Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shifting conventional wisdoms

When Teneycke is scoffing, that's the Bat signal to do some blogging:
"As for Ignatieff's connections to Obama's inner circle, Teneycke scoffed: 'It is not surprising, given that he spent most of his professional life in the United States, that he would know more Americans than Stephen Harper, who's spent his professional life - in fact, his entire life - living in Canada.'"
A hint of the "Ignatieff abroad" attack to come? We are supposed to think he's just too much of an intellectual to be Prime Minister. Too elite or something. Can't bowl and all that. Instead of getting into a whole "thing" here, Frank Rich does a nice job today with the kind of political thinking that Teneycke's serving up:
A useful template for the current political dynamic can be found in one of the McCain campaign’s more memorable pratfalls. Last fall, it was the Beltway mantra that Obama was doomed with all those working-class Rust Belt Democrats who’d flocked to Hillary in the primaries. The beefy, beer-drinking, deer-hunting white guys — incessantly interviewed in bars and diners — would never buy the skinny black intellectual. Nor would the “dead-ender” Hillary women. The McCain camp not only bought into this received wisdom, but bet the bank on it, pouring resources into states like Michigan and Wisconsin before abandoning them and doubling down on Pennsylvania in the stretch. The sucker-punched McCain lost all three states by percentages in the double digits.
Of course we're not the U.S. and analogies are not perfectly applicable here. But it sure seems hard to dismiss. In the Obama era, intelligence is in - with a vengeance, international diplomacy is in, playing nicely with others is in. But the Harper Conservatives, with their primo backwards Bush era anti-intellectualism thinking...not very in. Let's let them go right ahead with that plan...