Bottom line: He apologizes for the word Kristallnacht, but not the underlying claim that he is a member of a oppressed group. He actually believes the criticism is unfair and is skeptical that inequality exists.
Perkins goes on to say he can't understand the criticism leveled at the 1 percent because they are the job creators. There's a refrain there that sounds curiously like something plantation owners might have said in the mid 1800s. Be grateful, little folk, because we're the REAL Uncle Sugars.
Quite simply, these were and are folks who just weren't used to public criticism. The whole "masters of the universe" mythology was basically, sure we're massively wealthy. But we're also the ones keeping the globe we all live on from spinning off its axis. So let us enjoy our Hamptons estates and our private jets in peace and we'll do our jobs and you do yours. The crossfire hurricane that ripped apart that social contract stung a lot.
Marshall's analysis of Perkins' comments are interesting, though I think he's wrong when he says there wouldn't have been such an uproar if it weren't for the term 'Kristallnacht.'
Perkins isn't going to change his mind. He's a rich, old person who lacks any self-awareness whatsoever. But he's not the only one who thinks that way among that privileged class. Remember Romney, exhorting everyone to speak of wealth inequality in "quiet rooms" because we shouldn't be talking that way in public?
Or Romney's claim that anyone who talks of inequality is driven by envy?
Just last week, we were all told extreme income inequality was 'fantastic' by yet another venture capitalist.
Frank Luntz gave Republicans lessons on how to talk about wealth inequality by telling them not to say the word 'capitalism' in mixed company in 2011. Nay, they were all instructed to use the terms 'economic freedom' or 'free markets.' Bill Clinton and Cory Booker assured all Democrats venture capitalists are forces for good and we should all love them like they love themselves.
Of course, we can't forget Leon Cooperman's "open letter" to President Obama whining about his treatment. Did I mention that the IRS forgave $5 million in penalties assessed on Cooperman the day after that open letter was published?
As icing on the cake, let's all review the bankers' whines about Occupy Wall Street in 2011. I especially loved the end of that article, where the erstwhile Mr. Cooperman warned the riff-raff that we're likely to get more out of him if we treat him with respect. All that in reverse, pal. Want respect? Earn it.