The pleasure of having ‘your’ team win is one of the joys of some peoples' otherwise dreary lives – for example when a favoured (one of ‘our’) sporting team wins. When a bunch of yobbos, whose lifetime skill is the ability to guess the bounce of an oval-shaped ball and then kick it, win a football series, it brings profound joy to the team’s supporters and to the district that the team is named after. You would have to be killjoy to deny the masses (and those intellectuals who like to show they have not lost their common touch) these limited, rather puerile, sources of fun.
But triumphalism goes beyond the joy of winning. It is the view that a doctrine or belief should always triumph. It often raises its head in political contests and can sometimes be more bigoted and harmful.
The Age’s resident ratbag, Catherine Deveny, described her elation at the Rudd team’s Federal election victory as ‘post-coital’. It is now clear what has been missing in this miserable woman’s life for so many years and I wish her well with more marital or extra-marital fulfilment in the future. Maybe she would get erotic thrills from helping Kevin clear out his ear canals.
It cannot be denied that there are many perennially sad Labor supporters who are now temporarily bright happy people. This is good news for myopic utilitarians. However these sad people, many of whom have not smiled since 1996, are deluded into believing that Kevin Rudd will deliver an unending nirvana just by saying ‘sorry’ to aboriginals, by ratifying the largely-irrelevant Kyoto protocol and by making it harder for small business to employ unskilled workers by reinstating unfair dismissal laws. These will be, at most, temporary relief to those having a leftwing mindset.
My heart goes out to these naive, non-reflective citizens just as it does for the above-mentioned footie supporters. To the Labor left happiness, it is sad to say, can however only ever be a temporary thing. Given the fundamental rottenness they see in our corrupt, sad, unjust, deeply oppressive, sexist, racist, imperialist modern society this temporary happiness must inevitably dissolve into discomfit. My guess is that this intrinsically miserable lot will soon turn on Kevin Rudd as the next object of their sad aggressions and hatred.
Labor supporters need someone or something to hate. Indeed, Deveny states that she regrets Tony Abbott is not standing for the Liberal leadership because he would answer the core question ‘Who are we going to hate now?’
As Tim Blair points out Deveny’s problem is a version of ‘hate week’. Most people believe Deveny has a screw or three loose but her need, as one of Labor’s characteristic hate-filled supporters, is real and characteristic of a political party whose unifying behavioural norm is often a psychiatric disability.
Indeed, there is an extraordinary narky vindictiveness in the celebrations of Labor supporters. It goes well beyond comradely triumphalism. In particular, note the extraordinary vindictiveness of the left’s women? Tim Blair points out that Monica Dux was disappointed that Howard’s lip didn’t tremble and he didn’t cry during his concession speech. She wanted the great man reduced to tears. To her disappointment the speech was a gracious and a statesmanlike effort. Jill Singer (the ‘fainting goat’ of Melbourne journalism) was disappointed that Rudd didn’t rub Howards ‘nose in it’. I like to give both of these ungracious femmes a well-deserved kick in the rear-end.
Maxine McKew’s jolly stupidity is almost refreshing compared to the nastiness of these Labor-supporting hairybacks.
The male gender has also been engaging in pathological triumphalism. Over at Troppo, in an extraordinary attack, Nicholas Gruen uses a lengthy quote to attack one of the most decent and moral former Coalition MPs, Mal Brough, on the grounds that he sought to prevent sexual attacks on aboriginal children just to advance his own political career. A more accurate assessment of Brough is here. Unfortunately the good go down when the rabble win and it is a part of the triumphalist spirit to put the boot into both the good and the bad.
At John Quiggin’s blog, commenters are plotting ‘show trials’ for former Coalition MPs because of their policies on AWB (the inquiry exonerating them is insufficient), the war in Iraq and (weirdly) immigration. It shows yet another unattractive aspect of triumphalism.
Of course the suggestions for retribution are nonsense but they do show another dimension of the Labor state of mind. For these Labor supporters it was never an election campaign but a moral crusade where wicked sinners are to be punished. John Quiggin, himself, has been quick to point out that the Liberals are totally destroyed – they will never win another Federal election again. John is overjoyed with the Labor victory and he is much too smart to be vindictive so, I guess, it is a bit of harmless and fairly predictable left-wing fun.
For really ugly left-wing blogging the recent posts and comments on Larvatus Prodeo normally take the cake. This one from Mark Bahnisch is one of the milder examples. Ken Lovell has a typically nasty piece over at Surfdom with goofy photos filling in for a failed argument. And Troppo surveys the leftwing hatred in a convenient bile-laden post. The Liberals are finished, they won’t even be a good opposition and they should get zero press coverage (not troubling given Mark’s pre-existing role as a totally biased commentator at Crikey.com) and so on. But wait till they really get worked up into their Hitlerite references to ‘Ratty’ and “The Rodent’. It is the voice of ‘troubled youth’ being heard – the conscience of our generation – so I guess it is OK.
To the victor go the spoils. But the intrinsically miserable character of some leftwing Labor supporters will eventually come into conflict with Kevin Rudd’s attempt to build an administration that mimics the skill and talents of the government of John Howard. Given the strength of victory even a self-destruct button initiated now will take quite a while to drive these carping, miserable souls back to where they belong, on opposition benches or on couches seeking psychotherapeutic counsel.
That is a pity because the longer this riff-raff stay in power the greater the damage that will be inflicted on Australia.