two-stepping with newt

Gingrich’s Latest Target: Elitist Apartment-Dwelling Subway Riders

down with hipsters

In a speech at a rally for the National Association of Home Builders last Thursday, posing in front of an unbuilt home that no one will ever buy because no one can get a mortgage, alleged fiscal conservative Newt Gingrich argued on behalf of home ownership and government support of it, and in the process ridiculed people who ride the subway, of which there are apparently some in this country. Gingrich determined that people who ride the subway also don’t own homes, and lazily take public transportation that, well, their tax dollars help pay for from their “high-rise apartments” to their jobs at “fancy newspapers in the middle of town.” These elitist assholes don’t see the value of owning their own home (or owning their own job?), Gingrich surmised. Maybe they should just…like…move to Paris! Where there is more subway than there is Subway, and where being a snob doesn’t get you verbally excommunicated by a windbag with too much time on his hands.

The segment in question (and here is the whole 14-minute video, if you really want it):

Those who, you know, live in high-rise apartment buildings writing for fancy newspapers in the middle of town after they ride the metro, who don’t understand that for most Americans the ability to buy a home, to have their own property, to have a sense of belonging is one of the greatest achievements of their life, and it makes them feel like they are good solid citizens…

Here are a few of the million reasons this makes no sense.

1. Implying that America should have less public transportation than it already does is … amazing/not surprising, coming from someone whose hobby involves fabricating the way things were in olden times.

2. Gingrich used to advise Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the government/we control(s) with our monies. With this speech, Gingrich is basically back to where he stood before he ran for president, when he was an “historianian,” if you will. He now positions himself as someone who wants the government out of mortgages and everything else. Less than a month ago he was saying that very thing, calling for the breakup of Fannie and Freddie.

3. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s nothing fancy about newspapers. [Wall Street Journal]

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About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

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232 comments

  1. GunToting[Redacted]

    Okay, so we're back to advocating that ANYONE, regardless of their economic situation, should be a homeowner? Great! That worked out so well the last time.

  2. nounverb911

    The only time Newt's been down on the subway was when Calista serviced him in the Subway parking lot.

  3. elviouslyqueer

    Newt is obviously still bitter over the time he got caught in the Metro's turnstile and had to be extracted with the Jaws of Life.

    1. Biff

      If I want to look down at that from my <700 sqft stick-built house, it is my gawd-given right to do so.

  4. Mumblety██

    Newt it seems can only boost a favored industry's ego by treading upon another sector targeted for false contrast. Add contrived grievance and logical fallacies and you've got the masterful rigmarole that is Newtspeak, appreciated by former school-bullies and Republicanker-sores everywhere.

  5. hagajim

    I worked for a fucking newspaper for 10 years, and I never made enough money doing that to own a home. Fuck off fatty!

    1. comrad_darkness

      You were clearly too stupid to just ask a large, semi-privitazed government entity for several million dollars, just because.

    2. finallyhappy

      is a fucking newspaper like the section you find in the middle of the Washington Blade or the back pages of the Washington or Philly City Paper?
      Because those ads look like they would bring in more money thanthe non-fucking newspapers

  6. Negligently_Joe

    Right, us public-transit city-dwelling renters are such fucking elitists who are completely out of touch with how The Actual American People live, unlike multimillionaires from Fairfax County with half-million dollar jewelry store tabs who manage to make careers out of sneering at renters who ride subways.

    We totally rent apartments because we think we're too good for home ownership, obviously!

    1. PsycWench

      Obviously! And the presence of your rental apartments and your place of work in the city has never improved the city in any way, shape or form.

    2. Nesnora

      that and I for one thoroughly enjoy splurging the $2.50 to inhale the aromatic human feces and despair everyday for an hour.

      But I'm not a Real American. I don't get complimentary Dom Pérignon on my ride to pass the time, along with the aging blonde that gives my bic-dick a stiff one for a mere smattering of diamonds… or maybe it's the fact I have to work and I can't fart-out invoices just for flapping my blubberous neck rolls to form words…

      1. finallyhappy

        $2.50?? I pay $3.35 to ride the elitest Washington Metro from Silver Spring to Federal Triangle(that is not the super rush hour fare- just rush hour). I enjoy listening to other people's loud music and their highly personal phone calls- also when someone sits down next to me at 9:10 am and starts drinking alcohol- or has clothing exuding weed(do you younguns still call it that?)

