Well, I guess he should know about putting his foot in his mouth in public — Jerry Falwell has weighed in on the Dixie Chicks controversy.
Of course, I don’t think the woman who said this,
Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.
. . . need a lesson in propriety from the man who said this,
The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’
Also of note is that Falwell apologized for those comments — except now he says that was “not so much as an apology” as simply a clarification. I.e. Fallwell really means what he says above, he just thinks it was probably not a good idea to say so just a few days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.
Falwell criticizes Dixie Chick’s anti-Bush remarks. USA Today, April 30, 2003.
On the one hand, I really can’t imagine ditching my Dixie Chicks CDs just because I disagree with their position on the Persian Gulf War. In fact some people seem to be forgetting that this is one of the advantages of a free market — I generally don’t know nor care about the politics of the people who produce the things I buy. I suppose the Dixie Chick were a bunch of neo-Nazis or uber-Stalinists that might change my mind, but whether or not their embarassed that Bush is from Texas is really not important to me.
But it apparently is to some people which brings me to the topic at hand — the rank hypocrisy of some left-liberals when it comes to consumer boycotts. I think consumer boycotts are just fine. You want to all the radio station and ask them to not play the Dixie Chicks? Fine. Join a boycott against Michael Savage’s new show? Great — more power to you.
Unfortunately a lot of folks seem to think that when people they agree with initiate consumer boycotts, this is the First Amendment at work. But when people they disagree with initiate consumer boycotts, all of a sudden the very same activity is transformed into a terrifying effort to silence dissent.
I am really sick and tired of seeing people who cheered the boycott of Dr. Laura’s short-lived TV show or the current one against Michael Savage turn around and complain that the boycott of the Dixie Chicks is beyond the bounds of reasoned discourse.
To be honest, what Natalie Maines thinks about anything either positive or negative is largely irrelevant. But what is striking about her comment was how dumb it was. And I don’t mean they it was dumb because I agree or disagree with her stance on the war in Iraq. But if you’re going to criticize a politician, what does the fact that he is or is not from Texas have to do with anything?
I mean, I could understand if she’s opposed to the war and says she’s embarassed that the United States is going to attack Iraq or whatever but a comment like, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas” just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense other than to make Martin Sheen’s anti-war arguments suddenly seem a lot more cogent.