Picking on the Obama Girls Isn’t Smart, Especially if You Work for a GOP Congressman

She Matters: Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, found out the hard way what happens when you go after Sasha and Malia.

President Barack Obama speaks as his daughters, Sasha and Malia, look on before the president pardons turkeys Cheese and Mac, both 20 weeks old and 48 pounds, at the White House on Nov. 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama speaks as his daughters, Sasha and Malia, look on before the president pardons turkeys Cheese and Mac, both 20 weeks old and 48 pounds, at the White House on Nov. 26, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Editor’s note: Elizabeth Lauten resigned on Monday.

Blame the alcohol in the eggnog, delirium from too much stuffing or simply bad judgment for causing Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), to flip out on Facebook over the first daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama.

After reading an article linked on Facebook from the conservative site Mad World News about how the Obama daughters “unleash[ed] their annoyance” at President Barack Obama’s annual (and hokey) pre-Thanksgiving tradition of pardoning turkeys, Lauten was incensed beyond reason.

Several outlets covered the turkey pardon, and many playfully chided Sasha and Malia for giving glimpses of teenage indifference during the press conference: They folded arms, rolled eyes and twiddled thumbs as their dad awkwardly fumbled his way though a not-so-funny speech (that invoked Ben Franklin) about sparing the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese.

The girls’ looks of indifference were familiar to anyone with teenagers or anyone who once was a teenager. Most commenters on stories about the girls’ reactions laughed because while the first daughters’ expressions and body language screamed “over it,” they were also pretty harmless as far as teenagers go. Even the president mentioned that the Washington Post had “questioned the wisdom of the whole turkey pardon tradition,” so it’s not as if the girls were expressing something that no one else was thinking.

But the moment pushed Lauten over the clichéd edge and she straight lost it on her Facebook page:

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 …

Ma’am! Was that a scolding on what constitutes class from the spokeswoman of an elected official as she publicly blasted minors on her Facebook page? Are you behaving with class when you overanalyze and insult teenage girls?

In exchange for a lesson to the Obama girls on class, might I offer Lauten a word about using common sense and professionalism? Perhaps it would have behooved Lauten—a woman with a few years’ experience in social and online media, and who should have expected scrutiny as the communications director for a U.S. congressman—to refrain from attacking the president’s children.

But that snippet wasn’t even the worst part of her rant.

“Your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much,” Lauten continued, “or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

Yes, because teenagers who roll their eyes are an indication of bad parents and a lack of proper guidance. This, of course, means everyone’s parents sucked. Should teens in need of guidance look up to Lauten, a grown woman who, again, publicly attacks children on Facebook? Is this a proper role model? You tell me.

Lauten wasn’t done, though.

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