The Dixie Chicks have had quite the political education over the last few months, ever since Natalie Maines ignited a media firestorm with her remark that she was ashamed President Bush is from Texas. Now, the Chicks are talking politics again, but this time in a way that shouldn't offend anybody or lead to their CDs being bulldozed or banned from country radio. They've aligned with Rock the Vote to lead a drive to register 100,000 women voters in time for the 2004 elections. They also gave $100,000, which the non-partisan organization says is the largest donation it's ever received from an artist, to build a forum on its website where voters can learn where presidential candidates stand on various issues.
''Contrary to what has been portrayed in the media,'' Maines said Monday at the trio's press conference in Santa Monica, ''we never had intentions of becoming a political band, but like it or not, we've been placed on a unique political platform in the past months, and we feel it would be irresponsible not to try to make something positive come of that.''
For the Chicks, voter registration seemed like a comfortable issue. As Emily Robison put it, ''The voting booth is anonymous. You close the curtain, and you don't have to answer press questions.''