Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bit Elitist, No?

I've heard of Professor Stephen Bainbridge but don't know much about him, really, but he comes off here as being more than a little bit of an elitist...

Haven't We had Enough Good ol' Boys For a While?

Dean Barnett conjures up a terrifying picture (albeit not one that scares him):

Now imagine what a candidate could get done if he achieved fluency in pop culture. Picture a candidate who could effortlessly segue from paying homage to Dale Earnhardt's #3 to saying how much High Noon has always meant to him. Conjure up a contender who could unashamedly admit that if owning every George Strait record makes him a square, so be it, and then quickly pivot to the many times tears welled in his eyes when sports heroes like Curt Schilling or Willis Reed rose above pain to perform in an almost super-human fashion.

That's not pop culture. That's rural Southern culture. Nascar. The opiate of the good ol' boy masses. Gary Cooper. A great movie, but hardly au courant. George Strait, gawd help us.

I suppose I can see his point, but it's been said before -- the appeal of things like NASCAR and George Strait these days goes far beyond the Mason-Dixon Line. Even just a casual look at Strait's sales figures even now and NASCAR's race schedule is proof of that. Beyond that, though, the attitude's just a little bit patronizing. I wouldn't mind so much a president who smoked cigars or didn't fish or hunt (although a president who had a gun collection with at least one 1911 and AR-15 would get serious bonus points), but I have to wonder of the professor ever stopped to ask himself why these "Good Ol' Boys" have such high approval ratings. You think it might be the perceived lack of authenticity from the Northeastern bluebloods? Hell, just look at their opinions on gun control. Who's the more authentic one here -- NY's Rudy Giuliani mouthing support for the RKBA, MA's Romney becoming a life member of the NRA last August, or Tennessean Fred Thompson's full-throated attack on the gun-grabbers' twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment?
Seriously, I think the most important thing is the candidate's willingness to protect the Constitution from all attacks foreign & domestic, but I still find Bainbridge's commentary to show him to be little more than a patronizing jackass.