GOP Congressional Aide Resigns In Wake Of Remarks About Obama Daughters

Public Relations 101: When you have a job in public relations, don't say stupid things.

Obama Sasha and Malia

The Communications Director for a Republican Congressman has resigned after becoming the focus of a Thanksgiving weekend online kerfuffle over her comments about the President’s daughters at Wednesday’s “Turkey Pardoning” event:

Elizabeth Lauten, the Republican congressional aide who faced backlash after sharply criticizing the first daughters, has resigned, according to a report on NBC on Monday.cere

Lauten told NBC News that “she is ‘resigning today’ following her comments about Sasha and Malia Obama,” according to a tweet from an NBC News Capitol Hill producer.

Reports of the resignation came after Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director, took to Twitter early Monday morning to comment on a recent Facebook post made by Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Steven Fincher (R-Tenn.).

“Children, especially the first daughters, are off limits,” Spicer tweeted before labeling the comments “inappropriate” and “insensitive.”

The whole controversy started when Lauten took to Facebook to comment on the Obama daughters appearance at the ceremony where they at times appeared bored and not terribly amused at their father’s jokes about pardoning turkeys, as teens are wont to do at times, and their expressions in the photograph above became the inspiration for some gentle mocking about the silliness of the entire “turkey pardoning” tradition to begin with. Lauten’s comments, though, went in a different direction:

Over the weekend, a Facebook post made by Lauten after the White House’s annual turkey pardoning ceremony surfaced where the aide sharply criticizes the Obama girls.

The post read, “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.”

It continued, “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.”

She later issued on apology over Facebook that claimed she “reacted to an article and…quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that [she] would never have wanted to be judged…as a teenager.” Lauten claimed that after “many hours of prayer” and speaking with her parents she saw that her words were “hurtful” and apologized to anyone she had “hurt and offended.”

The initial comments were, of course, inappropriate and over the top, especially considering they were directed at teenage girls, but they ended up becoming something of a social media firestorm due, no doubt, to the fact that it was the slowest of slow news weekends. Lauten herself had avoided any comment on the matter all weekend and deleted the Facebook posts in question, but of course the damage had been done. Bloomberg’s David Weigel likened the reaction to Lauten’s comments that led to her resignation, which is of course your typical Washington firing, to a mob, but I have to largely disagree. First of all, if there’s one rule that still applies in politics its that kids ought to be off limits, and that would seem to especially apply when we’re speaking of the First Daughters, or any kids who aren’t adults yet. Yes, it’s true that the Bush daughters got some unfavorable press attention when they got caught trying to buy drinks with fake identification, but they at least were over 18 at the time and were engaging an activity that, technically at least, was a violation of the law. The Obama daughters were just standing there while their Dad engaged in the rather silly act of pardoning a turkey, obviously not there entirely voluntarily, and trying their best not to look awkward. Second, Lauten comments about their appearance —- specifically that they were dressed like they were looking for “a spot at the a bar” — were both dumb and completely inappropriate, as she herself recognized later on. Third, Lauten’s comments about the President and First Lady not respecting “their positions very much” was the kind of absurd partisanship I’d expect of a talk radio host, not the Communications Director for a Member of Congress.

Did Lauten deserve to be fired over this? That really isn’t for me to say, but obviously her employer thought so, and that leads us to the real lesson here. If you are the Communications Director for a politician, or indeed the public face for any important person in politics or the private sphere, and you say something that embarrasses your boss then there’s at least a chance you’re going to be “asked to resign.” That’s life, that’s politics. So, the lessons today? Don’t drag children into your political arguments, not even, or maybe better put especially not, the President’s children. And, don’t post things online that are going to embarrass you and the person you work for when your job involves public relations. These are, quite honestly, such elementary points that one wonders why they bear repeating.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    I myself stopped short of calling for her to be fired, but when your JOB is about creating & sustaining an image, then such an epic fail may indeed indicate that you’re not very good at your job.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Kinda mixed on this…if you march the kids out, then they are fair game…up to a point. When Sarah Palin marches her kids out then their behavior is fair game…to a point. Same here.
    However, even with that caveat, Lauten’s comments were inappropriate and harsh in my opinion.
    What is really silly is that it subsequently took “many hours of prayer” for her to figure out that you treat others as you wish to be treated. Seriously? Another fake Christian gets caught being a fake Christian.

