November 30, 2014 at 7:11 pm #3861
More “family values” talk from the right about Obama’s children, who are age 13 and 16.
The communications director for a Republican member of Congress ignited a firestorm this weekend after she criticized President Obama’s teenage daughters in a Facebook post that touched a nerve even for Americans accustomed to political mudslinging.
“Try showing a little class,” Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (Tenn.), wrote Friday in a Facebook posting addressed to Sasha, 13, and Malia, 16, chastising them for their comportment during last week’s annual turkey pardoning event at the White House.
“Rise to the occasion. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at the bar,” Lauten wrote. “And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”
Lauten’s Facebook post was shared on Twitter and then picked up by the blogosphere. Most of the online reaction to Lauten’s comments focused on her characterization of the girls’ appearance and their facial expressions, which was especially surprising given her role as a political communication adviser. Some Twitter users accused her of racial overtones in her comments.
By Saturday evening, hundreds of people had made use of the #ElizabethLauten hashtag on Twitter.
“Direct your dislike of their dad’s policies or politics toward their dad. Always leave the kids (D or R) out of it,” wrote one Twitter using the handle @Mica4Life.November 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm #3877
She apologized for it. No big deal. Not exactly a “statement from the right.”November 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm #3880
Of course she should have apologized.
But don’t get confused, this IS a statement from the right. She was addressing her fellow travelers.
I’m sure it killed her that she couldn’t just come out and use the words she wanted to describe the Obama girls: Hookers.November 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm #3890
You’re being generous. The word you’re looking for starts with an “N.”November 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm #3891
Can’t wait for Elizabeth Lauten to have kids.December 1, 2014 at 8:18 am #3909
AmusParticipantDecember 1, 2014 at 9:23 am #3915
Ideally, she is better for the whole thing. I just looked at the photo. What I see are two teen girls presenting as such. There is no cause for shame in any of it.
Looks to me like Mom is doing a fine job. It also looks to me like anybody bitching probably has the daughters they deserve too.December 1, 2014 at 9:29 am #3917
I saw a clip and what I saw were two bored teenagers who were not as amused by their dad’s jokes as he and everyone else was. Typical.
I sometimes think facebook comments should get a pass or be off limits. Everybody is going to eventually say something stupid, unless they are very careful and controlled, but then it wouldn’t be natural.December 1, 2014 at 9:51 am #3919
Oh I think FB comments are a great thing.
We are more rapidly figuring out who is who and what their real social and economic preferences are.
It’s OK when people say something stupid, unless it isn’t, right?
As painful as social media can be, the net gain is worth it. How we own our stupid comments says a lot, and as everybody figures out what the First Amendment means, and it means free speech is not a shield, they will think harder about their speech and be more understanding about others speech.
There are lots of ways to respond to that kind of thing. People over 30 are fucking up on social media in much larger numbers than those under 30, who harbor much different expectations for how it’s used and what to do when something ugly gets said.
Over the next 10 years, we will see better norms play out as people who grow up with social media settle into middle age.
Younger people will see that kind of thing and respond, “Seriously?” giving the person who fucked it up a clear out to remedy it right then and there.
Older people like to pass judgement more, and do not realize the importance of those outs. Nor do they realize in higher numbers the basic difference between, “you are racist” as opposed to something like, “man, that sure comes off as racist” and how both conversations can play out.
In this case, having the title “communications director” makes the speech particularly painful. Of course the vast majority of people are thinking, “Doesn’t she know better?” As they should!
Any communications director worth their salt can and should understand the outcome of “Show a little class.”
The bell just rang at the school of hard knocks:
Hours after the original post, Lauten followed up with a second post apologizing for her critique. “I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager,” she wrote.
“After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online I can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were. . . . I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.”
I’ll bet she does. And that’s a good thing.December 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm #3941
GOP Staffer Who Said Obama Girls Lacked Class Was Arrested As A Teen.
The Republican staffer who lectured Sasha and Malia Obama on their clothes and told them to “try showing a little class” wasn’t exactly a perfect teenager herself.
Elizabeth Lauten was arrested at age 17 for misdemeanor larceny after she allegedly stole from a Belk Department store in North Carolina, according to court records reviewed by The Smoking Gun. The charges were dismissed since Lauten was a first-time offender and she didn’t get into additional trouble.
Lauten resigned as the the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) on Monday following backlash over a Facebook post about the Obama daughters’ attire at the White House turkey pardon ceremony.December 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm #3942
Also, allow me to give Elizabeth Lauten some advice. Lose some weight! Such a fatty at such a young age.December 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm #3943
I don’t think her previous transgression is an issue here.
I think she just got caught up in the right wing culture of hate, paid the price and truly regrets it.December 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm #3949
I like how Social Media Justice Court can be swift and effective.
Now if we could only figure out how we can get this court to dole out harsh sentences for Wall street and other big-business a-holes/individuals.December 2, 2014 at 3:21 am #3953
If she wanted to criticize Obama, that’s one thing. He’s in that position.
His teenage daughters, on the other hand, should be off-limits. Unacceptable.
And Vit – you’re no better than her when you go off on her being a “fatty”.December 2, 2014 at 11:51 am #3960
Brian, I was just offering her some unsolicited advice…
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