Mitt Romney, like Kerry before him, is paying the price for speaking another language next to English.
This attack on education not only shows desperation in Newt Gingrich (with a large dose of cheek for someone who does not stop referring to himself as a man of culture, a historian) but I believe contributes more to America's inequality than the whole of Wall Street. (Forgive my hyperbole but few things are more repellent than attacks on intellectual "elitism").
America has the best universities in the world, it produces the greatest scientists, it has some of the world's best publications; its intellectual elite is on par, if not above, that of any other country. As for the rest of the country, bar a certain isolation from the outside world, it is more or less comparable to the "rest" in any other country. What differentiates America is a certain, recent, liking (comparable perhaps to France's mythical attachment to the countryside) of anti-intellectualism, folksy wisdom and an education that is all but informal.
This is a slippery slope (can this great evil as well be attributed to Nixon and his dark manoeuvrings?) and the wedge between the two can only become larger; comments like Gingrich's make things only more difficult. America's intellectual elite will become even more unapproachable and possibly a little more secretly self loathing (universities on both sides of the Atlantic are full of Americans being more "European" than the Europeans not to be confused with the "rest"). The rest will become even more proud in their ignorance and intellectual isolationism. I usually don't like Michael Moore but I agree that Bush, by glorifying being a C-student, made being a C-student as if it were the best possible achievement.
Are we surprised that Americans actually believe in America's exceptionalism?