  3. gVOR08 says:

    Why does everybody seem reluctant to mention she was on the staff of Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), who appears to be a pretty standard issue Tea Party GOP?

  4. the Q says:

    After many hours of prayer, God whispered, “she really is a doosh”…..

  5. al-Ameda says:

    Well put, Doug:

    Did Lauten deserve to be fired over this? That really isn’t for me to say, but obviously her employer thought so, and that leads us to the real lesson here. If you are the Communications Director for a politician, or indeed the public face for any important person in politics or the private sphere, and you say something that embarrasses your boss then there’s at least a chance you’re going to be “asked to resign.” That’s life, that’s politics.

    So, her prayers were not answered, right?

  6. CB says:

    First they came for the Congressional aides, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Congressional aide..

  7. Anderson says:

    @CB: oh yeah. This is JUST LIKE Nazi Germany.

  8. stonetools says:

    I was kind of amused at first by the whole incident. I was thinking that the President was fulfilling one of the duties of being the parent of teenagers, which is to embarass said teenagers :-).
    As to Ms. Lauten , she was being an idiot and worse. Not sure I would have fired her, but I also wouldn’t have defended her either.
    Agree with Doug. If you are a communications director, then your communications should be pitch perfect. If they aren’t, then you have publicly advertised your inability to do your job.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    @gVOR08:
    I just assumed as much.

  10. CSK says:

    I think Malia and Sasha are simultaneously too young and too old to be trotted out for photo ops. If they were little kids, they’d probably enjoy the turkey pardon. If they were in their 20s, they could participate (with an internal eyeroll) and then laugh off the whole business afterward.

    They’re at a sensitive age. You know they love their father. And you also know they think he’s a hopeless dufus/dork/goof.

    Lauten? Worst. Communications. Director. Evah.

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I find myself sympathizing with Sasha and Malia. Obama embarrasses me, too.

    But why is this nobody staffer for a nobody Congressman getting all this attention? Joe Biden routinely says far dumber things, but…

    Oh, yeah. Biden (D), this nobody (R).

    I withdraw the question.

  12. Scott says:

    One, she wrote too many words for it to be spontaneous. Two, she had to pray over it? Three, she had to talk to her parents?

    I suspect she is just a dense, clueless, mean girl who has no employable skills.

  13. CB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    This wasn’t stupidity, it was malice. If Biden said the same about someone’s family it would be just as out of line.

    @Anderson:

    Tongue firmly planted in cheek.

  14. EddieInCA says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I usually just ignore you and Florak, and Bill and the rest of the non-thinking. But….

    Damn, you’re an asshole.

    Is there NOTHING that to you isn’t partisan?

    Why can’t you just say “Yep. This woman was wrong, regardless of the D or R she reprsents”.

    Mods – (Ban me if you need to. That needed to be said.)

  15. ernieyeball says:

    Yes, it’s true that the Bush daughters got some unfavorable press attention when they got caught trying to buy drinks with fake identification, but they at least were over 18 at the time and were engaging an activity that, technically at least, was a violation of the law.

    So under age possession of alcohol in Texas is what? Not a real violation of the law?
    I guess the law isn’t the law when it’s Republican President’s daughters.
    Maybe Number 13 would like that.

    (In Texas, a minor may consume an alcoholic beverage if it is in the visible presence of the minor’s adult parent, guardian or spouse.)
    https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/APIS_State_Profile.html?state=TX

  16. Gavrilo says:

    This idiot absolutely deserved to be fired. The Communications Director is the one person on a congressional staff who is supposed to anticipate the reaction that public comments are likely to generate. She failed miserably.

