“‘Unfortunately, there is an elitism within the Republican establishment,’ Huckabee told Klein. ‘And it’s one of the reasons the Republicans have not been able to solidify not only the tea party movement but solidify conservatives across America.’…

“Huckabee’s resentments date back to his 2008 presidential bid, which drew dismissal and even paid attacks from a Wall Street-backed GOP establishment that favored Mitt Romney and others and saw Huckabee as suspect on taxes.

“‘I’ve been on the receiving end of some of that when I ran for president. A lot of the establishment types were very contemptuous toward me and treated me like some backwater,’ Huckabee said. ‘And that’s one of the things that happens when you didn’t go to the right school and you’re not a regular [attendee] at the proper cocktail parties on the D.C. social circuit.'”

***
“We are watching the maturation of the cognitive stratification that Richard J. Herrnstein and I described in ‘The Bell Curve’ back in 1994. When educational and professional opportunities first opened up, we saw social churning galore, as youngsters benefited from opportunities that their parents had been denied. But that phase lasted only a generation or two, slowed by this inescapable paradox:

“The more efficiently a society identifies the most able young people of both sexes, sends them to the best colleges, unleashes them into an economy that is tailor-made for people with their abilities and lets proximity take its course, the sooner a New Elite — the ‘cognitive elite’ that Herrnstein and I described — becomes a class unto itself. It is by no means a closed club, as Barack Obama’s example proves. But the credentials for admission are increasingly held by the children of those who are already members. An elite that passes only money to the next generation is evanescent (‘Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations,’ as the adage has it). An elite that also passes on ability is more tenacious, and the chasm between it and the rest of society widens

“There so many quintessentially American things that few members of the New Elite have experienced. They probably haven’t ever attended a meeting of a Kiwanis Club or Rotary Club, or lived for at least a year in a small town (college doesn’t count) or in an urban neighborhood in which most of their neighbors did not have college degrees (gentrifying neighborhoods don’t count). They are unlikely to have spent at least a year with a family income less than twice the poverty line (graduate school doesn’t count) or to have a close friend who is an evangelical Christian. They are unlikely to have even visited a factory floor, let alone worked on one.

“Taken individually, members of the New Elite are isolated from mainstream America as a result of lifestyle choices that are nobody’s business but their own. But add them all up, and they mean that the New Elite lives in a world that doesn’t intersect with mainstream America in many important ways. When the tea party says the New Elite doesn’t get America, there is some truth in the accusation.”

***
“As the 2010 campaign draws to its raucous close, the Republican Party’s biggest donors are slowly beginning to choose sides, with some still looking for a strong alternative to a populist conservative movement that makes them uneasy.

“The big New York, Texas, California and Florida donors who traditionally play a key role in choosing the GOP nominee lined up behind George W. Bush in 2000 and, largely, John McCain in 2008.

“This year’s early favorite appears to be Mitt Romney, donor sources confirmed to POLITICO, who has already lined up quiet commitments from more than a dozen top names, among them billionaire David Koch and his wife, Julia, financier and former Goldman Sachs partner Lewis Eisenberg, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Ogilvy Government Relations Chairman Wayne Berman…

“‘Most long-standing donors are worried about a candidate, or multiple candidates, coming forward who are too extreme,’ said a major Republican donor with long ties to the party. ‘You’ve got a lot of people that don’t want to support the tea party movement.'”