Why the Attack on the Obama Girls Matters
Elizabeth Lauten, former PR representative for Congressman Stephen Fincher(R) of Tennessee, has resigned from her job after a facebook posting on the Obama girls went viral.
“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.
The hashtag #fireelizabethlauten was trending on twitter for a time and this Facebook post got a great deal of media attention. It likely got way more attention that it deserved, but it did deserve some attention. One of the things that makes me a conservative is the fact that I believe in family and family values. I want to associate myself with those that have those same beliefs. Now I am not saying that only conservatives have family values and that my definition of what that means is the only true definition. I know plenty of liberals who are great parents and put a great deal of time and effort in being the best parents and want the same types of things for the next generation that I do. But I don’t believe that the democrats put family first, I think they put government first. That I strongly disagree with and I am willing to stand up and fight against it. I believe that putting government first gets in the way of forging strong family bonds that is a cornerstone of society.
Do I think that losing her job was really necessary? There is a part of me that says no, but deep down I have to say I agree with the decision of her leaving her position as the Public Relations person for a sitting congressman. A congressman who has a section on website labeled Christian Values. Since when did a grown PR professional attacking a 13 and 16-year-old girl become a Christian Value?
I am getting a little sick and tired of hearing, well what about the Bush girls? What about the Palin children? I have written extensively on how young children of people running for high office should be off-limits. They have made no choice in the matter of what their parents do. I have also been quite clear that I hold people who have young children running for high office with more than just a tad of suspicion. I question the judgement of people putting their kids in that type of fishbowl. Because that is exactly what it is. But in any event, I don’t care to play a game of tit for tat. It is unseemly at best. Nor does it actually solve anything.
If the base of the GOP want the party to represent family values; which many do, then start acting like you respect them yourself. Saying that a 13-year-old is dressed for a bar because of the length of her skirt doesn’t quite have that feeling of respecting families to me.
Politics, much like reality, is largely about perception. The perception for Congressman Fincher is that he had a PR person that didn’t care all that much for those values that he runs on. Those values that have led him to a life a public service. Those values that are supposed to be a guiding force in the votes that he casts not just for his own district, but those that could affect every American across the country.
While it may not “fair” that Ms. Lauten lost her job, it is the perception of what she did that made it impossible for her to continue to work for a person that says he cares about families and Christian values. More to the point, life isn’t fair. It never has been and it never will be.
I don’t want to people who give me lip service about those values. I don’t want people who decide that taking the moral high ground is too much work. Yes the left goes after the children of conservatives. David Letterman paid virtually no price for going after Willow Palin. But David Letterman is self-employed and doesn’t work for a sitting member of congress, whereas Elizabeth did. Trying to compare the two is apples and oranges.
If conservatives want to fight for family values, standing by a young woman who felt that is was acceptable to go after two underage teenagers isn’t the way to go about it.
Ms. Lauten will be just fine. She will find another position. The notoriety that she has received from this almost guarantees that. But people justifying her behavior, and sadly some are, will only serve to give the calls of hypocrite more credence. Actually take a stand for the values that you say you believe in, even when someone on your “side” makes an error in judgement makes an unwarranted attack on children. If not, don’t talk about your family and Christian values. You obviously don’t really mean it, it is just lip service. This isn’t about elections, this isn’t about winning or losing, it is about right and wrong. Leave underage children of politicians alone.