  17. Franklin says:

    I’m just curious when the last time Lauten was at a bar.

  18. EddieInCA says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Jenos –

    THAT’S how its done. That shows some intellectual honesty by Mr. Gavrilo.

  19. aFloridian says:

    This is the second worst PR disaster of the week (read the St. Louis Police Officers’ Assocaiton memo on the St. Louis rams WR’s hands-up display for the tops).

    Just a bullying comment. It’s not like they look disheveled or anything. They are teenage girls. Do they need to put on a ball gown to do this ritual which nobody who would actually enjoy it actually knows about?

    You make your boss look bad when you say something like this. Obviously she had to go.

    And Jenos, give me a break. He may say stupid stuff, but show me the stupid stuff he said that is applicable to teenage girls. Apples and oranges, as usual. Besides, the MSM stuff needs to stop anyway. Conservatives now have a powerful news apparatus – Fox News, Breitbart, the Blaze, Drudge, National Review, talk radio, and on and on. When liberals say something stupid, they’re more than happy to let everyone know – AND, if they say something REALLY ACTUALLY stupid like this, NPR and New York Times won’t hesitate to run it. Probably CNN too – and ESPN if the speaker once played peewee badminton.

  20. Anonne says:

    Sadly, I tend to think that she was fired for acting like what passes for a typical Republican these days. “Have some class” – lol. That’s rich… somewhere along the way, the GOP lost all respect for Democrats as human beings and she aired what sounded to me like the typical GOP mindset. And they like to lecture about civility.

  21. Mikey says:

    @aFloridian:

    They are teenage girls.

    That’s pretty much all one needs to know.

    I’d wager a fair sum Elizabeth Lauten is not a mother of a teenaged girl. If she were, she’d have simply given a knowing smile rather than taking to social media and gnawing her own foot off.

  22. Scott says:
  23. anjin-san says:

    An interesting footnote to this story, apparently Elizabeth Lauten was herself arrested as a teenager for shoplifting.

    Question, does this mean Lauten is a “thug”?

  24. Gustopher says:

    I’m not sure the kids should be entirely off limits when used as props, but this was just mean-spirited and dumb.

    The kids’ obvious boredom and discomfort is kind of funny, and a great contrast to Obama pretending to take the turkey pardon seriously. It’s great.

    But it deserves more of a “Sasha, Mala, we feel the same way when he speaks” poke than a “Sasha, Mala, you’re low class and you dress like cheap whores” poke. And a communications director that goes for the latter really has no business directing anyone’s communications.

    I kind of want the kids to stand behind him during the State Of The Union.

  25. ernieyeball says:

    @aFloridian:..(read the St. Louis Police Officers’ Assocaiton memo on the St. Louis rams WR’s hands-up display for the tops).

    Just in case anyone misses this:

    I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products. It’s cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it’s not the NFL and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.
    SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda

    Why don’t you throw down the gauntlet Jeff.

  26. ernieyeball says:

    @Gustopher:..I kind of want the kids to stand behind him during the State Of The Union.

    This years SOTU speech was over an hour long. Apparently U want to punish them.

  27. stonetools says:

    @anjin-san:

    Ah, that does explain why they tossed her under the bus at light speed. I bet she didn’t share that little nugget of information with her boss during the hiring process.

    Talk about people in glass houses. Wow, she is even dumber than I thought.

  28. Barry says:

    @C. Clavin: “When Sarah Palin marches her kids out then their behavior is fair game…to a point.”

    That’s true. When the children strongly misbehave, people notice.

    In this case, that’s not the case. There’s a f-ing difference between eye-rolling and getting pregnant while a chastity-oathing ‘virgin’, or drunken brawling.