    3. Generation[redacted]

      If they were real Americans they would all buy houses in New Jersey and drive SUVs into downtown every morning!

  7. neiltheblaze

    All these years of riding the subway and I never realized I was engaging in an elitist activity.

    1. SorosBot

      Yeah, I thought subway riding was stereotypically done by a different shade of people that Newt hates (or pretends to hate for the base, which is just as bad).

      1. Fare la Volpe

        I read a book years back about Newt Gingrich's rise to power in the "New South," and how a centerpiece of his early Georgian campaign was railing against people who ride buses and live in apartments.

        He stopped just short of accusing them of eating fried chicken and watermelon all the damn time.

    2. MissTaken

      Just last week whilst watching an Oakland youth take what one calls a "bowel movement" on the subway floor I remembered to pick up extra arugula and dijon mustard from the oh-so elite 7-11 on the street corner.

    3. finallyhappy

      years of Philly subway riding was not elitist but I do believe my many years of the Washington Metro system(bus and subway) qualifies- esp when you take the S-2 or S-4(16th street bus) instead of the 79(express down 9th street)

  8. MildMidwesterner

    "high rise apartment buildings"

    I'm sure that Gingrich is referring to New Yorkers and not Washingtonians, since DC proper does not have "high rise" buildings.

    1. Kaia Mursi

      Is there another “fancy newspaper” in New York besides the NYT? Maybe Newt has a point? Seems sort of unfair to build an entire subway system just for NYT writers.

    2. WootInTarnation

      Ah, that's the 2-for-1 SuperStalin Elite-o-radicator Special! High-rise = NYC + Faaan-ceeeeey. Metro = DC. Gotta give Newt some credit. He can be a real clever one. Especially when he's using all those "truth-liberating" skills he's honed over the years freeing the Real Story from the tenacious red grasp of all those elitist, academic, so-called "professional" historians in their faaan-cy, high-rise Ivory Towers.

  9. OkieDokieDog

    Tear down all those apartment buildings and build parking lots!

    Paid for by parking lot paving companies
    (We never use illegal labor. Pinky swear!)

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    If those elitist motherfuckers would just finish high school and get married and have kids, they could afford to buy a home.

  11. sarah_connor

    C'mon, don't you want to mention that I ride the subway with black people and homeless unwashed people and people with AIDS and people named Juan, just because of the elitism of it all??? Would you just put two and two together, you moron!

    1. GOPCrusher

      I suppose he understands that he's the Republiklan version of The Weakest Link, so he's setting up for his next job opportunity.

  12. V572 the Merciless

    The entire business model of the business interests that support Republicans is based on the Orwellian "steel wheels bad; rubber tires good" mode of thinking that leads to more freeways, more oil, more wars for oil, more defense contracting to support the wars, etc. Whatever differs from this threatens it. You can see it in the unreasoning hatred toward electric vehicles on auto blogs.

    1. WootInTarnation

      Shoot, you'd think they'd be over their anxiety already, what with the car companies buying up and physically fucking dismantling the railrods and tram systems over 60 years ago. Then SINKING the cars in the bays of California. That feat was accomplished so long ago that the cars had the time to turn into flourishing reefs, then be destroyed by decades of subsequent disatrous environmental non-policy. You'd think they'd be over their anxiety at who'll win that particular war.

      Same thing with the mortally-wounded newspaper industry. But then, that's classical Rethug bullying strategy: pick an opponent so phenomenally weak that its last gasp was heard several industry deaths ago, put fightin' words in its earth-filled mouth, prop it up with enough buttresses to house every last adherent of a thriving medieval faith, then crow to the skies and pound your chest in triumph after your lackeys have detonated the explosives in the structure and you've claimed your bitterly-contested victory over your Goliath.

      Bunch of mealy-mouthed, horse-stealing weasel farts, the lot of'em. They'd cheat a toddler at checkers. Which reminds me… If Willard hadn't tortured his dog to death, he could've pulled a Checkers moment like the OG of all these ratfucks. Grr. In Tricky's honor, I think I'll have a Scotch 'n' Seconal while playing Risk and fondling a big red button.

