GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten recently came under fire for criticizing the Obama girls over the Thanksgiving holiday. The criticism came about when the girls, Sasha, 13, and Malia, 16, made an appearance at the 67th annual pardoning of the turkey. The pardoning is an annual presidential tradition in which two turkeys’ lives are spared from a “terrible and delicious fate.”
According to Lauten, Sasha and Malia were lacking in class and respect of both themselves and their position as daughters of the president. She made the following statement in a Facebook post:
Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.
Since Lauten mentioned “class,” what I found to be most classless was the GOP staffer attack Lauten made on two teenage girls. It was entirely uncalled for and unnecessary. The comments were clearly rooted in Lauten’s distaste of President Obama, as demonstrated in this particular comment: “Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”
Lack of control and emotions is evident when you hate an individual so much that their children become targets. In the president’s Thanksgiving address, the girls did not appear to be particularly happy to be there. A pair of teenage girl and their dad cracking corny jokes on national television seems to be the perfect recipe of what the girls appeared to be during the address: impatient, embarrassed, nervous, and bored. They seemed to behave as typical teenagers.
I, personally, would not permit my (hypothetical) children to wear what the Obama girls wore at the event. But, I certainly would not berate children. What Obama and his wife permit his children to wear is their prerogative.
Could the Obama girls have stood a bit straighter? Shown a bit more interest? Laughed a bit harder at their dad’s jokes? Appeared less bored? The answer is yes.
So what if teenage girls snap a few “selfies” while throwing up the peace sign. They still have peers and follow social trends, too. Teens do not stop being teens simply because their father is president. To expect the opposite is unreasonable and irrational.
When addressing the Obama girls, Lauten mentioned several times that they should “respect the part” they play and “rise to the occasion.” Malia and Sasha Obama are in the public eye by default, not by choice. In addition to picking a fight with teenagers half her age, Laurent placed herself in the curious position of thinking that the girls have any role to play at all. Government has expanded so significantly that even members of the GOP think that being a family member to a public servant qualifies them for a role in the government.
The same applies to the spouse of the president, or any relative to the president, for that matter. First lady Michelle Obama is a good example of an individual who has assumed a position in government (a position for which no first lady is elected, but married into) simply because she is espoused to the president.
Of course we critique how well the president’s wife dresses, speaks, and carries herself overall; that is a part of social politics in American culture. As anti-woman as this may sound, the “job” of any first lady is to literally be a smiling face beside her husband.
Following her disparaging comments, and subsequently the ire she drew from the public, Lauten resigned from her position as communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher on Monday. Lauten’s early dismissal means one less government employee off the taxpayers’ dime.
But what about the ill behavior the Left engaged in with the Bush girls?
It is of extreme intellectual laziness to mitigate a circumstance by justifying it with the juvenile game of, “But they did it too!”
My only hope is that the media and the public will be as swift to demand the job of Arizona Cardinals Defensive End Darnell Dockett. On Tuesday, Dockett commented on Instagram account user @dreday_4 photo of Malia Obama’s rear end with the caption, “when her prom?” with the comment, “Omgggg” (internet slang for “oh my God). The NFL star reposted the image of the sixteen-year-old and used the caption, “LmFaooo (laughing my f****** a** off) when is her prom?”
The sexualization of a minor by a man well into his thirties is far more reprehensible than Lauten’s immature behavior. Let us see if the mainstream media and the public will hold an NFL star’s perverted behavior to the same standard as a Republican who engaged in bully-like behavior.