  29. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “Agree with Doug. If you are a communications director, then your communications should be pitch perfect. If they aren’t, then you have publicly advertised your inability to do your job.”

    We’re not talking perfection (I would not be in a moral position to open my mouth…..), but not f_cking it up totally.

  30. Barry says:

    @ernieyeball: He’s pulling the ‘it’s only a technicality’ option that is so often given to the elites.

  31. charon says:

    During the Clinton years, this kind of trash talking was confined to sources like Rush Limbaugh.

    Now, it has become so normalized that even Congressional staff engages in it.

    One more indication of how fast and hard the pendulum is swinging in the neo-Confederate direction in the modern GOP.

  32. Barry says:

    @Franklin: “I’m just curious when the last time Lauten was at a bar.”

    Yesterday, I’d bet 🙂

  33. Barry says:

    @ernieyeball: “This years SOTU speech was over an hour long. Apparently U want to punish them.”

    The modern version of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ is ‘don’t embarrass the teenager and spoil the teenager’ 🙂

    If they’re not going ‘MoooooooooooooooOOOM!’ or ‘DaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAD!’ then they’re up to no good 🙂

  34. pylon says:

    Jenos, you are not capable of embarrassment.

    That is all.

  35. michael reynolds says:

    Don’t ever stick your nose into someone else’s family. Not their marriage, not their child-rearing, not even the way adult children deal with their own parents. A family is sui generis, it creates its own dynamic, its own rules.

  36. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You keep prattling on about “substance” or the lack thereof in the comments that others make. Is this your idea of substance?

    Wait, I withdraw the question. What’s the point? You are who you are.

  37. Kari Q says:

    If you’re someone’s communications director, you should never ever ever say anything critical about someone’s children in an official communication. No matter what it is or if it is justified. There is just no reason to do it. No good can possibly come from criticizing the Obama girls, or the Bush girls, or anyone’s children. Leave that to comedians.

    The only time you should talk about someone’s child is to praise them. Period.

    And yes, this would extend to the Palin family. Let others do the criticizing if it is merited. It won’t help your boss if you do it.

  38. Jim Henley says:

    Sasha and Malia are roughly 16 and 13. Lauten’s “spot at the bar” crack was, plain and simple, an attempt at slutshaming teenagers. That’s contemptible.

  39. anjin-san says:

    Looking at the photo of the girls, dressed as they are, they could easily be modeling for a high end clothing catalog. What exactly is objectable here?

    This comes from beyond the fever swamps.

  40. sam says:

    This isn’t the first time she’s put her foot in her cybermouth:

    Aide: I sent Stephen Fincher ‘shagging’ tweet:

    Accidentally posting something to social media about a love for “shagging” can cause issues — especially when the accident involves a post to your boss’s official Twitter account.

    This is what Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), said happened to her when a post meant to appear on her own Facebook page unexpectedly posted to her boss’s account.

    “God I love this song. And beach music. AND shagging #pandora,” the tweet from Fincher’s verified account read on Tuesday, accompanied by a picture of a Pandora playlist playing the song “I Love Beach Music” by The Embers.

    Oh, and yeah:

    The staffer also insists that “shagging” was not a sexual reference, but a form of dance.

    “Shagging is dancing to me, and it was no big deal being a North Carolina girl,” Lauten said.

    OK. But somebody with pretensions to being a “communications director” should have known that…oh, what the hell.

  41. Jim Henley says:

    She’s right enough on “shagging.” There used to be a radio station along the Carolina beaches that played “shagging music,” meaning music suitable for that particular dance form. I’m not going to pile on her for that. Slut-shaming other parents’ kids in public is bad enough all on its own.

  42. sam says:

    Well, if I was piling on, then I suppose I owe her an apology. But my point was that someone who’s in the communications bidness ought to know that the word ‘shag’ has a definite reference to something other than dancing outside the narrow confines of the Carolina coast. I mean, has she never seen Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me? On second thought, maybe she hasn’t..

