How long, would you guess, would it take the conservative gag team to ridicule New York City's new liberal mayor Bill de Blasio? After all, the new guy at City Hall could be a Democratic presidential candidate against Sarah Palin as early as 2028. These days you damn well can't take a chance.
So it was left to Newt Gingrich who, like the dust on a curio shelf that never goes away, to turn up on CNN's "Crossfire" with some props to convince us that de Blasio was a soy latte phony. I can't believe I wrote soy latte, having never heard of it before my received wisdom from Newt, who forever impresses me as a latter-day Crazy Guggenheim. And, folks, I drink a lot of coffee.
To illustrate his point, whatever it was, Newt lined up three Starbucks cups to suggest that de Blasio's support of a tax increase for the rich would amount to no more than a cup of, um, soy latte. When you stretch that far to show how hip you are to modern trends, it still is sort of phony by itself, don't you think, for an old-timer like Newt trying to be cool.
As Republicans go, it resets the terms used by his brethren, like Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is remarkably still comfortable referring to "limousine liberals" in his press releases.
Modifiers for liberals have been around a long time. Spiro Agnew put much stock in "pointy-headed liberals". He was a coffee drinker of sorts and when he was offered a cup during a sit-down visit to our newspaper office, he jiggled the cup and tipped out a little into the saucer. None of us, of course, pretended to notice it. Maybe as his host we should have settled on his unflattering nattering nabobs and left the care of coffee to others.
As for Newt, I promise to think of him the next time I'm standing in a mile-long line at the Starbucks counter at the mall. When my turn finally arrives, I will order two cups of straight, espresso-power coffee, one for me... and one for Newt. I know. It would have been spiteful for me to order soy latte for him.