Friday, September 25, 2009

Editorial: Should Palin Be Dixiechicked?

I trust you all remember the Dixie Chicks.  In 2003, while performing in London, according to Common Dreams, lead singer Natalie Maines sais that the group was “ashamed that the President of the United States was from Texas”.  The reaction from the rabid right was extreme, as described in the same article:

dixie-chicks That comment ripped through the country music world, prompting outraged fans to hold CD burnings, some even taking their kids out to the parking lot to publicly stomp on the group's product and likeness -- creating eerie images of exuberant violence-as-family-outing, that should be a shameful reminiscence for the South. Led by right wing press and political figures, otherwise peaceable Americans heaped scorn, verbal abuse and, ultimately, vandalism and even death threats on the three young women, who have topped the charts as the top selling girl group in music history. Country radio stations and even whole networks -- including, not surprisingly, the rabidly right wing Clear Channel conglomerate -- yanked the group's songs from playlists. Backlash songs promoting the war in the most muscular terms hit the airwaves, and the man who originally recorded the group's hit "traveling soldier" re-released the song to capitalize on the Dixie Chicks ban-wagon.

And if the images of people burning and breaking perfectly good CDs that they already paid for (thus -- and work with me here, country fans -- the Chicks already profited from,) wasn't bizarre enough, the world was treated to a bile-spitting display of American intolerance unlike anything those of us who didn't live through the McCarthy era have ever seen. The Chicks joined Hollywood celebrities like Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon as objects of hatred and ridicule by Americans who accused them of selling out the troops -- willfully ignoring the ad nauseum statements of support for the fighting men and women of the U.S. armed forces that were issued by the antiwar celebrities. But the snide ridicule directed at the Hollywood set (who had the odd event canceled or who became the butt of endless late-night TV jokes,) was nothing compared to bitter, violent reaction to the Chicks.

And then there was the hour-long, televised rebuke of the women Thursday night, in which ABC News correspondent Diane Sawyer repeatedly pressed, in tisking, school-marm fashion, for just one more apology to Bush. Maines heroically resisted the attempts to reduce her to a wicked child, who surely must realize that it isn't nice to criticize her betters, but the interview ought to go down in history with the House Committee on Un-American Affairs hearings for its daring presumption of guilt. What many of the rest of us still don't get, is just what Maines is guilty of: Feeling ashamed? Being from Texas? Or speaking her mind?...

Do you remember those days?  The Dixie Chicks had criticized the President abroad, during a time of war, an act tantamount to treason, said the right.

Glen Beck was busy organizing grass roots pro-war rallies that included vilification of the Dixie Chicks.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Even three years later, Bill O’Lielly of Faux Noise said that the Chicks have not recovered to this day.  The Chick did have a few supporters.   Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) likened Dixie Chick boycotters to Nazi book burners and "communist dictators" who "strip out all the works of art that they don't agree with.".

I wish I could have found more direct quotes from that period, but I remember that all the GOP talking heads were putting down the Dixie Chicks and calling them traitors.  It was so extreme that, to this day, the vilification of a public figure is called being Dixie Chicked.

Shifting to the present, a group of Hong Kong businessmen exercised poor financial judgment in hiring Snake Oil Sarah Palin to speak to them.  Guess what?

Palin Hong Kong Sarah Palin took her closely watched political act overseas for the first time since resigning as governor of Alaska, telling a Hong Kong audience that President Barack Obama had weakened American influence in Asia.

With speculation raging over whether the former Republican vice presidential candidate is planning to challenge Mr. Obama in the 2012 presidential race or simply trying to convert her fame and popularity into income, Ms. Palin gave a 90-minute speech Wednesday that touched in part on foreign-policy issues, which were seen as her weak spot in the 2008 campaign.

Ms. Palin's address at a conference sponsored by investment firm CLSA Asia Pacific Markets was officially closed to the media. The Wall Street Journal reviewed an audio recording of the speech. CLSA officials declined to say how much Ms. Palin was paid for the appearance.

Speaking on China policy, the former governor criticized the Obama administration for cutting back on some defense spending, suggesting that it sends a worrisome signal to allies depending on U.S. strength to counterbalance China's growing influence… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <WSJ>

How about that!  Sarah Palin criticized the President abroad, during a time of war, just like the Dixie Chicks.  And this charge comes not from some leftist blog.  It’s from Rupert Murdoch’s own Wall Street Journal, a most conservative source.  Where is the Republican outrage?  Where are the accusations of treason?  Where are te screaming crowds publically burning moose heads in protest?  Why has Alaska not disowned her?  Why isn’t Glen Beck rabidly organizing protests against her?

