Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dixie Chicks Bounce Back

Somebody once said that the difference between rock and country music is that, in country music, every good time comes with a price. Over the past couple of years, the Dixie Chicks have paid a price for their notorious denunciation of President Bush from a British stage. (When will Bush haters learn that, in the internet age, they aren't out of earshot when they're on foreign soil, anyway?) But, it looks like the Chicks' timeout is about over. I heard on the radio that the Dixie Chicks' new album went gold inside of a week. So, so much for the fallout from their having slammed their President on foreign soil. Last week, they had a long, giggly interview on NPR's All Things Considered.

DIXIE CHICKS: (Singing) And I will try to connect all the pieces you left. I will carry it on and let you forget. And Ill remember the years when your mind was clear. How the laughter and life filled up this silent house.

Ms. MAINES: Ill get over the sadness of the song, but then Ill play it for my mom or my sister or my dad and then Ill start crying again, because theyll cry because its the first time theyve heard it. And my grandfather hasnt heard it yet. Hell have to turn his hearing aid on for once. But I also, you know, like the fact that hell get to hear it.

BLOCK: Yeah. Theres a good deal of anger on the album and a couple of songs that talk about I guess what you call the incident back in 2003, thats one way of putting it, in England when Natalie, you talked about being ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas, where youre from. Im wondering first if you had any idea, Natalie, when you said that, did you imagine at all how big a deal that statement, those words would become?

Ms. MAINES: No. Or I wouldve thought of something way better to say. No, I said it, you know, in a club in London in front of maybe 2000 people, 1500, 2000 people and just being in London during that whole time before the war, they always grouped Americans together. Like we all thought the way that the president thought. Yeah, I felt like I just wanted to let those people know just because were Americans and especially from Texas and play country music, you cant put us in that category. I didnt want them thinking that we believed in that war when we didnt.

Well, like Dennis Prager says, clarity is better than agreement. Only thing they didn't explain was this: Why did they care what foreigners thought of them, or their politics? Sales? Transnational progressivism? Just wanting to be liked? Or was their hatred of GWB that strong, that they had to proactively propitiate the British America-bashers?

If I had been in their position, and a President I loathed were in office, I'd have shut up and sung.


  1. Or, possibly, they were genuinely embarrassed that the President came from their state, and said so. Frankly, given the lengths to which he's gone to justify allowing the US to torture POWs, I'd be embarrassed too.

    C'mon, now. Can you really go through the entire argument that people captured overseas are POWs, and so not subject to Article III, but illegal combatants, and so not subject to the Geneva Conventions, and are being held for purposes of national security, and so immune to restrictions passed under Article I (the text that the Congress has the power, "To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces," notwithstanding), without feeling the slightest shred of embarrassment that you're constructing an enormous edifice to grant the President (and, indeed, any future President) a loophole for the sole purpose of allowing torture?

    The President isn't the nation or the flag. There's nothing unpatriotic about criticizing him anywhere to anyone.

  2. ...the entire argument that people captured overseas are POWs,...

    I assume you mean "are not POWs".

    I don't believe that humiliation, sleep deprivation, and being barked at by a german shepherd are the same things as torture. I won't profane your eyes with a direct link, but you can find photos online of Saddam's torturers at work--including at Abu Ghraib. What our troops did may well have been wrong and actionable, but I reject the "torture" label.

    k. d. lang used country music as a rocket ride to stardom, the better to flog her various political causes. If the Dixie Chicks are treading the same path, that'll keep them out of the core "family" of country acts, though not off the music charts. The Chicks of course have the right to spout off whatever to whomever they wish. They needn't act shocked and saddened, though, when the consequences duly come upon them.

  3. "Better than Saddam Hussein," is not a moral standard I'd be proud to hold.

    Actually, I did mean POWs. The government is making a dual argument--they are POWs, and so can't have their cases judicially reviewed (POWs don't have the right to Article III trials), but aren't legal combatants for purposed of the Geneva Conventions.

    I'm actually not claiming that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were torture (mostly because I don't have the relevant evidence). I'm asking you a broader question--why go through that elaborate exercise at all? Why on earth would you want to construct an argument that would in principle allow torture?

    Would you extend your argument to Clint Black? "Iraq and Roll," is explicitly political, after all!

    Since the consequences appear to include a gold album and a lot of money, I can't imagine that they're too upset.

  4. They did hit gold with their new cd, but I see that their tour is running into rough sledding. Maybe a few European dates would put things in the black...

    So long as the Bushitler meme is extant in the transnational Left, the obvious unfortunately needs to be forcefully and regularly repeated: The United States is indeed better than Saddam Hussein.

    Torture may finally amount to an "I know it when I see it" definition. It may not be possible to have clear rules. But, we have to try, rather than just telling the intel services "Go get 'em".


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