Goes to the heart of the Rovian-style GOP modus operandi - clear and simple: Disagree with us, and we are going to smite and spite you to the fullest extent of our ability. Sounds like the party for America? Good old fashioned American Values? Good Christian behavior? Nope. Just more division from the espoused "uniters."
So why was he denied this honor?
That's a rhetorical question, of course. Does anybody on either side of the political aisle really believe that the Springsteen resolution was turned down for any reason other than political payback for backing John Kerry?
We are so shameless now, so openly hostile to one another, that we don't even pretend otherwise. Here is how the senate power structure works: the resolution sponsored by Senator Gordon Smith, Republican of Oregon, honoring that golfer from New Zealand passed unanimously - but commending one of the seminal albums and musicians of the past 30 years gets nixed right away? Come on.
What happened to embracing diversity of opinion in this country? What happened to the idea that a healthy opposition is good for us, that it helps clarify our own views, that only when one idea is shown better than another does it truly strengthen? And when did we stop listening to the other side, if for no other reason than it's polite, humane and hey, it helps us hone our own viewpoint?
I don't love it when musicians or actors (or novelists, for that matter) get on their soapbox. I know my friend Chris doesn't agree with everything the Boss says. Neither do I. But we listen. Part of the paradox here is that many of Mr. Springsteen's characters - the factory worker, the soldier, the working stiff seeking release, the Friday-night racer looking for escape - would vote Republican.
But it doesn't matter to the Boss that his own creations may disagree with him. He loves them anyway. Maybe he loves them even more because of it.