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Wow, where was all this outrage when John Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court?

    In case many have (conveniently) forgotten, Mrs. Roberts appeared to flinch or something when her son’s name was mentioned. That led to tons of speculation that he might be gay or something.

    Then, when it turned out that he was all of five years old, they kept digging and discovered he’d been adopted. The New York Times actually petitioned to have the adoption records unsealed.

    But yeah, this was a stupid move, and she deserved to be fired. As wrong as it is, she should have remembered that there’s a double standard at play, and she’s on the side that’s actually held accountable.

  44. EddieInCA says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Dude. That’s not any better.

    You’re in a hole. Stop digging.

    Just stop.

  45. Paul Hooson says:

    Simply outrageous! A joke is a joke. Over at Wizbang this was a funny caption contest photo last week. Losing a job over telling a joke is fascism….

  46. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Paul Hooson:

    [Anything that disagrees with my worldview] is fascism….

    FIFY

  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Anonne:

    She violated the 1st Commandment of the Hill – “Thou Shalt Not Embarrass Thine Boss”

    That said, any PR person who screws up a public statement this badly should expect to be fired allowed to resign …

  48. Gustopher says:

    @Paul Hooson: You have a terrible sense of humor if you think that is a joke. There’s a difference between making a joke and just being hateful with obnoxious insults.

    The picture is funny, and funny comments could be made of it, but this woman’s comments were just hateful.

    And it’s not fascism to fire a communications director over crappy communication.

  49. Paul Hooson says:

    @Gustopher: Those girls sure had a “I’d like to be anywhere but here look”. Like it or not, first families often become humor. George Bush and his family often became the butt of jokes, and even some photos of Jenna Bush changing her swimsuit in a public place made it to the Internet as well. They are all public figures and fair game as much as presidents don’t want family members to be….

  50. Pinky says:

    @charon:

    Now, it has become so normalized that even Congressional staff engages in it.

    Yeah, you can’t go anywhere these days without hearing conservatives making fun of the president’s children. (D’oh!)

  51. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Mikey: I’m not sure that the point wasn’t really to take a shot a President and Mrs. Obama and their “respect for the country” (not to mention their parenting skills).

    She got the dog whistle in ok, she just picked the wrong time to do it.

  52. Moderate Mom says:

    @sam: She’s not British, so I’ve got to cut her some slack on this. If you’re from the Carolinas, or have ever been to the beaches in the Carolinas, you would know what shagging is.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_shag

  53. Gustopher says:

    @Paul Hooson: it’s not the look of the girls…

    The post read, “Dear Sasha and Malia, … 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.”

    It continued, “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.

    That’s a bit beyond “those kids look bored”. That’s not a good natured joke. That’s someone being a complete asshole, while speaking for a congressman.

    I get that the Republican slime machine churns out far worse about the President on a daily basis, and that a certain type of person find that funny, but these are kids.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    but they at least were over 18 at the time and were engaging an activity that, technically at least, was a violation of the law.

    Yeah, Michael Brown was over 18 and jaywalking is technically a crime….

  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: An interesting footnote to this story, apparently Elizabeth Lauten was herself arrested as a teenager for shoplifting.

    I just picked up on this. Why on earth are this woman’s juvenile records public? Aren’t they supposed to be sealed? Or is that just for people like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin?

  56. gVOR08 says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker:

    She got the dog whistle in ok, she just picked the wrong time to do it.

    I expect she was very effective for her boss back in Tennessee with this kind of stuff. She failed to recognize that DC is a different game. Now she’s back to the minors.

  57. charon says:

    @Pinky:

    Over at Hot Air, the right blogger is already justifying Ms. Lauten, like that sort of stuff perfectly reasonable and common.

  58. charon says:

    @charon:

    Ms. Lauten is the new right wing hero(ine), like George Zimmerman and Darrell Wilson.

