Monday, July 21, 2008

The seeds of Orthogonian revolt

So, The New York Times rejected a McCain op-ed. On the same day, the McCain camp comes out with this:

Obama, meanwhile, is on his great trip abroad. On said trip, as many as one million Germans may turn out to see his speech. Furthermore, per the Yahoo! link, we have the Iraqi PM basically endorsing Sen. Obama's withdrawal plans.

The McCain ad is silly. Oil prices are high? Blame the guy who has only been there for 3.5 years! Really, nonsense. But...

But from another perspective, the McCain ad works beautifully. Notice, in particular, the "chanting" of "Obama! Obama" during the ad. It reminds Orthogonians, the folks that Rick Perlstein chronicles in Nixonland as increasingly resentful of liberal elites, that Obama's campaign is "new", with "young supporters." By their traditional nature, Orthogonians aren't worried about long-term climate and energy policies. If you can drill, DRILL, they say. Those who get in the way don't "get it."

The Times' decision to reject the McCain op-ed might be right on the merits (It was little more than "Obama would have lost Iraq), but horrible politics. Orthogonians already see the media as elitist liberals, with the NYT at the top of that list. They'll resent what they see as the NYT's censorship of McCain.

As for the great Obama trip, well, Orthogonians might be reassured..., or the reception of "elitist Europeans" will only make them suspicious of Obama ("Is he one of us?"). While they simultaneously seek elite approval, they also revel in not getting it. Will this tell these folks that Obama is just like those who, supposedly, look down on them?

I have no idea, but I post this to remind pundits not to assume too much here. The above scenario could be the winning one.

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