I suppose most of you–among the American contingent, at least–have by now heard about Elizabeth Lauten’s ill-considered, vile attack on President Obama’s teen-aged daughters, Sasha(16), and Malia(13). I’ve been busy with family for the past three days, so I’m a little late to the game, but I had to take an opportunity to say my piece. First, in case you missed it, here’s the skinny: Every year the President does this corny bit in which he “pardons” a couple of turkeys before going inside the White House to, um, have a nice turkey dinner. It’s silly, but silly in a fun, nice, old-fashioned way. The teenaged Obamas, as teens tend to be, were unimpressed in a very obvious, expertly ambivalent way.
Anyone who has ever known a teenager knows those faces. Annoying? Sure. But also an opportunity: anyone who has never mocked a child who is making that face hasn’t truly lived. I enjoy it on an almost daily basis.
Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) obviously has not had the pleasure, addressing the humorous image with a fusillade of angry denigration, publicly ridiculing President Obama’s children with a shockingly aggressive, repugnant, and inexcusable venom while taking a few oblique shots at the President and Mrs. Obama at the same time.
I ought not to be surprised–I like to joke that the only group I detest more than Democrats is Republicans, but the fact is that in the outright nasty department it takes one hell of an aggressive liberal to out-insult a conservative. Just think on Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and all those gap-toothed inbreds who insist on writing italicizing the President’s middle name, Barack Hussein Obama like it matters. In the low blows department, these people are whacking at ankles with croquet mallets and laughing all the way to their meetings with Wall Street swindlers and CEO’s of offshore-based corporations. Why wouldn’t they take aim at innocent children, especially given the enthusiastic, muttering hate of a small but vocal minority of the far right for the President?
A lot of folks are calling for Ms. Lauten’s head on a platter, or a least for her swollen cankles to be compelled to take their place in an unemployment line. Not me. I don’t give a shit. Apologies have been demanded, but I don’t care about those, either–I’d rather the bitch stood adamantly behind her words then to cower behind insincere, politically expedient words scripted by a public relations consultant.
What really irks me is the script Ms. Lauten followed when the inevitable apology oozed out of her office.
What a load of cow pies, right?
“Blah, blah, blah I want to keep my job blah blah blah AFTER MANY HOURS OF PRAYER…blah blah blah.” That’s what I read.
I loathe this shit. When I’ve tried to help people understand poetry, one of the tactics I suggested was to re-read a particular work with an eye towards visualizing each metaphorical element, then think about how they fit into the narrative. That strategy can be instructive in this situation as well: just imagine Ms. Lauten on her knees, hands folded in front of her, communing with His Holy Humungousness–for “many hours,” on Thanksgiving Day no less, over her venal skewering of a couple of innocent teenaged girls. “Whatta ya think, G-Dawg, was that too much?”
I’m hear to tell you: that doesn’t mean a gawd-durned thing. I don’t give a good damn how much she prayed after the fact, playing the God Card now is a small, petty, and wholly transparent response. Thinking that we’ll fall for such a cynical bit of ass-covering nonsense is, at best, gravely insulting. Furthermore, I’m tired of self-professed Christians acting like supreme, sociopathic asshats until they’re called on it, only to step back, shove God in our faces, and ask forgiveness. We’re smarter than that. We see through you.
I mean: I’m an atheist, I don’t go to Church unless someone is dead or getting married, but somehow I know better than to act this way. Why don’t they? The truth is that they do. They know, but they just don’t care. Christian morality is little more than part of the costume they wear, like a prostitute in a corset and push-up bra, to seduce the weak and the idiotic.
Note: It seems Ms. Lauten isn’t alone in her cynical use of Christianity to serve her own wickedness. This is her employer: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/05/22/gop-congressman-stephen-fincher-on-a-mission-from-god-starve-the-poor-while-personally-pocketing-millions-in-farm-subsidies/