There's something to that.
I have my own mantra along those lines: I'd rather have my fascists -- power-hungry stokers of hate -- be greedy and venal rather than charismatic true believers. And though all these guys are appealing to the worst in a section of U.S. citizens -- the section that fears and hates gays, uppity women, people of color and civilizing restraint in human life -- so far at least they all seem just self-seeking liars, not ideologues of hate.
In the wake of his South Carolina defeat, Mitt says he is going to release some abbreviated set of his tax returns. Somehow I don't expect this will appear to most of us as full disclosure; the whole point of rich people's tax returns is to make them seem less rich and hence less liable to taxes. They have armies of accountants and lawyers to make stuff up for that purpose.
The Romney tax return furor reminded me of some fascinating quotes from the oft-cited 18th century father of modern "free market" economics Adam Smith that I grabbed along with commentary from Berkeley professor Bradford DeLong. In the era of the founding of modern economies, economists had to be psychologists as well as numbers and stats guys. Smith mused on why the great masses of people don't feel more resentment of the rich. Here's DeLong's explanation with Smith's words inset.
Mitt is appealing to the enduring hold of these attitudes -- to whatever residue of (mostly unearned) sympathy for and respect for the work (also usually unmerited) attaches to the rich. But he's finding unexpected resistance in a era in which rawer, uglier resentments are trumping such civil emotions. So he has to simulate a hater and though he can mouth the words, he comes across as inauthentic, a rich boy playing a brawler's game. Newt is more the real thing: vicious, grandiose and ready to kick his opponent when when he's down. And that's what a section of the electorate wants against President Obama, someone who can strike out against the Black usurper with the smooth tongue.
Adam Smith's observations seem to derive from a more civilized context than our current election.