The time is always right for art and politics to mingle, but never more so than one month before the elections. This weekend, while the two presidential candidates debate on network television, Liz Lerman, artistic director of the Dance Exchange, will be dancing out her political viewpoints at the Washington Project for the Arts.

The centerpieces will be two of Lerman's "docudances," continuing a tradition that includes her highly publicized 1982 "Reaganomics," which used David Stockman's budget as its taking-off point.

This time around, the choreographer looks to matters of war and peace. "Nine Short Dances About the Defense Budget and Other Military Matters" (1983) is a revue- style solo that deals lyrically and satirically with the specter of nuclear destruction. Lerman partners a puppet whose front is Mr. Pentagon and back is Mr. Defense Contractor. She maps out the world geographically using a spare and eloquent gestural vocabulary. She manipulates a ball of yarn while commenting on the unthinkable in various voices; the yarn eventually turns into a noose.

The latest docudance, "Star Wars" (1984), continues along similar paths, focusing specifically on the outer-space defense controversy.

Augmenting these will be "New York City Winter," one of the choreographer's earliest solos; and the improvised beginnings of a work about Russian history and culture. LIZ LERMAN -- Saturday and Sunday at 8 at Washington Project for the Arts, 400 Seventh St. NW. 347-4813.