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Chan Lowe: Republican campaign pledge fever


Here’s your problem, which is actually several problems rolled into one: You’re a Republican, running for president. You’re either so naïve, or your messiah complex is so in need of servicing, that you actually think you can run the country. Not just run it, but improve it. On top of that, you think you can do a better job of running it and improving it than anyone else in the race.

Any one of these things is enough to make you a pariah at a cocktail party, but in this context you’re taken semi-seriously, particularly if you’re able to scare up money in support of your delusion or are willing to throw in plenty of your own.

So, you’re set to bequeath your sterling personality to a nation that you believe clearly needs you, when WHAP!⎯the Iowa caucuses smack you in the face. They’re the first big hurdle, and if you don’t make a respectable showing in Iowa, the American People, unfortunately, will move on, never knowing how close they came to choosing a great leader.

Now your biggest problem is no longer psychological, it’s strategic. Everybody knows Iowa has more than its fair share of wing nuts. Flat-earthers, anti-Darwinists, states-rights paranoids, marriage purists. It’s a toxic fact that they and their hogs are all concentrated into this one bucolic state, and it happens to come first in the hit parade.

You have to win here at all costs, so you do what any ambitious pol does: you pander. But this is the information age. Today’s pander may please the bumpkins who slog to the caucuses in midwinter, but that same pander in an Internet video six months from now, during the general election, could make you look like a Neanderthal elsewhere⎯that is, if there ever were Neanderthals, which most Iowa Republicans know is a myth right up there with the Tooth Fairy.

If you can finesse this one, maybe you deserve to be president.

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Here's a thought: Impose a "pledge tax". If you are running for office or already hold office and you sign a pledge to stop using your brain and instead become a robot that just sits there repeating the pledge, then you have to pay a tax (after all, if you refuse to use your brain on behalf of the people who elected you, you should at least give back some of that fat salary you'll collect as a public servant). Heck with all the candidates and pledges out there, we might be able to wipe out the deficit just from the pledge tax :-).

3 cartoons in a row bashing the rebuplicans! are you double dipping? one check from the sun sentinel and one from the obama? maybe after your name they should put a letter just like after elected folks! wasserman shultz (D)
anthony weiner (D) marco rubio (R) chan lowe (D)


Like it or not, republicans get elected by pushing issues such as abortion and creationism. It's a non-starter for many Americans. And they do paint themselves into a corner with these issues.

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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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