    1. Negropolis

      Well, then, you're a poor, lazy blah, because only poor, lazy blahs live in duplexes. You see, you can't win.

  13. prommie

    Its the vast left-win conspiracy, we shove public mass transit down the people's throats, so as to inoculate the people with socialism. George Will was saying so just a few weeks ago.

      1. WootInTarnation

        Ooh! That sounds germane to my interests. I've just graduated from knicker-bockers meself. I'll have to look that one up on the ol' teletype. Boy, that Geo. Will can certainly give those scoundrels the old one-two!

        Srsly, I thought dude was dead as dead-tree newspapers. Had shuffled off this mortal coil. He must have a Linotype operator or two up his gartered-sleeves. Actually, with the exception of the ol' geezer himself, I'm sad to see all of those things disappear. For the record. I mean, acetate.

  14. Bonzos_Bed_Time

    He's just trying to get $now-billy Grifter's maybe-someday-endorsement knowing there are no subways in Alaska/Arizona/wherever she is. Shrewd Newt, shrewd…

  15. littlebigdaddy

    He sounds like he's broaching Vermin Supreme territory here, except instead of ponies everyone has to have a house.

    1. V572 the Merciless

      Too many people in DC would be unable to resist the urge to nudge him off the Metro platform, so he can't.

  16. fartknocker

    NAHB? That's the same NAHB that's been petitioning state legislators to remove a clause in the International Residential Code to remove a new provision requiring fire sprinklers in single family dwellings. Annually in the US about 2,000 people in house fires but NAHB says these fancy-schmancy sprinklers only cost about $0.90/square foot in new construction.

    Newt has more bullshit than Amarillo stockyards.

    1. prommie

      Big Gubmint is hamstringing the job-makers! They would still be making shirts in Connecticut, by gum, if not for those pesky big gubmint fire codes.

  17. Callyson

    Those who, you know, live outside of the reality – based community writing for corporate interests and wingnut think tanks after they cash in on public speaking engagements where they tell their masters what they want to hear, who don’t understand that for most Americans the ability to have a job, to have a living wage, to have a sense of receiving what they have worked hard for (rather than see the 1% take it) is one of the greatest achievements of their life, and it makes them feel like they are good solid citizens…
    /fixed

      1. orygoon

        I visited the DC area for the first time, in middle age, just a couple of years ago. Saw sights and museums until my eyes bled and loved it all, but very especially loved the DC Metro.

  18. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    I say we tear down every apartment building in New York and DC and replace them with single family homes. Think of 5th avenue lined with homes and gardens. This is urban planning we can believe in.

    1. pdiddycornchips

      This makes perfect sense! We shut down the subways and use the space underground to store all those annoying disposal people without jobs.

  19. freakishlywrong

    Weird. I just SOLD my house because conservative fiscal policy of the last ten years made it impossible to hang on to it. I'm making the same amount of money when I bought it, (1999), but, oddly, haven't seen a bonus or a stock option since I was laid off in the first Bush recession.

    1. mayor_quimby

      Elitist! You were actually able to sell? Real murkans like me just mail in my mortgage every month, via the toilet, you know. Typing my address into zillow.com is scarier than a HIV test after a month in Vegas, trust me I feel your pain. Congrats on the sale, I think.

  20. Ducksworthy

    I have to say that I preferred Gozer the Gozarian in his previous manifestation as a Giant Sloar. I find the Stay Puffed man extremely creepy.

  21. BZ1

    Newt has actually ridden on a subway, don't make me laugh (oh, actually make me laugh, I usually grit my teeth and scream, at anything he says)

  22. justkillmenow

    Here is middle America, there are people who own homes and STILL use public transit. We are very confused.

    Wait…I just realized that this is also the home of a Big Ten university, so we are liberal elitists.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Of course Big 10 schools are full of liberal elitists, that's why it's so hard for them to beat good red-blooded American SEC schools in BCS bowl games.

  23. SexySmurf

    Those who, you know, live in high-rise apartment buildings writing for fancy newspapers in the middle of town after they ride the metro

    I thought that hobo I saw masturbating on the bus yesterday looked suspiciously like David Brooks.