I guess that from the GOP perspective, it’s only treason when someone criticizes one of their own, not when someone criticizes a Democrat.  What hypocrites they are!

So, I ask you, how should we on the left respond to this?  Should we Dixie Chick Sarah Palin and accuse her of treason?  I say we should not.  To criticize the President abroad is not treason.  Every American has the right to speak his or her mind, including Sarah Palin.  What the right did to the Dixie Chicks was evil, and the most evil thing we on the left can do about this is to copy their foul tactics.  But I will take this opportunity to post a small tribute to the Dixie Chicks for their courage in speaking out when most Americans were cowering in fear.


I’m not ready to make nice either.  I’m mad as hell too.  But as much as  I abhor the GOP tactics of hate, fear and intolerance, I refuse to take part in them.  How about you?


Complaint Department Manager said...

I'm still wondering why more of a stink wasn't made with Palin's association with the Alaskan Independece Party. She's associated herself with known traitors. That video she made a little over a year ago was enough for me to label her a traitor.

ivan said...

Yep. Dixie Chicked. And Bill Mahered too.

And they are still somehow blacklisted.

Bill Maher's irreverent humor. Marti's beautiful work on the mandolin. Marti's wonderful singing. Real country again instead of ersatz rock'n'roll.
Makes me thinks, somehow of the dystopian movie, Nashville.
Dixie- Chicked and Nashvilled.
Toby Keith anybody?

Jack Jodell said...

I share your anger about Sarah Palin, TomCat, but we on the left who oppose her do not engage in book burning behavior. Instead, we call people out for their irresponsibility and refute them with facts.

Let's face it: all but a loud minority of this country know that Sarah Palin is unfit for elective office. She is severely undereducated and unread. She is an irresponsibly unstable and impulsive personality who cannot finish the job once started. She bounced around schools 4 times to get her easy degree. She couldn't settle down into a journalism career. She couldn't settle down into an executive career. She is self-centered, immature, shallow, and cannot grasp the complexities of life outside of her little igloo community. She is lazy and simplistic. She is addicted to, and LUSTS for, money and attention. She is rash and shrill, and can dish it out but can't take it. She is evasive and dishonest.

Those are not attributes of a national leader. The majority of the country know these things, so she will never become President.

Our corporatist media finds her to be a fascinating spectacle, but eventually even they will burn out on her because there is nothing of substance there. Though she is now a constant pain in the ass, we must just continue to do as we have done: refute and trash her lies as soon as she's made them. What a nasty little bitch!

Stimpson said...

She said the problem with the financial markets was too much government interference! LOL!

The best thing that can be done in response to Palin's bad-mouthing of the president on foreign soil is really simple: Point it out. Repeatedly. Point out how others have been hit with backlash for doing the same thing. Point out how fairness dictates at least harsh criticism of Palin's remarks.

That's what guests on CNN, Fox Noise, etc. should be doing - hammering home the point, whether hosts want to hear it or not.

Annette said...

A British reporter named Robert Fisk has a great article up about Palin's speech.. He had some really "nice" things to say.. like how

She spoke too fast. She gabbled her words. Scatty was the word for it. We slalomed between the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of Yugoslavia and 9/11. Then it started. The war on "vicious terrorism", the war against "violent fanatics who wished to end our way of life", our battle against "radical Islamic extremists" with "twisted vision". This was not a clash of civilisations but "a war within Islam". We slalomed again. Asia – "what an amazing place!" – was at its best "when it was not dominated by a single power".

And those are direct

It is from the Independent and there is much

I am on my way out the door again.. so don't have time to embed the URL but here it is if you want to read the article.

TomCat said...

HI CD. That's an excellent point. It's hard to believe that someone who advocated secession was even considered for, let alone nominated as VP. Here though I'm trying to illustrate GOP hypocrisy.

Jack, bingo!

Stimson, I'd me more inclined to harshly criticized those who lambasted the Dixie Chicks.

Thanks Annette. UGH! Well, I knew she wouldn't have anything worthwhile to say. I hope those businessmen got some comic relief from their ordeal.

Dusty said...

Of course that dumb bag o batshit should be dixiechick'd.

But they play by different rules so she won't be. It's do as I say, not as I do.

When my parents used that line I knew it was bullshit. And it's bullshit.

The Moose said...

I'd dixiechick her.

Sounds like Jack's got the hots for Palin. Sorry, Jack, it was ME, The Moose, she was winking at during the debate. :)

Mary Ellen said...

Great post, tomcat, and I'm glad to see that you don't want to do as the right wingers did to the Dixie Chics. I love that you called to keep the discussion to what she said and not resort to slandering her as a woman.

