Grammy Vindication for the Dixie Chicks

It seems like such a short time ago when those of us who have been criticizing the Bush Administration were at best lonely, but at worse, branded as traitors in a time when our country needed everyone to blindly follow the President over the ledge. Last night at the Grammys I was reminded how much company we have these days.

It was March 10,2003 when Natalie Maines said: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.” The resulting firestorm of criticism included the Chicks being branded traitors, for radio stations to ban their records, and for them to have a target branded to their collective forehead. Their CD sales plummeted. Concert appearances were postponed or canceled outright. And those that would choose to criticize a President, whether it was deserved or not, found out what could happen when zealots turn the tide against you.

What a difference a few years can make.

On May 23, 2006 the Dixie Chicks’ next CD Taking The Long Way was released to a drastically different situation than that of 2003. Because of the political deadly combo of scandal, corruption and Iraq the Republicans were well on their way to losing the Senate anddchicks.jpg the House. The search for the weapons of mass destruction, had long been abandoned under the acknowledgment that they would likely never be fan, and probably never even existed.

Now everyone is a Bush critic. Complaining, protesting and criticizing is only dangerous if you get trampled in the crowd of people that are rushing to do the same.

But those of us who have been complaining since the Shrub stole an election in November 2000, and have not let up since, had to smile Sunday night when Don Henley pumped his fist and then announced that the Dixie Chicks had won the Record of the Year. Yes it’s only the Grammys, but it wouldn’t have happened 3 years ago. To see these 3 women have their moment in the sun so publicly served as sweet, sweet vindication. A huge, flying “Fuck you” to those that abandoned them and criticized them just a short while ago.

People have forgotten they ever voted for Bush much less criticize his opponents. They were against the administration the entire time. But we know better. One would hope that this entire situation would serve as some sort of lesson. But it won’t. The next time will be just like this time, but vindication probably won’t come so quickly. It will probably be like it was for those blacklisted in the fifties – with vindication coming after they had passed.

But for this time, for all of us that were steadfast, I have this to say:

We told you so.

  • Ryan

    So anyone who disagrees with you is a zealot? Aren’t you the one complaining about being called a traitor for disagreeing with the President? Besides, everyone knows the Grammys (as well as the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, etc.) have nothing to do with public sentiment. Those self-congratulatory award show results are just the public address of the bouncing voices in the Hollywood echo chamber.

    I’ll at least give you credit for admitting that your whole anti-Bush ranting is nothing more than a 7-year temper tantrum because the country voted for Bush and not that Gore robot. Sure it was close, but your liberal “Bush stole the election” gripe is as dead as the Gore’s reputation as an intelligent person. Bush won. Get over it.

  • Spencer

    No – anyone that burns your cds, removes you from playlists, and yells you down for simply expressing an opinion is a zealot.

    And about the Grammys – I didn’t say they are always and indication of public will, but when it comes to press, they know good and bad. Three years ago the chicks were bad press – and they didn’t touch. Now they’re the toast of the town. Self-congratulatory? The number one cd on Amazon and iTunes is their Record of the Year. Think that would have happened in 2003?

    As for Bush winning the election. Yes he did. But one of the problems with this country is the willing ignorance of history. The election of 2000 is an important moment in the history of the United States. So I will not simply “get over it” . But at least I have that option. The more than 3,000 soldiers, their families, and the over 133,000 Iraqi citizens killed cannot simply “get over” the disaster this administration has become.

  • grace

    Ryan, I find it curious that Spencer refers to a certain sub-group of Bush supporters as “zealots” (which I don’t think anyone can disagree with; there is a certain portion of Bush supporters that are fanatics) and that you automatically put yourself into that category. Spencer doesn’t say that people that disagree with him are zealots. The main point of this post is pulling the covers off of real-life zealots that feel it is their right and god-given privilege to pummel anyone that doesn’t fall in line with Bush’s ideas. Lucky for all of us, there are people like the Dixie Chicks who don’t flinch when Bush zealot bullies throw fire in their faces. They have conviction, not fear.

    Let’s look at how that group earned the title zealot for the purposes of this debate: The Dixie Chicks made a public comment about their negative feelings about President Bush, which last time I checked is both legal and not uncommon. These comments were followed by major media outlets BANNING Dixie Chicks records, those same media outlets sponsoring publicized group destruction of Dixie Chicks records, and fans proclaiming on the radio the violent and sometimes fatal actions they would love to take against the members of the Dixie Chicks.

