Here’s Newt Gingrich, commenting on Occupy Wall Street:
I repudiate, and I call on the President to repudiate, the concept of the 99 and the one. It is un-American, it is divisive, it is historically false ... You are not going to get job creation when you engage in class warfare because you have to attack the very people you hope will create jobs.
And here’s Colin Powell, commenting on Occupy Wall Street:
Demonstrating like this is as American as apple pie. We have been marching up and down and demonststrating throughout our history...One of the things that is of concern to all of us is that there’s increasing gap between those who are doing very, very well, and I’m doing well, and those who are not doing as well. And those who are not doing as well are not seeing their lives improving. And so there’s frustration. There’s an angriness there.
This is something that I think our Wall Street friends, our business friends, need to think about. And this is something that our political leaders need to think about. It isn’t enough just to scream at the Occupy Wall Street demonstraters. We need our political system to start reflecting this anger back into, how do we fix it.
Of course, everyone knows Powell isn’t a real Republican, while Gingrich is one of the GOP’s great statesmen and leading intellectual demigods. What’s more, Gingrich is involved in a primary dogfight with Mitt Romney, and given Romney’s low millionaire tax rates and venture capitalist past, Gingrich has a lot of work to do if he’s going to outdo Romney as the candidate of the one percent.
One easy way to do this is to attack anyone who dares even call attention to the problem of inequality. As Steve Benen notes, Gingrich doesn’t even want inequality to be the subject of our national conversation.
Of course, there’s a more charitable interpretation of Gingrich’s remarks. After all, Gingrich did say that “the concept of the 99 and the one” is what’s “un-American.” As Peter Daou remarked on Twitter, perhaps Gingrich was saying that the concept of the wealth disparity itself is what’s un-American.