At least your gross misreading of this article should open the eyes of those who might otherwise give you the benefit of a doubt.
As a joke, my fiance once wrote a paper in her junior high English class in which she reasoned that "Ray Charles had a lot of love. God is love. Therefore, Ray Charles is God." I often think of that line of reasoning when reading these diaries.
Well, if it becomes a p.r. problem, then maybe he would have to be let go, but I don't think we're there yet - Obama and Clinton are in the best position to assess the damage. I would expect him to issue a heartfelt apology to Clinton and to receive a severe tongue-lashing from someone (maybe Rahm, he seems suited to that sort of thing), and they should make it clear to him that any more antics would result in his immediate termination. Maybe they should make him undergo some sensitivity training, too. There are probably a lot of ways to make his life unpleasant short of termination, and that's probably fairer to everyone than publicly firing him and making him walk around with the "disgraced speechwriter" tag for the rest of his career.
I won't disagree that talent often doesn't move in lockstep with maturity, and I also agree that some form of punishment is in order. I guess my comment was directed at this idea, which seems to animate some of the comments here, that the person should essentially have his career destroyed over his antics with a cardboard cutout. I don't think many people would disagree that maturity increases with age and that 27 is still an age at which someone can learn from a mistake like this, so I think termination is probably not warranted unless the person is a creep in real life.
Just to play devil's advocate, the article doesn't make clear that he uploaded the pictures - it seems quite vague on that point.
As for the youth thing, maybe it's generational or based on our own personal experiences - I'm 29 but only got out into the real world at 26, after finishing with graduate school, and I barely consider myself an 'adult' due to the fact that I had few adult responsibilities before then. There were plenty of stupid parties full of immature people in those years, despite the fact that some of the partygoers were quite accomplished, on paper, in their professional lives.
That's pretty interesting. I wonder, though, if it will also encourage more junky marketing, like broadening the definition of "organic" to include more foods that most people wouldn't think would fit that label, dishonestly advertising ethical practices, etc. Being concerned about those things is only half the battle.
I think that what may be happening is that the semi-anonymity of the internet was due in part to the fact that older generations (those who generally hold supervisory positions in the real world) were not as well-versed in using the internet as younger generations, and so the younger generations could be more open on the internet without professional repurcussions. As society becomes increasingly more net-savvy, though, people may have to be more guarded in their online activities.
So in your opinion, this picture, without any more context whatever, is an insight into the person's soul?
Look, maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but I've seen people do stupid things with cardboard cutouts before and I've also been to parties where people have done stupid things. I'm not going to pull a Bill Frist and do a snap analysis of what's going on here, particularly since this picture does not seem to have been intended to be seen by anyone other than the partygoers. And, frankly, I would feel the same way if he groped a cutout of Barack, Michelle, Bill, Hillary, McCain, Palin, Jesus, etc. It's only how he acts towards real people that is of any concern to me.
Why not? If he was groping a cutout of Obama, would we be even having this discussion? For that matter, why did you use Michelle instead of Barack in your hypothetical?
I honestly have a hard time believing that everyone here doesn't have at least one picture in their past that they would not want to be made public. The article doesn't even make clear whether he was responsible for posting it.
As an employee of an elected official, he should conduct himself at all times with maturity and decorum, and he should likely be reprimanded for this. However, judging the person's worth on a single picture completely divorced from context goes way too far for my tastes. And no, I really don't think that the leaders of the world particularly care what a recent college grad does with a cutout at a private party.
I frequent a few websites where the criticisms range from rational to semi-irrational to downright immature, at least in my opinion (David Sirota over at Openleft seems to be obsessed with creating an "us versus them" mentality with respect to Obama already - again, in my personal opinion). I don't get it. I merely expect competence and progressive policymaking, and I'm certainly willing to give the administration a grace period to take action as they see fit, especially since Obama hasn't even been sworn in yet.
I actually responded substantively to this diary despite the diarist's history because the topic was a fair one for discussion, even though the diary, in my opinion, doesn't actually contribute very much and I'm 100% positive that it was written in bad faith. That said, I believe that my response would be identical, were we talking about an Obama cardboard cutout. It's never a good idea to judge people's behavior based on strawmen.
As I wrote in the front page article, I'm a little ambivalent. I have to assume that there are public servants who have a proven record who would be superior choices. Obviously she's very intelligent, but her Wiki bio does not clarify her independent qualifications and achievements very well - she's a lawyer who has served on a number of boards, several of which are family-related. Maybe she is the best nominee, it's just that this doesn't seem like a slam-dunk choice to me.