Republican communications director resigns after bashing president’s daughters on Facebook

President Barack Obama pardons Cheese, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, during a presentation held in the Grand Foyer of the White House. --- Image by © Evan Golub/Demotix/Corbis

Recall the times when you were cyber bullied.

Anonymous submissions on Formspring, backhanded compliments on Facebook photos and mean messages sent on Tumblr impacted your self-esteem greatly.

You remember reading through the malicious comments made by anonymous people on the internet or by cruel peers. Immature digs like “you’re so ugly” or “no boys like you” cut deep.

These put-downs are like wounds, and although they heal, they leave a scar that constantly reminds you of your inadequacies as you went through middle school, high school and even college.

These particular attacks on minuscule imperfections affect your physiological condition– especially if you are young. If you take these words to heart, you may begin to obsess and overanalyze on aesthetic differences that you didn’t notice before.

Looking back on these now, the bullying and adversity you faced made you stronger. You developed a thicker skin and a better perception and understanding of “sense of self.” You recognized your differences from others, and over time, learned to accept them.

But what if you are unable to move past that stage of constant scrutiny and criticism by people you didn’t know? And what if the amount of critique you faced was multiplied by a thousand?

That is the exact situation Sasha and Malia Obama have been faced with since their father was elected to office in 2008.

For six years they have grown up under the spotlight. And this spotlight isn’t constricted to purely superficial commentary. It extends beyond to politics, world news and anything else that pertains to the president. They have been blamed and attacked by multitudes of people for being Obama’s offspring.

The most recent criticism the two teenagers faced was by former communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) Elizabeth Lauten. Lauten posted a distasteful “open letter” on Facebook criticizing Sasha and Malia’s appearance at the annual White House turkey pardon ceremony.

She wrote to the daughters, first asking for them to “try showing a little more class.”

The following is the continuation of her letter:

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.

After reading this, I have so many things to say.

First, why would you, Elizabeth Lauten, as a grown woman, choose to cyberbully two children as a means to express your detestation for Obama’s presidency? I have no problem with you disliking the Democratic ruling of this country currently, but belittling children and attacking their character because their parents are Democrats is no way to go about expressing your “concern” for this matter– especially as a communications director.

Furthermore, what significant problem did you have with their attire and facial expressions? The fact that you paid more attention to two children rather than the president’s speech during this ceremony only shows me that you have a lack of attention span. They are children: aged thirteen and sixteen. While they did have a few moments (captured all on hundreds of cameras, mind you) looking a bit tired and lethargic, don’t you think they’ll be getting enough backlash for that without you needing to add your snobby input? And by the way, I believe the majority of the nation, especially parents, can agree Sasha and Malia demonstrated normal, non-disruptive and well-behaved manners throughout this long ceremony.

Finally, your not-so-subtle indication regarding Sasha and Malia’s “inappropriate attire” is not at all relevant or correct. Both the dress and skirt were past finger length as seen in multiple press photos (the common measurement used to see how short an article of clothing can be by putting your arms straight by your side). Both girls were covered and did not show any overly sexual appearance (Sasha wore a sweater and Malia wore tights for goodness sake). And both girls, in my opinion, are far too young to even be considering dressing for a “spot at the bar.” I repeat: they are thirteen and sixteen. If you are somehow implying that you dressed a scandalous way at a young age to do so, then that is your doing and perception; I’m sure it was not theirs.

Now that Lauten has formally resigned, it is safe to say there is one less person here to attack the fragile self-esteem of two girls. To me, it does not matter if you support Obama or not. As a decent human being, it is implied that young children of any public figure are off-limits. They are not Obama. Yes, they are his offspring. Yes, they love him and yes, they support him. But that gives you no right to attack and berate them for it- it was not their choosing. They are simply two children growing up in an already overly criticized world, and you ma’am, are not helping.

P.S. Don’t bother with that shallow apology. No one wants to hear about you trying to shed a few crocodile tears.

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