    Now Ryan, look deep into your own heart. Being completely honest, do you believe that the people behind these actions are level-headed, calm, open-minded, or any other antonym of “zealot?”

    On a personal note, I know Spencer very well, and believe me–he doesn’t automatically think people who disagree with him are zealots or any other nasty name. If he did, he’d have labeled me a long time ago! So if you are here to sling rude remarks and attempt squash other people’s ideas under your flimsy 2 lb. argument, go somewhere else.

  • Jack Bungart

    Amen! And as an extra bonus, it really was the best album of the year…

  • Jan

    I’m interested to see what this adds to the dialog. Curious stuff! :

    http://www.protestingthedixiechicks.com

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  • Spencer

    Thanks Jan – and I posted this video to the blog to see where this goes. There’s also Shut Up and sing which is coming out next week.

  • http://fortyninepercenter.blogspot.com/ Joey

    I will do you one better, Ryan. Bush stole the election in 2000. There is sufficient evidence to support that claim. His supporters are willfully ignorant. Each time he comes on television, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt and I just listen to him. Every time he speaks, I wind up shaking my head in disgust. He barely has the good sense to complete a coherent sentence. And when he does, he lies to the country to the tune of a protracted war that has no end in sight. Al Gore is an intelligent man who probably has the good sense to guide this country with diplomacy. It’s impossible to know how he would have handled this war. But, I am willing to bet he would have done a better job than the one being done. How could it be worse? After all, Gore didnt run from the call of his country in Vietnam. Bush did. That’s why he has no real feeling of empathy for the men and women whose lives he has endangered. That isnt liberal nonsense. And Spencer is right – the election of 2000 is a pivotal moment in the history of this country. It is a moment of great shame for our country that has left a scar that may never heal. Bush and his cronies have fouled the reputation of this country. I look upon his supporters with disdain. You are all filled with fear and too soft-minded to realize that you have been manipulated.

    Now I know who the Dixie Chicks are laughing at…it’s assholes like you.
    The party is almost over and the hang over is going to be a bitch.

  • http://www.fanoftheband.com FanOfTheBand

    Country Radio programmers have been a bunch of asshats for not playing the Dixie Chicks on their playlists. It’s ironic that many country artists consider themselves “rebels” yet the Chicks have become pariahs for speaking their minds.

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  • http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com yellojkt

    I was visiting Nashville at the time of the controversy and the musicians I saw were avoiding the topic. I think this was a media instigated storm.

  • Ryan

    Oh man, I can see I stumbled onto yet another liberal echo chamber where everyone pats each other on the back for being so “enlightened” and so much greater of intellect than those who disagree with them. Glad to see that the “when all reason and logic fail, call them names” technique is as well represented here as in every other conversation involving liberals.

    Geez, someone make an argument, for crying out loud. Something founded in reason, not misguided passion. I’ll just note a few of the previous comments to illustrate my point:

    Spencer, at least you are willing to not generalize (now) on the “zealot” issue, but where you go wrong is that the public in general rejected the Dixie Chicks for their comments, even if there were (admittedly) a few zealots yelling about it the loudest. Abysmal record and concert sales for an act that was previously so popular is an indication of mass public rejection and nothing else. Sure, the new record is selling, but it’s still way off the pace set by “Home” and other previous offerings. Three years is enough time for the more rational people (including myself) who were angered by their political grand-standing to say, “ok, they’re not ‘backing down’ but they’re also not on any soap boxes anymore, so I’m willing to listen to them as talented musicians again…as long as they just shut up and sing.” An up-turn in acceptance is to be expected; however, it’s false logic to conclude that such an up-turn in any way indicates that the public has now decided they were right all along.

    As for the troops and Iraqi civilians who have died as a result of this war, no one can argue that it’s not sad, but let me teach you all an important lesson in moral responsibility: those who have the capability have the responsibility. Say what you want about WMD’s and everything else, the bottom line is there were humans suffering under the reign of a brutally murderous dictator and we had sat on our hands for far too long about it. Our only mistake in going in was that we didn’t go in stronger and that we didn’t turn up the heat a lot hotter when we were met with insurgent resistance. Had we nipped it in the bud, much of the death could have been avoided. Let me ask you this: who is responsible for the civilian deaths?

    Grace, I didn’t put myself in any category. You just put me in that category, though, apparently. All I did was point out that the blog post generally (there is no “sub-group” reference in it) called anyone who didn’t agree with Spencer’s anti-Bush sentiment (anyone who took issue with the Dixie Chicks for their politics) a zealot. I found that to be hypocritical considering Spencer’s complaints about being called a traitor simply for disagreeing with the President. I also found false conclusions in the post, which I pointed out. I didn’t sling any rude remarks, and you certainly didn’t address my argument (all two pounds of it) with any degree of validity, so you’re going to have to do a quite a bit better if you want me to go away.

