Hunger Games, the Obama Girls and Our Post-Judgmental Society

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Hillary and ObamaThe woman Democrats seem most likely to nominate as Barack Obama’s replacement once lectured American parents how, when it comes to child-rearing, “it takes a village.”

Hilldawg may’ve been more right than she knew, Save Jerseyans.

Consider the case of an obscure House GOP aide, Elizabeth Lauten, who is getting raked over the coals today for criticizing the attire and demeanor of Malia Obama (age 16) and Sasha Obama (age 13) at this year’s annual Turkey pardoning ceremony. “I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family – try showing a little class,” Lauten, a spokeswoman for Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, shared on Facebook. “At least respect the part you play.” She added: “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.”

She took it down hours later, lamenting having “had judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager.”

Au contraire, Ms. Lauten: you’ve got a decent job on Capitol Hill in part because you likely grew up in a home with standards. Your parent(s) likely scrutinized your attire before you went out. In other words, you were judged, but not condemned (distinct but often confused concepts) by older, wiser folks who cared about your welfare. And you’re better off for it.

This young lady’s sin was going about this in the wrong way. She could’ve made the same point without directly addressing (in graphic terms) the President’s daughters and coming across as mean in so doing. But mean doesn’t make her wrong, and I’m somewhat sympathetic to her position given the extreme double standard at play here.

Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of the 'Hunger Games' movies portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence.
Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of the ‘Hunger Games’ movies portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence.

I saw Mockingjay Part 1 over the weekend, the first installment of the third chapter in the popular Hunger Games trilogy. It’s a series set in a dystopian world where children are forced to kill other children with arrows, explosives, swords, whatever, for the entertainment of the antagonists.

Whoa, right? That’s remarkably heavy stuff for kids to consume. The justification? Art, of course, and a core blend message implicating friendship/courage/democracy/the evils of war, etc and so on. So the baby-faced protagonist gladiator, Katniss Everdeen, is idolized as a heroine.

My honest-to-goodness question: why are our young women/girls ready for that violent message? But they can’t take a little fashion criticism?

And by the way, even Hillary Clinton is beating a new drum these days, acknowledging that “parents are a child’s first teachers, and the family is the first school.”

So maybe this is just the latest example of the House GOP stepping in to fill an Obama-generated leadership vacuum? An assist from the village, if you will, where the President and his nutritionist-in-chief decided to stop parenting?

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11 thoughts on “Hunger Games, the Obama Girls and Our Post-Judgmental Society

  1. @Joanne The GOP staffer at issue didn’t go about this in the right way. Granted. But at the same time, how can we say that discussion of the Leader of the Free World’s parenting is completely off limits? I don’t think we can.

  2. @Theodore You want to talk about disasters? Have you been sleeping under a rock for the past 6 years? Did the GOP win a historic House Majority last month on John Boehner’s good looks? You’re in denial, dude…

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