When I wrote about Mark Steyn’s appearance to speak at the fall briefing of the Center of the American Experiment in 2014, I noted Mark’s improvisation at length on the theme of Rich Richman from a New York Post story on President Obama’s fundraising appearance earlier that week at the mansion of the gazillionaire. I noted that Mark played with the theme of “Rich Richman” like a jazz soloist taking the song to previously unexplored heights and depths. I expressed the hope that Mark’s “Rich Richman” remarks would turn up on Mark’s site one way or another before too long and asked him to play that number again. Well, he didn’t then, but he has now. Following his return to speak at the Center’s fall briefing event on Monday evening, Mark has reconstructed his 2014 riff. Mark plays it again:
This is from today’s New York Post: “President Obama blasted Republicans as the party of ‘billionaires’ on Tuesday while mingling with high-rollers at the $26 million estate of Rich Richman — yes, that’s his real name — in Greenwich, Connecticut.”
So the President blasted Republicans as the party of billionaires at a fundraiser hosted by a rich, rich man called Rich Richman. He made his money in rental housing. Is this Richie Rich all grown up? If you remember Ricky Nelson from the Ozzie & Harriet Show, when he grew up and decided he was a serious artist he changed his name from Ricky Nelson to Rick Nelson. So maybe Richie Rich grew up and became Rich Richman. Boy, I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when Obama and Valerie Jarrett were booking that fundraiser:
“Who’s on first?”
“Yeah, that goes without saying. But which rich rich man?”
That’s all the President does these days. He goes to fundraisers hosted by [Insert Name of Rich Richman Here] and he does so many of them that he actually winds up at a party hosted by a rich rich man called Rich Richman. He’s like the Boutros Boutros Ghali of Obama supporters. The President must be so confused, because that’s how he categorizes the American people:
Category A: Rich rich man.
Category B: Impressively rich man.
Category C: Moderately rich man.
Category D: Rich man.
Category E: Borderline rich man.
Category F: All you losers.
I used to love all those Mitteleuropean operettas where the prince falls in love with a humble serving wench, or the countess loses her heart to a lusty stable lad, and I would love to see a big Broadway show in which wealthy, connected Obama backer Rich Richman falls in love with a humble Tea Party supporter who’s being audited by Lois Lerner, Penny Pennilessgirl. And Rich Richman invites Penny Pennilessgirl to his $26 million estate for dinner with the President, and the following day he sends her a dozen roses with a romantic invoice for $34,000 – which is apparently what each of those donors paid up for Obama. Billy Joel’s doing the songs:
You’ve been going with a poor poor girl…”
The President was ferried to the Rich Richman fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut by a fleet of helicopters from Manhattan, where he’d been attending a fundraiser hosted by George Soros. And this is why this absurd, parodic vignette that no novelist or playwright would attempt to get away with because it’s too crude, too obvious, this is why this absurd, parodic vignette is emblematic of where we’re headed – the Latin-Americanization of US society, where you’ll have a super-wealthy elite of rich rich men and a vast dysfunctional morass of poor poor men and an ever shriveling middle class in between, and, as the rich rich men helicopter their way from Manhattan to Greenwich to the Hamptons to Martha’s Vineyard, there won’t be a lot of ways for those poor poor men to better themselves and join the helicopter set. Oh, to be sure, those rich rich men will toss ’em a bone from the choppers – more food stamps, better social security disability payments, longer unemployment insurance, free contraceptives. But there’ll be no middle class to get you on the moving walkway between poor poor man and Rich Richman.
NOTE: Still funny after all these years. Thank you, Mr. Steyn. Mark updates his 2014 riff with current commentary here.