  59. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Nice attempt at diversion.
    The court records don’t matter…her hypocrisy, so typical of Republicans, does.

  60. C. Clavin says:

    I have to say…my parents (with 4 boys) probably would have killed for children who behaved as “badly” as these two.

  61. Pinky says:

    @charon: It looks like Noah Rothman has written two articles over there on this subject. On what points do you disagree with him?

  62. charon says:

    @Pinky:

    1) Final sentence.

    2) Downplaying the offensiveness of the slut shaming. Plus , I saw nothing in the girls clothing to justify the baseless slut-shaming. Perhaps this person perceived slutty clothing where none existed because of the sort of bias that colors how she and many other right-wing people perceive things.

    3) No mention of the offensive remarks directed at President and First Lady. (In my view, the real point of the exercise).

    4) False analogy – norms for press behaviour are not norms for partisan Congressional staff. No examples given of professional politicians getting away with such behaviour, thus claim that outrage is “selective” is bogus.

    If you have kids, do you accept “Johnny does it” as a valid excuse for bad behaviour?

  63. dmhlt says:

    @anjin-san:
    You just had to chuckle on learning that Liz was arrested for shoplifting as a teen.

    It’s true: Karma Is a Bitch!

    (Then again, apparently so is Liz.)

  64. Pinky says:

    @charon: How can you call the comments slut-shaming without calling the Obama kids sluts?

  65. Jim Henley says:

    @Pinky:

    How can you call the comments slut-shaming without calling the Obama kids sluts?

    Ha ha! Homey don’t play that.

    Man, the dumb shit these right-wingers think we’ll fall for.

  66. Pinky says:

    @Jim Henley: Fall for what? I don’t think that Charon is calling the kids sluts. I really don’t. I can’t imagine it, based on his writing. It just doesn’t make sense to me that he’d use the term “slut-shaming”. It *is* possible to ask a sincere question on the internet.

    As for the rest of his comments, I don’t think they hold water, and I don’t see as Rothman is guilty of what Charon accuses him of. But I at least understand them, and he’s free to put whatever he wants to out there.

  67. Pinky says:

    @Jim Henley: And seriously, Jim, outside of the troll mind, people don’t get points for making people fall for things. (Not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll, either.)

  68. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I just picked up on this. Why on earth are this woman’s juvenile records public? Aren’t they supposed to be sealed? Or is that just for people like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin?

    Well, thank god she wasn’t eating skittles while she tweeted out her critique of the Obama daughters, she might have been shot by George Zimmerman.

  69. KM says:

    The simple fact is this woman is incompetent at her job. Her job is literally to say the right things in public venues and make sure her boss’ Office is saying the right things at all times. Yes, Facebook and Twitter are public places even if you personally don’t feel they are. She gets paid for the following to not happen ever: embarrassments to the Office, public outrage to ensue, Twitterstorms and hashtagivism in her name. This is not her first major screw-up either so she’s had her second chance and blew it. That’s it, you’re done, don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

    Her stupidity is her own and her own damn fault – we can debate the merits, politics, social implications, etc till the Internet runs out of space. This woman is bad at her job, period. Only an idiot would have her on now…. which means she’ll have a new job on the Hill shortly.

  70. anjin-san says:

    This photo is allegedly of Elizabeth Lauten. Kinda funny if it is really her.

  71. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    I don’t think that Charon is calling the kids sluts. I really don’t.

    OK, Pinky, I will play. Why on earth would anyone bring dressing like you deserve a spot at the bar into a discussion about a 13 year old child if that was not what they were trying to do?

    Why mention the girls attire at all? They look like they are coming from a Neiman Marcus catalog shoot. There is nothing, repeat nothing wrong with the way they are dressed.

    Unless of course, you are a professional communicator trying to insert a dog whistle along the lines of “if they were nice girls the would be wearing penny loafers & socks with little poodles on them, sensible slacks, and cardigan sets.”

