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Chan Lowe: Bristol Palin takes it on the road

bristol.gifBack during the 2008 presidential campaign, when Sarah Palin and her family were introduced to America in all their homespun glory, I couldn’t help but imagine what the Republican spin machine would have done had Joe Biden’s daughter been the one to get pregnant out of wedlock as a teenager.

Because it was Sarah Palin’s daughter, however, the pregnancy became a celebration of life and an affirmation, somehow, of the emblematic American family.

Hypocrisy is a commodity that has never been in short supply in American politics. The latest, most titillating case is that of U.S. Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana, a fierce protector of traditional family values (with all the usual anti-gay riffs), who just resigned from office.

Not only did he have sex with a staffer, but he even sat for a video interview with her touting the virtues of abstinence. He probably feels that his guilt is mitigated because, unlike Rev. George Rekers, he sinned with a woman. After all, people have standards.

The Palins deserve credit that Bristol went ahead and gave birth to the child, which is now being raised as a member of the family. Regardless of what certain parties might allege, nobody is “pro-abortion.”

Fortunately for the Palins, and unlike many families with unwed teenage mothers, they have plenty of resources to give the kid every possible advantage. I’m sure Bristol will prove to be an exemplary mother.

It’s unseemly, though, that she now plans to hit the road as an exemplar of empowerment and teenage chastity. As far as living with the consequences of one’s youthful errors, hers is by far the exceptional case, and it would be tragic if easily influenced children took the wrong message from her life story.

It isn’t as though she needs the money.

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It's not hypocrisy if a conservative does it. After all, Bristol just wants to show how that 'abstinence-y' thing is working out for her...

palins daughter shows that raging hormones have no concern for political party. continued republicans caught with pants down proves the lower part of you doesn't care how you vote either. its not a republican or democrat.

But the hypocrisy is blinding when it is the holier than thou people who demand righteousness and then show that they are screw-ups too. The fact that ANOTHER palin family member seems to want to be in the public eye is laughable. If President Obama had chosen Hilary as his running mate, we literally would have never heard of sarah or bristol palin because mccain wouldn't have felt that he needed a woman on the ticket to help him get votes. So now that bristol and her mother are public figures she thinks that she should sell her time and become a public speaker - with no experience or qualifications...That seems like a publicity ploy to me.

Good Grief Sun Sentinel…you are better than this! This cartoon is hateful straight up. I’m a school teacher, bullying and teenage pregnancy is NO joke. For God’s sake leave our kids alone. Who’s next Trig? If Chan wants to exercise his manhood in journalism let him print a bullying cartoon on Mohamed. Yeah..good luck with that one!

To Chuck...

I'm horrified to think that you teach our children. Clearly, you got this cartoon wrong and definitely misread its intent. Hateful? In what way? Pointing out hypocrisy is a GOOD thing. Bristol Palin is NOT a typical teenager, and Mr. Lowe has done a real service here by pointing that out. No one is for unwanted teen pregnancies, nor bullying...but to reward reckless behavior in our youth--(as in tens of thousands in speaking fees to teens who do exhibit that behavior)--is nothing but irresponsible.

I pray you do not have adolescents in your care.

You just don't get it do you?

I had people tell me Bush is liberal compared to me, and I have three daughters in their adolescence. And I preach abstinence to all of them. And I hope they listen.
But, if one of them gets pregnant, NO I won't advice them to get an abortion, and, YES I will celebrate the new life.
People make mistakes, I'll be the first to admit. However you don't fix a mistake by making another. And you don't fix the mistake by glorifying it. You see, that's the difference between conservatives and libs. If my daughter became a mother while a teenager I won't advice abortion, nor will I glorify it. But nevertheless I will love my grandchild.

The Palins used their "family values" for effect during the election, but when Letterman made an all too true joke, they got offended. You can't have it both ways! I like the cartoon.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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