Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Tennessee Rep. Steve Fincher and a former communications staffer for the Republican National Committee, wrote the screed against the First Daughters in a Facebook post on Thanksgiving.
In it, she scolded them for their clothes and bored looks during Wednesday’s turkey pardoning, and took aim at the President and First Lady for failing to “respect their positions.”
“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,” Lauten wrote in the post.
The post was tweeted out by a reporter for African-American media outlet The Root and quickly picked up traction across social media, prompting heavy criticism across the web. One Lauten detractorlaunched a petition on Change.org, a popular progressive organizing tool, calling for Lauten to be fired.
First, Lauten is right. Sasha and Malia were attending an official event. At 13 and 16, they are well above the age when they can be expected to dress and behave appropriately in public. Lauten’s tone was a bit sassy, but not out of bounds.
Second, it is inappropriate and troubling for people to want her fired for this. Really? She should be fired for making comments about the first family’s behavior at a public event? When did it become acceptable to deprive people of their livelihood for commenting on the first family? If Lauten had been complimentary, would people be calling for her job? Probably not.
People calling for Lauten’s job on a platter need to get a grip.