I think the key word in this conversation is "American" So, I'm going to lean on Gordon's side on this one. He's a pretty objective observer and it his "job" to call it like he sees it being he is part of the "glue stick" that holds the BJCP together.
That's pretty bogus reasoning there .
American refers to the interpretation of the final product, not necessarily to the origin of the ingredients. For the record, the guideline actually doesn't say anywhere in the guidelines that you can't use MO as your basemalt for American IPA, nor does it say you have to use American 2 row either. The text says:
Quote from: http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style14.php
Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing);
judges don't know what ingredients you used, so if the use of maris otter results in a finer end product that more closely matches the intended aroma and flavor of the style, why not?
I've brewed my IPA recipe at least 4 dozen times and started off with american 2 row, ending up with MO because the resultant beer fit what my tastebuds say is the ideal american IPA, and given that it medals nearly every time I enter it, I'd say that blind judges see it that way too.
Does SNCA not qualify as an American IPA since it uses Med English Caramel Malt?