The National Catholic Reporter said something very profound:
Liturgy is not about taste or aesthetics. It is how the church defines itself. Those who rejected Vatican II and its liturgy were the first to understand the connection between liturgy and our self-understanding as church.
Pope Paul VI also understood this. The rejection of the Vatican II liturgy is a rejection of its ecclesiology and theology.There's one problem, of course.
It was precisely Pope Paul VI who rejected the Vatican II liturgy.
As has been noted by virtually everyone, the liturgy described in Vatican II's Sacrosanctum Concilium isn't the Mass that Pope Paul VI implemented. He tossed the council's advice into the trashcan, created and promulgated his own liturgy. Nothing wrong with that - he's the Pope, he has the authority to do it.
But if we want to say "the rejection of the Vatican II liturgy is a rejection of its ecclesiology and theology" - and I think that is a fair statement - then we must admit that Pope Paul VI was the first to obviously reject Vatican II.
Which is really awkward for everyone.