    Joey, is your “sufficient evidence” from the same sure source that provides all the “science” claiming evidence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom at large, or that a fetus isn’t human until some indeterminate time after the child is born? In other words, that nebulous source referred to so frequently by liberals as “science,” or “studies,” which references are interestingly devoid of any actual references? It’s always “studies show…” and “science has determined…” I’ll ask you the same I ask of all such “intelligent” people: what evidence? If you have it, out with it. Otherwise, keep your pseudo-educated assertions to yourself.

    Also, if the “party” you are referring to is your college education, I couldn’t agree more. We’ll see who’s laughing in the end.

  • Spencer

    Dude, you’re so right. I now see the error of my ways. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Ryan

    Well played. I give credit when due. That was funny.

  • michael

    Grace,

    the right wing zealots have an amazing ability to ignore or distort any facts that get in the way of their argument. i see it every day on the Dixie Chicks message board at CMT.

  • grace

    Michael, I tend to forget that. But you’re so right.

  • http://fortyninepercenter.blogspot.com/ Joey

    Sufficient evidence is the speculation of just about every major news source in this hemisphere. There have been mountains of articles written about it. This isn’t a liberal stance, either. I am sure the website that Stanford has dedicated to the history of that election would be a good place to start. Stanford didnt make its name on publishing hearsay or libel*. This is “A Fifty-State Report Prepared for Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
    Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary
    Dean, Congressional Black Caucus”*. I am sure its filled with half-truths and liberal jargon that would only confuse this issue. Right?

    Perhaps, the CNN documentation of the Florida recount is just made up, too. **
    After all, that’st just a “hack” news source.

    The term liberal is the word Republicans use to marginalize people with any opinion that doesn’t agree with their own.

    I just want what’s right. There is nothing pseudo-educated about me. My assertions only come into play after I have educated myself on the topic at hand. You can blow all the fetus talk out of your ass, too. The word fetus shouldn’t even escape your lips. It’s not your issue. That’s a pseudo-religious issue, if you ask me. The homosexual issue is a non-issue, too. I have had enough of people who can’t understand the all people deserve basic human rights. And, if you think that’s liberal, I feel sorry for you. I dont need any scientific evidence to tell me that people should just do what makes them happy….within reason. There is no science or religion in that. Just being alive tells me that is a righteous stance on those issues or any other “moral” issues that Republicans cling to when they sling mud at the rest of the world.

    You are all a bunch of phonies.
    The worst part is…you know it.

    * http://election2000.stanford.edu/electionreporthouse.pdf
    ** http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/12/13/got.here/index.html

  • http://www.drblt.net Dr BLT

    I make a living out of dissin’ the Dixie Chicks

    First, it was this song:

    Merle Hasn’t Lost His Fightin’ Side
    Dr BLT
    words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/MerleVeryLast.mp3

    then it was this one:

    Playin’ Politics with the Dixie Chicks
    Dr BLT
    words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/DixieChicks.mp3

    and now, last, but not least, it’s:

    Not Ready to Make Rice
    Dr BLT
    words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/MakeRice.mp3

