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Reihan Salam Excludes Himself from Polite Society

Reihan Salam says that he is going to vote for a candidate who doesn't think that Reihan is a "real" American.

Reihan Salam's exoteric "truth": now is the moment for a McCain presidency:

Reihan Salam: The moment for McCain: Despite running one of the worst presidential campaigns I've ever seen, John McCain would, I'm convinced, make an excellent president. Among America's friends and allies there is an almost unshakable conviction that only an Obama presidency can undo the damage done by President Bush's supposed foreign policy blunders. And I can understand that.... But, hard though this may be to believe, this is precisely the right moment for President McCain.... Our diplomatic and economic institutions are ill suited to tackling the diffuse threats posed by climate change, financial contagion, mass epidemics and catastrophic terrorism. Only Nixon could go to China, and only McCain can reconcile conservatives to some of the hard steps the US will have to take....

We haven't seen the real McCain in this campaign.... [I]n 2004 McCain made the fateful, and in retrospect perhaps foolish, decision to back Bush, all in the hopes of bearing the Republicans' tarnished standard.

Now, in the last days of the campaign, he must find his voice, and make it clear that he's not in the race out of personal ambition - indeed, he would be well advised to make a one-term pledge. Rather than win the election for a party or faction, he must promise to work with all parties and all talents to build a safer, more prosperous world.... [I]t would be an appeal McCain, and all Americans, could be proud of.

Reihan Salam's esoteric truth is somewhat different:

Politics | The American Scene: My positive case for McCain was very brief... because I think McCain would have a very hard time sticking to the various domestic policy proposals he has advanced during the course of the campaign.... [But] McCain is governed by a fairly stringent code of honor: having pledged not to raise taxes, I wonder if he really can. My gut had been telling me that he’d be able to broker a deal.... Now, however, a McCain victory would be interpreted as a powerful anti-tax mandate....

Is McCain, as the subhed has it, the “best man” to unite America?... McCain would, in my view, be forced to unite America because he became the standard-bearer of a minority faction in our politics. How could McCain govern without engaging in really radical outreach to Democrats and independents?

Writing the op-ed was tough.... [I]ndependent of the campaign (absurd, I know), I think that McCain would be a solid president, and that he’d have an opportunity to reframe our politics in a good and constructive way. If this sounds like faint praise, it is....

Thinking of myself as “ethnic” — a notion that extends from really loving Goodbye, Columbus to going wild-eyed with excitement while driving through Koreatown to finding the ’90s sitcom Martin sublimely brilliant — informs my worldview a fair bit, and it’s certainly on my mind now...