Loathing triumph

How about those Democrats? Through Henry Waxman and Robert Byrd, they are calling for an investigation into President Bush’s visit to the troops aboard that aircraft carrier last week. All of the obvious points about this bizarre move are true — it is bad politics on the Democrats’ part, other presidents including Clinton have done what Bush did, and it is a highly appropriate thing for a commander-in-chief to do.
Why, then, are key Democrats risking political fallout to take such a meritless position? Part of it has to do with Rocket Man’s point — these folks hate Bush so intensely that they are driven to irrational actions. But there may another phenomenon (albeit a related one) at work. A faction exists in this country that dislikes American triumph (although they say it is “triumphalism” that bothers them). I’m certainly not claiming that Byrd or Waxman wanted us to lose the war, although there may be some in their faction who weren’t hoping for a quick victory. What I’m suggesting is that, for this faction, triumph, although perhaps something to be wished for, is also something to be feared, not celebrated. For these folks. triumph is disquieting and unseemly, especially when it is personified by a middle-aged white male who is not ashamed of it.


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