    Lauten’s comments are indefensible.

  72. EddieInCA says:

    @anjin-san:

    Lauten’s comments are indefensible.

    Obviously not, as Pinky and Jenos so ably demonstrate.

  73. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: I said that I don’t think Charon is calling the kids sluts.

  74. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    From the wiki:

    Slut shaming (also hyphenated, as slut-shaming) is a concept in human sexuality. It is a neologism used to describe the act of making a person, especially a woman, feel guilty or inferior for certain sexual behaviors, circumstances or desires that deviate from traditional or orthodox gender expectations, or that which may be considered to be contrary to natural or religious law. Some examples of circumstances where women are “slut-shamed” include: violating accepted dress codes by dressing in sexually provocative ways

    Charon wasn’t calling the girls sluts, he/she was pointing out that the original comment about the girls was slut shaming and the article discussed was defending that slut shaming. It was a particularly ridiculous bit of slut shaming given that the girls were not in any way dressed provocatively, but that is what Lauten was doing with her seat at the bar comment in reference to a 13 and 16 year old.

  75. anjin-san says:

    @Pinky:

    I said that I don’t think Charon is calling the kids sluts.

    Yea, the incredibly lame attempt at diversion is noted and dismissed. Since that appears to be all you have, I think it’s safe to assume you have no problem with GOP Congressional staffers attacking the President’s children.

  76. Pharoah Narim says:

    I would have guessed our conservative trolls would agree that this Thug POS got what she deserved. Looks like a closet libruhl hippie to me.

  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @EddieInCA: Her comments are indefensible… and totally bush league.

    Fortunately, she made her remarks at just the right time to suck all the oxygen away from the cases of Donny Ray Williams and Terrence Bean, so the One Minute Hate on her served its purpose.

  78. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Donny Ray Williams and Terrence Bean

    And they have what exactly to do with the topic at hand?

  79. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: The topic at hand is a nobody spokestool for a nobody Rep said something stupid, and it sucked all the oxygen away from other stories, such as a top Obama fundraiser and buddy and founder of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights group, being arrested for raping a 15-year-old boy, just to cite one example.

    “Nobody says something stupid” is, obviously, far more newsworthy than “major fundraiser and activist arrested for child rape,” as long as the right letters of political affiliation follow the names.

    New York Times hasn’t touched it, Washington Post hasn’t touched it, CNN barely mentioned it. But we have all this information on this aide’s college writings, other Facebook postings, even her juvenile criminal record.

    Oh, and while I’m mentioning CNN, Carol Costello still has her job, after laughing uproariously about “quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across” — Bristol Palin tearfully describing her assault to police.

    If the video doesn’t work there, feel free to see it here.

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    So, what happens when the political affiliation of the person who says something stupid line up appropriately?

    Five days after Elizabeth Lauten published a Facebook post criticizing the outfits worn by President Barack Obama’s daughters, the previously obscure Republican Hill staffer is being inundated with threatening messages and major media outlets are pouring resources into tracking her moves and digging into her past.

    Two network news vans camped outside of Lauten’s parents home in North Carolina on Tuesday, one day after she resigned as communication director for Rep. Steven Fincher (R., Tenn.) due to the controversy. Lauten was not at the house.

    That morning, the Washington Post also assigned one of its foreign affairs correspondents to comb through an archive of columns Lauten wrote for her college newspaper in 2006 and 2007. The investigation found that Lauten had supported intervention in Darfur, criticized Facebook as an invasion of privacy, and warned people against “making race an issue.”

    Plus her juvenile criminal record was exposed.

    If there’s an alternate explanation for all this attention besides her party affiliation (or, technically, the affiliation of her now-former employer), I’d be curious to hear it.

  81. Pinky says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That morning, the Washington Post also assigned one of its foreign affairs correspondents to comb through an archive of columns Lauten wrote for her college newspaper in 2006 and 2007.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.