Personally, I've never understood the whole thing about destroying the CD's. It reminded me of all those people who dumped good red wine from France down the gutters to prove their point that they didn't like France because they wouldn't go to Iraq with Bush. I would have happily taken that wine off their hands for them. ;-)

I noticed an article today where the managing editor of an Alaskan newspaper, The Daily News-Miner, wrote a column of apology to Sarah Palin for using a derogatory, misogynist term for Sarah Palin in a story he wrote about the speech you mentioned above.

I actually thought that was a good sign. It could be that the paper was inundated with angry letters from readers and his head would have been on the chopping block had he not retracted his remark, but at least it forced him to talk about WHY her speech upset him instead of just throwing out insulting remarks aimed at women.

Great post...liked the video. ;-)

Brother Tim said...

Giving Palin any press whatsoever, denigrates this country. Does the MSM have no shame?

Jolly Roger said...

You seem to forget the golden rule: IOIFYAAR

the walking man said...

"But as much as I abhor the GOP tactics of hate, fear and intolerance, I refuse to take part in them. How about you?"

Tom...If there is any lesson to be learned from the Detroit experience it is never come to a gunfight with a knife.

I know you will disagree and that's good, it reflects the quality of your peace loving character. A quality I hold you in high regard for, but the lines are drawn by them of the rabidly ignorant of patriotism and what liberty means movement.

This is not a contest of who can out win the other like they would have the mass of people believe but rather it is a siege laid by them on the very framework of the liberty that allows even the stupidest most callously ignorant to have voice, and the wealthy to purchase ever increasing power to shape the society of slaves they would have.

If no one is willing to fight the fight as the fight is, then we all will lose the very ideals you want to preserve. They have set the arena, they have staged the game and they are framing the arguments and the violent reaction to true freedom.

If the left continues to patiently abide by yesterdays rules of political engagement then the battle is already lost because once a right of freedom is terminated through inaction it is near impossible to turn back the hands of time.

Palin, right now, is nothing in the overall other than a pawn who panders to the whims of her masters as she seeks an ever increasing wealth that she hopes will make her immune from the troubles that ordinary people have. A political prostitute, with the Becks, Hannity's, O'Rielly as her and others, pimps, paid for by the Murdoch and other conglomerate owners of the worlds resource.

The left is not the recipient of the largess of many broadcast news forums and the liberal view oft overlooked because there is no screaming and shouting and rabid foaming to that side of the debates that have taken hold.

The left says "we elected a more liberal president and gave him a more liberal congress to work with" and then think that it is enough. Yet you yourself agree that key members of congress have been purchased by them who would rule us yet you seem to have faith still in the legislative. Not me, I have faith in God.

But this is not God's fight it is ours and I for one am not willing to go into a gunfight unarmed.

I am a poet. It is how I define myself and I have been calling on all artists; writers, painters, musicians & graphic artists to ratchet up the pressure. Take away the definitions of what the debate is over from them who fooled society for so long and redefine it to where it should be.

The fight is not for who can gain votes or how they can acquire more profit through purchased legislation, those are weapons.

The fight is for survival of the planet and all that lives upon it. If we do not go to them with the same energy as they expend for the real masters of the world then we may as well submit to the destiny of the doomed for the cause is already lost and the planet will warm and die with everything else.

TomCat said...

Hi Dusty, I see it more like this: do what we are, not as they do.

Moose, you have no taste. Does that mean you are not tasty?

Thanks, ME. It's really difficult for me to express my opinion of Mooseolini in clean language. But, if I would take away her rights, how can I justify my anger when they try to take mine away?

Brother, disasters sell soap, and she is one.


Mark, my friend, I am sure we will end up agreeing to disagree on this one. But it's not that I am too peaceful to put on the gloves. Consider my lead article today. A fellow by the name of Keenan set the policy of containment of the Soviet Union during the cold war. Part of his thinking was that, since the Soviet Union was evil, they would not play by the rules. Therefore, the only way to contain them was not to play by the rules either and act just as dirty and underhanded as they did. He claimed that we were justified, because we are the good guys and we, the bad. The way I see it, when we adopt the tactics of evil to fight evil, we become what it is that we are fighting against. Keenan's ideas may have helped us defeat the Soviet Union, but adopting those ideas changed our national character in such a way that our behavior no longer represented our ideals. The logical culmination of that process was the government of GW Bush and Dick Cheney. I'm all for fighting the GOP, but I do not wish to become like them by adopting their tactics.

the walking man said...

except this isn't then Tom. This isn't the containment of of "The Red Menace." This is a set of leeches, home grown and pathetic, that are immune to the soft tapping of sense and amity.

TomCat said...

I agree, Mark, but I still think that principal that, if I act like the enemy, I will become the enemy still applies.