  24. arihaya

    Republicans truly wish to bring back America to good ole 1800s when voting right and citizenship are limited to white, property owning men

    1. Loaded_Pants

      And children were put to work aplowin' the fields or helpin' to deliver their newest sibling.

  25. prommie

    Lookit them city-slickers with their fancy high-rises and subways. They think they're better'n you!

    Its exactly the same way we would always be able to egg on some redneck bully, back in middle school, to fight someone. "Billy Bob, you see that Clem boy strutting around all high and mighty. He thinks he's better than you, Billy Bob. You oughta show him, Billy Bob, him and his fancy pants shiny shirt."

  26. BaldarTFlagass

    Newt only went down below the city's surface one time in his life, and came back up into the sunshine with that CHUD wife of his.

    1. OneYieldRegular

      When you haven't experienced the luxury of having a drugged-out homeless guy pawing through the dryer that contains your clothes, which already have come out of the washer smelling like somebody's dog, it's easy to be envious.

      1. tessiee

        And that fancy store-bought dirt…
        Think they're so great, just because they never got caught driving without pants…
        *grumble, mutter*
        Lousy, rotten, stinkin'…

  27. ThundercatHo

    Wait, now I'm confused. So, the welfare people drive Cadillacs and the elites use public transportation? What are the people who ride in limos, helicopters, Lear jets and tour buses called?

  28. EatsBabyDingos

    I cry for all the impoverished homeowners of McLean. They is poor. They groundskeepers be poor. They butler be poor. They eats like a stoned newt and goes from McLean to McFat. I seen it. I seen it with my eyes! I was a chubby lady hidin' in the bushes!

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Everyone who writes letters to the editor about California's (never gonna happen) high speed rail.

  29. pdiddycornchips

    Real Americans don't live in fancy high rise apartments, they live in fancy K Street Townhouses.

  30. SorosBot

    Psst, most urban-living elites don't live in high-rise apartments; those are called condos, and they actually do own them.

  31. spends2much

    The Michelin Man's Evil Twin doesn't even know what he's advocating anymore. If you would possibly vote Democratic, he is against EVERYTHING you do- eat peanut butter sandwiches, ride the subway, walk your dog, live in an apartment- if you do these things, and you are a liberal, , then these things are wrong and bad.
    And this is the Deep Thinking Candidate.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Yeah, and people wonder why I chuckle every time they tell me that he's going to own Obama's ass in a debate.

  32. flamingpdog

    "… having worked as a “historian” for Freddie Mac after leaving Congress …"

    HA HA, even the Wall Street Journal laughs at your puztiness, Newtie.

  33. Sparky Mc███

    Apparently, Gingrich has never seen the enormous "Park and Ride" lots at the DC Metro stations. But then again, WMATA doesn't pay him $50,000 an hour for "history lessons"

  34. Troglodeity

    For once I find myself agreeing with Pastor James Dobson. That hypocritical bastard Newt and his longtime whore wife Callista should never live in the White House.

  35. proudgrampa

    How much did he make on that speech? If he got $60,000, then it's business as usual for him…

    He is such a putz.

    1. tessiee

      Wait, what?
      I thought the *Jews* were controlling the media and the *n*ggers* rented instead of owning because they don't understand the values of hard work and thrift??
      Jeez, I miss one day around here and I'm out of the loop.

  36. widestanceshakedown

    I'm worried he's gonna out of stereotypes to fling stupidly about before he melts down in a screaming hissy fit on national TV (and profoundly and fundamentally dies in a radical transformation to cadaver on camera).

    He proves once again just how 'inside the beltway' he is by speaking in nothing more than culture war cliches.

  37. weej_#blackout

    Mmmm, so Newter thinks I must dig up my dead padre and flog him 'cause he owned a house in Scarsdale and rode the subway to work in da City? I'm getting so confused, getting too olde.

  38. pdiddycornchips

    When at last the revolution comes to pass, the crowd that will gather to watch this mans public execution will be bigger than all the superbowls combined.

  39. Beowoof

    He wants everyone in a house made with Chinese dry wall and driving a Hyundai. What a great American he is.

  40. Selfish_T

    You know what we should be building instead of more clapboard exurban McMansions? Subways.

