May 12, 2004
Democrats Outraged By Outrage at Outrage
A vicious cycle of outrage threatens to swallow up Washington following Sen. Inhofe's (R. Okla.) statement earlier this week that he was "more outraged by the outrage than he was by the treatment" of Abu Ghraib prisoners. Democrats immediately became outraged that he was more outraged by the outrage, and now Republicans are livid that Democrats are furious at Sen. Inhofe's acrimony.
Historians can recall few times as outrageous, but recall previous incidents in American politics, such as 1742, when the Tories were irked by ire, 1773, when the Whigs were fuming about wrath, or 1907, when populists were incensed by aggravation.
"All pales compared to the period when Mary Lincoln confessed to Abraham that she was piqued by temper," said Sydney Mayhew, a scholar in the field of acute exasperation.
Sen. Inhofe has previously been menaced by menace and mystified by mysticism, so his statements this week should not have been very surprising, said Mayhew.
And the effect on the citizenry? "All of this anger we're seeing in Congress right now," said Mayhew, "It probably just pisses them off."