The Buttigieg backlash, by my lights, flows from origins that are less ideological than psychological. I noticed it some time ago with some—certainly not all—younger journalistic colleagues in particular. He torques them in ways that seem personal.
They are well-acquainted with the Buttigieg type. They find his patter and polish annoying. They regard his career to date—Harvard, Oxford, McKinsey, the mayoralty—as a facile exercise in box-checking: A Portrait of the Bullshit Artist as a Young Man.
Above all, they wonder why the artifice and calculation that seems obvious to them is them is somehow lost on others.
These Buttigieg skeptics in my experience typically overlook another possibility: His admirers aren’t oblivious to fact that he’s partly B.S.-ing. It just doesn’t much bother them. I’ll go a step further: Viewed in the right light, his teacher’s-pet glibness and implacable careerism are desirable traits.