Damn good article at Capitalist Mag
The Europeans scolds are only the external symbol of Kerry's internal premise: America is a morally stained nation, with much to apologize for in general, and it should therefore be humble, not self-assertive, in world affairs; we should approach Europe and the U.N. with hat in hand, with head held low, and humbly ask for their approval. Actually, not just for their approval but for their forgiveness--forgiveness for what we are, for being America.
This worldview is clear from not only from his many statements (usually later retracted or "clarified") during this campaign, but from his unapologized-for, unretracted anti-Vietnam-War activities and his virtually unbroken 20-year record of anti-defense votes in the Senate. It is also inherent in the leftist, altruist-statist philosophy that has earned him the rating of the most "liberal" senator.
On a symbolic or sense-of-life level, Bush evokes the cowboy. The cowboy ethos is something that anti-Americans hate and fear. As Andrew Bernstein stated in his op-ed on the subject, "What we honor about the cowboy of the Old West is his willingness to stand up to evil and to do it alone, if necessary. The cowboy is a symbol of the crucial virtues of courage and independence." capmag.com