01 December 2014

Another Embarrasment Departs

Elizabeth Lauten was until recently, a highly placed staffer for a Republican Congressman. Over the weekend, she ended her career when she Tweeted a nasty attack on Sasha and Malia Obama. The sisters, looking like bored teenagers attended the "pardoning" ceremony for Mac and Cheese, the two lucky turkeys Mr. Obama, "pardoned" this year.

This whole ceremony is a recent tradition. Mr. Truman began it in 1947. It appears a number or the "pardoned" turkeys were eaten over the years, but of late they have been given a chance to live out their lives on a farm.

The simple fact is the whole thing is sort of silly. But, silly can be cute, and America can use some cute in its excessively partisan world. One of the rules, not one in concrete or law, but deeply in custom, is that politicians do not attack each other's kids. Ms. Lauten broke that rule. Now she has, "resigned." "Resigned" is frequently in political circles a nice word for "fired." I do not know exactly what happened, whether she offered to resign or was asked. The impact of her lack of restraint is clear.

In our 24 hour, 7 day a week news cycle, with social media at the ready every moment, any lapse can be and likely will be costly. The question is should that be the way we live? Yes, the comment was beyond rude. And yes, it broke to no kids ar attacked rule. And yes Mr. & Mrs. Obama have stayed quiet and "above the fray" as the saying goes. And yes, Ms. Lauten has paid for her error.

My only question is should that be the result? Actually, I have two questions. The other has to do with the, "talk show hosts" who make her lack of manners look like great behaviour. How do they keep their jobs and influence?

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