For years -- especially, it seems, the past eight years -- the "news" media have made a habit of asking liberal celebrities about their political views -- in essence, handing the microphone over to a small, unrepresentative group of left-wing Bush-bashers, blame-America-firsters and enviro-wackos. Thus, actors and singers and comics are elevated in our national discourse above the military, businessmen and scientists.
Those same celebrities are now giddily celebrating Barack Obama's arrival as the 44th president, but this weekend singer Bruce Springsteen got in his last licks as he vented to a British newspaper about how the Bush years have been a "nightmare" in which "thousands and thousands of people died, lives were ruined" because of Bush's policies.
"The philosophy that was at the base of the last administration has ruined many, many people's lives. The deregulation, the idea of the unfettered, free market, the blind foreign policy. This was a very radical group of people who pushed things in a very radical direction, had great success at moving things in that direction, and we are suffering the consequences."
In September 2007, Springsteen trashed Bush on NBC's Today show, stringing together a left-wing rant about "rendition," "illegal wiretapping," "voter suppression," "an attack on the Constitution," "the neglect" of New Orleans and "the loss of our best young men and women in a tragic war."
Here's an excerpt of Springsteen's comments in an interview with producer Mark Hagen as printed in the January 18 The Observer, a British newspaper:
Bruce Springsteen: "We've lived through a nightmare like that in the past eight years here. We had a historically blind administration who didn't take consideration of the past; thousands and thousands of people died, lives were ruined and terrible, terrible things occurred because, there was no sense of history, no sense that the past is living and real.
"So the song is about this happening to this character. He moves ahead. He tries to make the right moves. He awakes from a vision of his death, and realises: life is finite. Time is with me always. And I'm frightened. And he rides west where he settles down. But the past comes back in the form of this bounty hunter, whose mind is also quickened and burdened by the need to get his man. And these possessed creatures meet along the shores of this river where the bounty hunter of course is killed, and his last words are: 'We can't undo the things we've done.'
"In other words, your past is your past. You carry it with you always. These are your sins. You carry them with you always. You better learn how to live with them, learn the story that they're telling you. Because they're whispering your future in your ear, and if you don't listen, it will be contaminated by the toxicity of your past."
Mark Hagen: So do you think that kind of nightmare is going to change? That to an extent America has now taken account of that?
Springsteen: "Yes, because, you know... the whole place practically has come crashing down. [laughs] Yes, there is severe accounting being taken of it right now. We're going through something that we haven't gone through in my life. Foreign policy, domestic policy - driven to its breaking point. Everything got broken.
"And the philosophy that was at the base of the last administration has ruined many, many people's lives. The deregulation, the idea of the unfettered, free market, the blind foreign policy. This was a very radical group of people who pushed things in a very radical direction, had great success at moving things in that direction, and we are suffering the consequences."