The war has come and gone, and the Dixie Chicks are still the country's country-music chart toppers. The band's sales appear to have withstood the backlash that erupted when singer Natalie Maines told a London audience last month that "we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
True, they've been barred from Clear Channel Communications, the leading national radio conglomerate, and several stations have made a showy public ritual out of banning their music. But the Dixie Chicks have also drawn support from what would seem to be unlikely quarters.
Count the League of the South (LOS) among the group's surprising fan base. A small but outspoken group, the LOS is about the closest thing modern-day America has to offer in the way of Confederacy boosters. No kidding: The LOS still argues that the South should seriously consider secession. That may not be the best solution to society's ills, the group says, but it's close.
Critics note that the group has been a haven for disgruntled arch-conservatives who are a mite bit too nostalgic for the Old South, the sort who whitewash such evils as slavery. But odd as it may seem, the group has also proved to be a strident critic of American imperialism. The Web site of the N.C. LOS denounces the neocons driving the Bush administration's foreign policy as strongly as do local anti-war groups, and triumphs Southern anti-warriors, making it one of the few locations online where Right meets Left.
A recently posted commentary is titled "Dixie Chicks get it right!" The LOS is furious at President Bush for what is sees as his betrayal of Southern heritage. Not only has the administration failed to aggressively defend Confederate history, they say, it has stripped away fundamental liberties at home while aggressively seeking wars abroad.
"There's just so much about George Bush for Southerners to be ashamed of," the group argues in its commentary. "[J]ust for the record, he ain't a Southerner--he's the pampered son of a Yankee carpetbagger. ... He only tries to sound like us when he needs our votes. Hats off to the Dixie Chicks for seeing through this fraud and having the guts to say so!"