The Dixie Chicks: Counting Chickens Before They Are Hatched


By: Robert E. Meyer

Just a short while ago, USA Today did a feature article on the country band The Dixie Chicks. They became infamous in March of 2003, when their leader, Natalie Maines, stated that she was embarrassed to be a native of Texas because of President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. Immediately radio stations boycotted their albums, former fans boycotted concerts, and they were dubbed as unpatriotic cheap shot artists. The starship that had soared to the top of the country music charts abruptly crashed to earth.

When Ms. Maines realized she had stuck her foot into her mouth up to the kneecap, a feeble attempt at damage control was initiated in the form of a half-hearted apology for disrespecting the office of the president. A friend used to offer me this rhetorical question: “When someone steps on your foot and says ‘I’m sorry,’ are they sorry for what they did or only sorry that they got caught?” Well I’m sorry, I simply cannot give Ms. Maines the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think the apology was an attempt to stop the hemorrhage in the pocketbook and career, not a remorseful act of contrition.

Now we discover the dissenting trio is back with a new promoter, new song portfolio, and hopefully a fresh start. In keeping with the spirit of renewal, the seemingly cocky Ms. Maines now wishes to withdraw the apology made to president Bush after the March 2003 verbal indiscretion. Ever hear of the old adage about letting a sleeping dog lie? Maines would rather go out of her way to kick the dog in the ribs.

Have you ever heard of someone withdrawing an apology? That sounds so infantile, it reminds me of the thoughtfulness and maturity that goes into a preschool childrens’ sandbox tussle over a coveted toy.

Of course everyone has a right to their opinion. Everyone has a right to free speech. Personally I don’t care what the Dixie Chicks think, and don’t begrudge them the opportunity to say it. Sometimes though, it is how you go about getting your message across that rubs folk the wrong way. To suggest that the Dixie Chicks are courageous is just plain stupidity. They made a calculated risk, or perhaps an impulsive indiscretion, and it cost them dearly. Now, of course, there was no lesson learned about focusing more on music, rather than letting your fame become a platform for politicizing a captive audience.

One thing I find so disturbing about liberals, is that they bend over backwards to give sworn enemies of this country the benefit of the doubt, while at the same time they rush to judgement against their own leaders. That persona was recently epitomized by the father of Nicolas Berg, the man beheaded in a graphic video by the late terrorist al-Zarqawi. Berg said that he was disappointed this terrorist was killed since he could not attempt a reconciliation with him now. As if the two might have someday had a nice chat and a hug on an episode of Opra. He said he wasn’t sure that al-Zarqawi was really dead (or killed recently). He asked the reporter interviewing him if she believed everything she saw and heard. Then he went on the overworked diatribe about Bush being a liar, and so we can only wonder if Mr. Berg himself believes everything he sees or hears that fits his template of reality.

There is a parallel with the Dixie Chicks. One can talk about peace, love, WWJD, stop the atrocities, etc. Then you have a hateful act of withdrawing an apology. What does that really say about someone’s graciousness at a personal level?

All this nonsense about people trying to interfere and squelch the group’s freedom of speech is out of order. People have a right to speak there minds. Myself and others have the right to voice our displeasure with their public opinions however. As a favor, I won’t try to tell you that the Dixie Chicks have lost a fan, or I quit buying their music. You see, I have never been a fan of the Dixie Chicks, so they won’t lose what they never had.

Personally I wish the Dixie Chicks the best in their new endeavor, though I won’t be sucked in out of curiosity. I know they are talented musicians and vocalists. I wish that they and others would stick to what they are good at–or become political columnists.

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