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  • sightseer56

    My only gripe with the Dixie Chicks was that they made their comment in a foreign venue and then simply to stir up a crowd. Only cowards run overseas and criticize because they know they will get a positive reception. I never cared for their music so I didn’t buy it, but I would not suggest to others not to if they liked them. The Grammys, however had nothing to do with talent but was purely the left wing flushing their political toilet in public again. It was so transparent they had to admit it themselves. If they feel good about it fine. No one with even a scrap of a life really gives any credibility to any awards shows anymore.
    As far as the 2000 election is concerned, the media studies done after the election showed no voter fraud. Anything prepared for Conyers and supported by him must immediately be put into the fiction remand bin. In reality Gore was his own worst enemy in Florida. First he demanded a selective recount rather than a statewide recount that the Republicans wanted. It turns out that he would have had a better chance if he accepted their demands. Second he had the debacle of idiots in Palm Beach not knowing who they voted for (even though democrats designed the butterfly ballots for the lowest common denominator) and idiots elsewhere who apparently couldn’t figure out how to use a punch card. Typical democrats and liberals. Someone wasen’t holding their hand and doing it for them so they were incompetent. Good little goosesteppers, just don’t ask them to think.
    As far as Gores integrity in the election was concerned, consider two things. First he tried to exclude absentee ballots from the military. Even though they were certified as received prior to election day, because they were not postmarked he wanted them thrown out. He knew very well that deployed units that got theough FPO’s and APO’s do not place postmarks on letters. He know his vote would be lower among the military and tried to stop them. Real honorable but typically democrat. I know you all feel the military should not vote. Convicts yes, military no. As as far as minorities being turned away, the Voting Rights Commission found not one credible case of that happening. They may have had to wait in long lines and get to the right polling place (poor babies) but if they were properly registered they could vote. Second he cried about how unfair the electorial college system was when he won the popular vote but lost the college vote. Not that many of you would bother to find out, but less than a month before the election when people throught it might be the other way around his campaign manager was asked it Gore would have any problem serving if he lost the popular vote and won the electorial vote. His answer was absolutely not as that was what the Constitution provided.
    Finally the one who probably lost Gore was the media that called the election while polls were still open. Both Republicans and Democrats in the panhandle didn’t both to vote. Why waste your time when the election is already decided? Was it a ploy to help Gore? Who knows, the only thing we can be sure of is that it affected the election to some degree. Whether that degree was sufficient to change the outcome is purely guess work.
    Has Bush made mistakes? Absolutely, but nowhere to the level you whiners claim. Clinton gutted the military, ran in the face of terrorist attacks and basically set us up (after Somalia) as a perceived paper tiger. Bin Laden has told us that himself. Was he a terrible president? Not really but he fell into the common trap of ignoring foreign policy while trying to satisfy the bread and circus demands of the american left. Was the Iraq war a good idea? No, in reality we should have come to terms with Saddam, set up a most favored nation status for him (I assure you he would accept it as his only priority was survival) and tell the rest of the world to screw themselves. We really do need to stop involving ourselves in foreign nations problems. We should adopt a simple concept. If you are our friend we will work with you and provide you assistance. If you are some third world sewer that condemns us, fine. No assistance including no food, no medicine, no humanitarian assistance. Nothing, zilch, zero. If you can’t get help elsewhere and simply cease to exist, oh well, it was your call. No coersion either way. You make the choice and then reap the results. That is the real world, not some crap sprouted to you by a sixties retread in Sociology 101.
    You all have a nice day.

  • Dee

    I originally got tired of the Dixie Chicks when I felt they were men-bashing in their songs. I didn’t burn the one CD I have, but I later became turned off by their refusal to admit that maybe, just maybe they were out of line when they criticized our President overseas. Foreigners think that our country is weak (and are laughing at us) because some of our own big-mouth citizens hate our country and leaders. We have it better than ANYWHERE in the world. What a shame that Gore put our country in an economic tailspin by contesting the election. I haven’t forgotten how Gore put aside American interests to pursue his own. I’m not liberal, and I get tired of liberal celebrities who assume that everybody who doesn’t agree with them is stupid. Dixie Chicks, ya’ll just go ahead and sing your li’l hearts out, but I won’t be contributing to your paychecks!

  • Alan

    The real issue I see in the Dixi chix drama, is one I find a bit disconcerting. The “press” just kept beating the drums day in and day out, never faultering in the image they painted of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq, they just kept flooding the minds of those americans who subsist on a diet of TV and “People magizine” until slowly but surely they changed the opinion of roughly 40% of the public. There have been no new facts added to the drum beat, nothing that should have changed peoples opinions. What cause is next to be molded into the minds of the media adicted masses? who will be the next leader or cause celebrai choosen by the “press”?

  • grace

    So Dee, your solution to maintaining our open democracy (the one that keeps the public informed and gives each of us the right to criticize and change our government) is to keep our mouths shut, especially in front of other countries and especially the mouths of those in the public eye? Makes sense. Here’s a list of other countries where such attitudes and laws were adopted and the citizens within obeyed, past or present: Cuba, Nazi Germany, Communist China, North Korea, USSR, Libya, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, etc., etc., etc.

    Foreigners don’t think our country is weak. Maybe you don’t watch the news or read any foreign press, but the U.S. is referred to as the “last world super power.” And other countries certainly don’t laugh at us because we speak out about our own government… for that, we are envied. They have other reasons to laugh at us.

    Sounds like you respect a strong, authoritarian, centralized style government? You might like Russia right now. If they were citizens under Putin, the Dixie Chicks would probably have eaten uranium on their breakfast cereal years ago, and you could feel at ease.