age son doesn’t understand it, either, there may be salvation for us after all.

Here’s the final irony.

Remember during the primaries when Romney said he wasn’t concerned about poor people? True to form, he contradicted himself yet again by declaring Sunday, “I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about those here. I spend a lot of time worrying about those that are poor and those in the middle class that are finding it hard to make a bright future for themselves.”

As my paternal grandfather would say, “What a schmegeggy!”

Charley James

Author and journalist Charley James’ next book is about his experience becoming homeless. When published, Charley will donate a percentage of his advance and royalties to homeless organizations.

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Posted: Monday 9 July 2012

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