The principal assumption about personal criticism in Washington seems to be that everyone is fair game and only an over the top rebuke is likely to get noticed, so swing for the fences.
Lauten chose to use Facebook to disparage the president’s teenage daughters, Sasha and Malia, for their clothing and their attitudes during a ritual press conference to pardon a pair of turkeys just before Thanksgiving.
In the process she discovered that there are still rules of conduct in Washington, although they are unwritten because putting them in writing would codify a sense of decency, which suggests weakness.
How can we afford that?
Lauten resigned yesterday, jettisoned by the party for stepping over an invisible, but obvious, line.
In the absence of an actual rule about this, perhaps an aphorism would be enough – a very brief, pithy saying that carries more than its share of obvious truth.
I tried to write an aphorism about this, but alas, I am too wordy. A clumsy rhyme, however, is something I can do.
When you take to the Facebook to chastise the youth
take care whom you choose to call out as uncouth.
Though it’s fun to disparage and cool to embitter
take heed when when your snark begins trending on Twitter.
The clothing you hate and the eye rolls you dread
are a preview – the next thing to roll is your head.
When have you crossed the invisible line?