    Also, you actually are allowed to buy and own homes in many "high-rise buildings".

    1. Sparky Mc███

      Oddly, the price to buy a home in a "high-rise building" is way higher if it's in walking distance from the subway.

      Oh, by the way, Newt's house in McLean, VA is less than a mile from the "Tyson's East" station on the new Silver Line (scheduled to open next year).

  41. Poindexter718

    Riding the 5/6 at 6 o'clock–or any train with a tubercular or incontinent homeless guy–feels especially elite.

  42. Urban_Achiever

    Does he mean that all the kids doing janitorial work at schools should run out and buy a home?

  43. comrad_darkness

    I guess the last decade of credit-excess-driven housing greed by those millions of "good solid citizens" happened to recently for our elderly historian here.

    In other news, Newt continues to be an out of touch douche.

  44. CommieLibunatic

    Right, because when I think "elitist," I think of braving the bus with lunatics who have angry discussions with Satan across the aisle on the way to work, and hobos babbling about how to get rich on the way home.

  45. ph7

    to buy a home, to have their own property, to have a sense of belonging is one of the greatest achievements of their life

    Yes, that wonderful sense of belonging to the millions of underwater victims of the great pyramid scheme of the 00's.

  46. Jerri

    Oh if only I could live in the isolated exurban drywall drab-o-sphere, where I could drive 100 miles to and from work, and do my shopping for cakes we like, cedar cheese and orange camo undies at the Wal-Mart where I can stand in line with my neighbors and have monosyllabic conversations about last night's episode of Dancing with the Stars.

    That'll always be the dream, Newt. Instead I will continue to suffer in the city, lamenting it all as I sit on the bus for 15 minutes commuting home to my 100 year old, solidly built apartment, where I will stare out the stained glass windows deciding whether we should walk to the delicious Vietnamese place for dinner, or check out that new American slow food place a few blocks away before walking to the local movie house or maybe taking a walk through the park instead, if it's nice out.

    Alas, I can only wish to one day be a Real American from my urban home/dream jail.

    1. fuflans

      where are you? i ask b/c i too can take a bus or train to my 104 year old house with stained glass windows and vietnamese delivery.

  47. HarryButtle

    Fuck you, you big fat fucking fuck! Lotsa renters WERE homeowners until your buddies fucked over the entire economy, and lots of them would STILL BE homeowners if not for the likes of you! Somebody needs to throttle Newt until his fucking eyes pop out.

  48. DaRooster

    There are the feeling of 5 or 6 80s songs in that quote…
    Little Pink Houses, Riding On The Metro, etc…
    I am so into Newt.

  49. Chichikovovich

    I just can't keep up anymore. I thought the latest wingnut gospel on the topic said that the entire Bush economic collapse was Barney Frank's fault, because he single-handedly forced the government to force the banks – who were trying their hardest to be responsible businesspeople – to give loans to shiftless, poor, [additional tacit adjective here], people.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      Ah, the slightly more intelligent wingnut (I know, I know, it's like comparing slime mold with plankton) manages to blame Clinton because he made it harder for banks to refuse mortgages to the blahs simply for being blah.

  50. Selfish_T

    He's right about transit users often not understanding what it's like to "buy a home, or have their own property", because American transit riders are, according to facts, generally pretty poor. But European cities and New York have functional transit systems, so, whatever, elitist.

  51. owhatever

    I am certain that no one at Fox Noise in New York City takes the subway to work. Only those at the New York Times. Not at the Post, nor anyone at the Wall Street Journal. I'm having a hard time understanding what the hell the Newt is railing about, except it is Romney and Obama's fault.

  52. Naked_Bunny

    Now let's see Newt make the same speech in front of a house with all its paint peeled off and four foot tall weeds half covering the auto parts scattered around the lawn.

  53. smitallica

    Yes, that's all you'll find on the nation's subways. Nothing but employees of newspapers.

    What a dick.

  54. real_dc_native

    Here I thought my kids were renting apartments and taking the subway because their shitty jobs didn't pay enough for them to buy cars or houses. Now I find out I've raised a couple of f..king elites? Where did I go wrong?

    1. GOPCrusher

      Obviously you didn't make them go out and get a job when they were 8 years old. Now, they have no concept of work.

