The Lowe Down

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Chan Lowe: The NASCAR diss of the First Lady


It was an unlovely moment. A quintessentially American one, too, since as a nation we love to voice our true feelings lustily.

I’m sure there were many fans in the NASCAR stands who were embarrassed when their brethren booed the nation’s First Lady, and who were ashamed on their behalf for not having enough respect to at least keep their mouths shut if they didn’t approve of the way the woman’s husband is running the country. After all, she came all the way down to help the families of veterans in need.

It really isn’t about respect for the First Lady, though. It’s that many Americans (some of whom attend NASCAR races, and some who do not) feel that she is a usurper to her position, as her husband is to his office. They don’t actually see the Obamas as President and First Lady, because to them they are squatters in the White House. Their very existence sullies the institutions they represent. It’s the same attitude that allows a member of the U.S. Congress to feel perfectly comfortable shouting “You lie!” during the State of the Union speech.

Ironically, if you really want to talk about usurpation, let’s go back to the way the Supreme Court suddenly shut down the recount in the 2000 election, guaranteeing George W. Bush’s victory. His legitimacy to hold office was far more in doubt than Barack Obama’s is today. Yet, I don’t recall Laura Bush being booed by crowds when she appeared in public, even by those who felt the election had been stolen.

Of course, for some benighted Americans, George and Laura comfortably fit the stereotype of a couple that at least ought to be living in the residential quarters, rather than cleaning them. I suspect that’s really what’s at the heart of yesterday’s cringeworthy NASCAR spectacle.

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Truly disappointed. I am not an Obama fan. In fact I am an ardent supporter of any Republican who can beat him. Yet, as we look with disdain at the occupy protesters and the lack of class and civility displayed by them, just down the road we get to view a similar spectacle pulled by the very same crowd that belitttles occupy. To boo a sitting first lady who is hear for a veterans support event is deplorable. Stay silent, sit down, but booing, seriously. It's disappointing as the Nascar crowd is at it's heart a conservative crowd and should be above this. I am a proud conservative but am just disheartened at the disrespect shown by my breathren.

The only thing worse than this cartoon is Lowe's ridiculous political analysis of the event. Of course.. they must all be racists!

Well said! Excellent cartoon and commentary!

PD2110 -- Chan's central point is that the hecklers are disrespectful. If their attitude springs from racist leanings, the stain on their characters is even deeper. Stupid is as stupid does.

Wonder if she is still proud FOR THE FIRST TIME? She needs to lose the chip before she will be accepted by REAL Americans!!

I'm not sure what a 'real american' is. My family has been in this country since the beginning, my direct ancestor was on the survey team for what is now Delaware. Does that make me more 'real'??

I notice that some tie their stupidity to patriotism, but that is false validation and not acceptable to anyone with a brain.

Isn't it funny...those people upset about this are the same ones who celebrated and ridiculed GW Bush having to duck in order to avoid being hit by a shoe.

The hippocritical left never fails to amaze. They believe many Americans aren't sharp enough to deconstruct and debunk their arguments and righteous indignation. In reality, it's very easy to do.

In light of the classless and mean spirited cartoons directed towards conservatives that Lowe has shared with us over the years. You need to take todays edition with more than a grain of salt

The president's wife is bood and this writer calls it racist. Either he is simply a democratic partisan pulling out the racist card or he is intentionally blind to the anger in this country.

Mr. Lowe, do you remember Michelle saying the FIRST TIME she was ever proud of this country is when her husband was cheered? Do you remember the 1/2 billion dollars the president gave to his campaign contributer at Solandra? Do you remember the 400 years of civil law that was breeched when the GM bond holders were robbed in favor of the president's union buddies? Did you notice that instead of infrastructure we got Obamacare? Do you care that we have now won the battle but lost the war in Iraq? Would someone please tell me why we are in Afghanistan? How is that open hand working for us in Iran? Let's not forget the President's war on business. He supports the public schools because the teacher's union supports him but his own kids go (and have always gone) to private school (a teacher's union that has brought american students to the bottom of the world educated). How about Holder's war on Arizona? 9% unemployment? How about his socialist (share the wealth) policies? The list is very, very long.

Do you think Mr. Lowe that it might be possible that we really, really, really do not like this president, his administration, his policies and everything else about him? Is it possible that we have discovered his corrupt political machine and find him personally distasteful? Perhaps that distaste extends to Michelle and her racist attitude about America. Now that I think about it, perhaps Mr. Lowe, it is you who dwells on race.

I suspect, too, that there is an element of racism here. Never in my life
have I seen such a level of blatant disrespect for the President in the halls
of Congress or leveled at a First Lady.

Mr. Marketbreakaway (is there any reason why you didn't use your real name?), you sound very angry, which you have a right to be if that's the way you want to be. But do you have to be disrespectful, too? Having read your response to this cartoon, it doesn't surprise me that you are defending the kind of behavior at which this cartoon was aimed.

Geri Nicoll

I was there about 40 yards away from her across the track in the stands and I didn't hear any booing. I was listening for it too and thinking I'm glad they're not.

Where did the booing come from?

Remember the Dixie Chicks? "It almost makes us ashamed to say that we're from Texas, considering that the President (Bush Jr) comes from there." They were nearly tarred and feathered (assuming people still do that). Isn't it funny how disagreeing with the President *back then* ended up with your being called a traitor...and that wasn't nearly as crass as what happened here.

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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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