You’ve probably heard about Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director of Republican Representative Stephen Fincher, who complained that Malia and Sasha Obama weren’t showing “class” while their father presided over the somber tradition of pardoning a turkey for Thanksgiving. After thousands of people on Facebook and Twitter accused her of bullying the First Children, Lauten realized she was wrong. She didn’t put it that way, of course; she said, “After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were.” Does anyone really believe that? I’m sure after the criticisms started coming fast and hard, she spent some time praying. Her Twitter description reads, “Loves GOD, cats & all things pink, green and pearls!” (See the photo!) It is amazing how enlightened all that God-love makes a person.
But I don’t really care. Lauten is yet another in a long line of conservatives who hate all things liberal. Remember when Rush Limbaugh complained about Chelsea Clinton being ugly? Of course, Limbaugh isn’t much of a Christian — if he is one at all. But Ms Lauten is ostentatiously Christian. And yet it didn’t stop her from dumping all over a couple of children just because she doesn’t like the political party of their parents. As I argue around here a lot: American Christianity doesn’t mean much; it’s just tribalism; it is very hard to find any actual theology in it.
What most struck me in Lauten’s little rant is something she has made no further mention of, “Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter…” You’ve got to love this kind of facile disregard of the President and First Lady. How exactly is it that they don’t respect their positions? And the idea that they don’t respect the country is really too vile. Lauten is, after all, a member of the conservative political party. That’s the party of, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This is the party of, “Love it or leave it!” This is the party of, “Better dead than red!” It reminds me of this David Cross routine:
That’s the thing, right? I discussed it recently, Conservatives Love “America,” Hate America. The conservative love for our country is totally contingent upon the country being a certain way. And this is why they claim that it was totally unacceptable to criticize President Bush even while they claim that Obama is some foreign “other” who hates the country and probably doesn’t even have a Constitutional right to be president. Really, it is all just the fact that conservatives have wrapped themselves in the flag for so long that the rest of us mistake that for patriotism. But the truth is that they love the flag and hate the country. And you can see this in the fact that they are more and more blunt in their love for the Confederacy.
Elizabeth Lauten, of course, is a good Christian who prays and asks her parents for guidance on what she should do when she publicly shames teenage girls for the sin of not being born to Republican parents. But that doesn’t make her different from any other Republican. That just shows that the the whole Christian “family values” routine is just as much of an act as we always thought. But don’t worry about Lauten! Conservative Christians are extremely good at forgiving themselves. For example, Lauten seems to have forgiving herself for the time when she was arrested for shoplifting when she was 17 years old. And she’ll forgive herself for this. What’s more, the Republican Party will forgive her. I’m sure she’ll soon have a good paying job in some other paleoconservative’s office.