I was hardly the only one who, on reading the reports of Mitt Romney’s three weekend fundraisers in the Hamptons— one hosted by the Koch brothers—was put in mind of a certain classic American novel set amid the pre-1929 excesses and inequality of the Roaring Twenties. To underscore to what an extent Powerboat Mitt evokes the unapologetic upper-crust ethos of Jay’s days, here is a quick game for us to play. The challenge: pick whether the quote is from The Great Gatsby or from reports from yesterday’s shindigs:
1. “Civilization’s going to pieces. I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things... The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be--will be utterly submerged... It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.”
2. “I don’t think the common person is getting it...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.”
3. "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one...just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had."
4. “If you are here, by and large, you are doing just fine. 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.”
5. “Tell him who’s on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!”
6. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such—such beautiful shirts before.”
7. "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."
8. “He is a socialist. His idea is find a problem that doesn’t exist and get government to intervene.”
9. "One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer/ The rich get richer and the poor get—children./ In the meantime,/ In between time—"
Answer: 2, 4, 5, and 8 were from Romney’s big day, the rest from Fitzgerald. To the winner goes the green light at the end of the dock.
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