  55. Mojopo

    Personally, I love the caviar service we have on the Green Line in Chicago. Between Ridgeland and Austin.

  56. Eve8Apples

    Newt always travels by sedan chair. A team of man servants carries him around like an ancient Egyptian princess while other man servants fan him and stuff grapes in his pie hole.

  57. ttommyunger

    I will be so glad when his campaign finally augers into the ground and I won't have to hear about this bloated, puffy pantload again until that wonderful day when he gets his well-deserved Coronary Thrombosis and starts his long overdue dirt nap.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Yeah, but then we'll have to put up with three days of hearing how he was a Great American Patriot and Defender of Freedom.
      Fuck him.

  58. tessiee

    “fancy newspapers in the middle of town.”

    Yeah, gosh darn those uppity city slickers who have ever read anything other than the bible, because ignorant hicks with no alternatives are our only hope of ever getting any votes.

  59. Eve8Apples

    "for most Americans the ability to buy a home, to have their own property, to have a sense of belonging is one of the greatest achievements of their life, and it makes them feel like they are good solid citizens."

    Tell that to the banker when the banker sues to foreclose on the home loan you should have never received. The banker will tell you to wipe your ass on your American Dream and move your crap into an apartment. While you are at it, the banker will tell you to sell your car to pay off your loan because Mr. Good Solid Citizen can always take the Metro.

    1. GOPCrusher

      J.D. Byrider in this part of the world advertises that they will sell you a car regardless of your credit as long as you have a job. In fact, they will do your taxes for you and apply your tax refund to the purchase price of the vehicle.
      What they don't tell you is, if you are late on one payment, they remote prevent your car from starting until you pay your payment or they repo the car.

  60. Generation[redacted]

    How do I tell a fancy newspaper from the regular kind? Are the comic strips in color?

    1. finallyhappy

      I think the Financial Times is fancy -it is all in color. And why is it orange? Is it the same reason John Boner is orange?

  61. tessiee

    "good solid citizens"

    To borrow from George Carlin: What the fuck is this, 1850?

    Can we please, please, finally and at long last, get rid of the myth that Real Americans [tm] are rural white Christians? I just looked it up, and less than 17% of Americans live in rural areas, and less than 2% (or less than 1%, depending on the source) are farmers for a living. If Newt, or any of these other fartbags had a less than 17% approval rating, or less than 17% of their current wealth, they'd have to shut the hell up and go work for a living.

  62. tessiee

    How about if you're a kid riding the subway to your unpaid janitorial job instead of going to grade school? Is that still OK, or is it eleeeeetist?

  63. pdiddycornchips

    Newt is a symptom of a much larger problem. There's a growing sense not just here but around the world that we are in desperate need of better, smarter, less douchey elites. All men are fallible and but think back, where is our Churchill/Kennedy/Eisenhower/FDR?
    In the past, men were able to work together and resolve differences. Now? Can you imagine anything remotely responsible coming out the likes of Harry Reid, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and Hopey? These are not men, they are empty suits. Suits filled with the needs and wants of their corporate masters. These men cannot think or act independent of their corporate overlords' interests. We have to make a change. The entire system should be burnt to the ground. These men and women we allow to rule us are just not up to the challenge.

  64. BlueStateLibel

    I always have to laugh when turnips like this try to imagine New York City. Yes, everyone riding them subways is a snobby elitist, making six figures, and eating arugala for lunch, LOL.

  65. WootInTarnation

    It's not that your status as a citizen is under debate. It's just your, well, you know, um… consistency. If you know what I mean. No offense, pard.

  66. Schmegeg

    Newt, the fancy hirise went condo twenty years ago. And Newspapers? That PhD must be from some maiorder outfit.

    Enjoy your ex-wife's interview tomorrow night, you tool.

  67. Warpde

    14 minute video? Really? Of Puff'n Stuff jabbering away.
    Think I'll stick to the 10 second snippets.
    Less chance of losing a good meal or all the drinks I've had today.

  68. Negropolis

    Dirty, dirty whore.

    Yeah, fuck those people that use land and infrastructure more efficiently than their rural and exurban brethren. Fuck 'em, bunch of elitist hippy bastard-bums. Get a hair cut! Get a jerb!

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