Remarking on Karl Rove's ludicrous description of Barack Obama in terms of what type of country-club member he is, Christopher Orr remarks that "On the plus side, this presumably means Rove is giving up on the whole radical-Muslim-foreigner-outsider frame."
I understand that Orr is being a little tongue-in-cheek, but this is most certainly not what is going on here. Orr is making a mistake in assuming that either frame -- Obama as haughty country-clubber or Obama as scary dark outsider -- is intended to operate as a logical argument. Far from it. They are designed to plant seeds (or exploit latent seeds) about whether Obama is truly one of "us", as opposed to "them" -- and for that purpose it really doesn't matter who "they" are.
While the country-club set may be the ultimate insiders in one sense, they are certainly far removed from the experience of average Americans. To most voters, they are part of a "they" that are distant and mistrusted -- folks we don't want to have in charge of our government. And of course, scary dark hordes of foreigners occupy the same position: distant, inscrutable, and (in the eyes of conservative demagogues like Rove) always on the cusp of wresting control of the nation from good ol' patriotic Americans. It's obviously illogical for Obama to be both barely American and a member of the blue-bloods, but putting both those frames out there is quite effective at reinforcing a vague sense of "otherness", and Rove is savvy enough to know that.