They sang!

When The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines criticized Bush’s Iraq policy at a London concert, the right-wing went nuts with radio stations, owned by right-wing suits, boycotting their records.

At some point, a mentality emerged in this country that Americans are not allowed to criticize their government – a conclusion that flies in the face of the Constitution of the United States.

Laura Ingraham, right-wing commentator and talk show host, capitalized on the boycott against The Dixie Chicks by making the TV rounds hawking her book, “Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics and the U.N. Are Subverting America.”

The Dixie Chicks documentary on the whole affair played off Ingraham’s admonition with the title, “Shut Up and Sing.”

Ingraham, whose books apparently appeal to the same folks who read Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, received the following review of that book from Publishers Weekly, the bible of the publishing industry (LINK):

“To the author of this vociferous but ill-supported right-wing screed, membership in the elite is not an objective position of wealth, power or influence. It is, instead, a ‘general outlook’- one, Ingraham says, that sneers at religion, morality, patriotism, President Bush, guns, suburbs, SUVs, tax cuts and everything else that ‘We the People’ hold dear.

“Ingraham goes on to apply anti-elitist invective with a broad brush. Most abused of these ‘elites’ are anti-war protesters (‘moral morons’), academics (‘snotty, sanctimonious dolts’), secularists (‘recoil like vampires at the sight of a cross’), internationalists (‘want to murder America’), the French (‘perfidious’) and entertainers (‘shut up and sing’). …

“Her anti-elitism boils down to haphazard political bias: Hollywood liberals like Susan Sarandon are in the elite, while Hollywood conservatives like Arnold Schwarzenegger aren't; more murkily, while the Democratic Party is the elite's ‘natural home,’ lefty Ralph Nader is not in the elite and Republican stalwart John McCain is.

“Ingraham's tone of class resentment (‘they think we're stupid’ is a refrain) relies on the old demagogue's trick of conflating disagreement with her brand of conservative, nativist populism with snobbish contempt for the silent majority.

“Ingraham (‘The Hillary Trap’) has legions of fans, but as she consigns more and more people - Democrats, moderate Republicans, libertarians, pro-choicers - to the ‘elite’ camp, the voice of this self-identified everywoman starts to sound rather lonely.”

On the other hand …

They sang! They sang on an album named “Taking the Long Way.” They sang an in-your-face single, “Not Ready to Make Nice.” And, The Dixie Chicks won five Grammys last night, including the top three awards, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year – the first to do so since Eric Clapton swept the top honors in 1993.

They sang, and America listened!

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