Lèse-majesté /ˌliːz ˈmædʒɨsti/ (French: lèse-majesté [lɛz maʒɛste]; Law French, from the Latin laesa maiestas, "injured majesty"; in English, also lese-majesty, lese majesty or leze majesty) is the crime of violating majesty, an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state.This definition requires a little explanation. In a nutshell, Emperors were regarded as having the mandate of God. To impugn His Majesty, was not only a crime but actual sacrilege. I.E. you'll be executed and excommunicated. To insult the King is to go straight to Hell; do not pass Go; do not collect $200.00.
This behavior was first classified as a criminal offence against the dignity of the Roman Republic of Ancient Rome. In the Dominate, or Late Empire period the emperors eliminated the Republican trappings of their predecessors and began to identify the state with their person. Although legally the princeps civitatis (his official title, meaning, roughly, 'first citizen') could never become a sovereign because the republic was never officially abolished, emperors were deified as divus, first posthumously but by the Dominate period while reigning. Deified emperors enjoyed the same legal protection that was accorded to the divinities of the state cult; by the time it was replaced by Christianity, what was in all but name a monarchical tradition had already become well established.
A GOP staffer has been forced to resign after launching a verbal assault on Malia and Sasha Obama in the wake of their appearance at their father’s annual turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House.There is an understanding in the broadcast world, that for more than six years has gripped their hearts and minds. That understanding can be summed up as Obama is taboo. You don't make jokes about Obama. You don't criticize the Obama Family. You back away. If you can't say anything complimentary, ask for help from your editor. Even comedians who have historically joked about anything and everything, tread very lightly when they consider mocking The One.
Elizabeth Lauten, who served as a communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher, criticized the two girls in a Facebook rant which eventually went viral. “Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events,” wrote Lauten.
She went on the call the first children, who largely stay out of the limelight, “classless.”
Many have argued Malia and Sasha were behaving like typical teenagers at the event. They appeared unamused by President Obama’s corny jokes and at one point Malia declined to pet the Thanksgiving turkey by simply saying, “Nah.”
Lauten has since apologized for her post, admitting, “When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager.” Lauten’s name became a trending topic amid the controversy, with over 22,000 mentions in 24 hours. Now, her resignation is “in the works.”
If you're on the government payroll, obviously, criticizing the President is still the fastest way to the unemployment line. But perhaps we've turned a corner. For six dry unfunny and stilted seasons, Saturday Night Live felt constrained, straight-jacketed, hemmed in, stymied, etc., in their humor, because for the entire history of this storied comedy show, they've mercilessly raked Presidents across the coals with humor. We haven't seen that with Obama.
But until now, Obama has gotten a pass. Was it the massive and shocking Republican wave election that repudiated the Obama regime and its policies? Was it the tone deaf response of Obama—after this humiliating defeat—to double down on the same misguided and unpopular policies?
The question of "WHO LET THE DOGS OUT" will no doubt resonate down through the ages as it intrigues the legions of historians who will dedicate careers and author innumerable dissertations studying this, the downfall of our once great republic. But today is different. A worm has turned.
I know that to most people nothing seems different. I know that to Elizabeth Lauten—who must wonder how could a Republican making a criticism of a Democrat first family be railroaded so effectively so massively, so thoroughly—the reality of Lèse-majesté fully confirmed and active has never been more apparent.
Even though a Republican appointed staffer has been shamefully forced out of a career because the mainstream media and Democrats at large collectively threw themselves to the floor squalling and beating their fists and shrieking histrionically like hysterical would-be prom queens actually jilted the day of the prom, still it's hard to see ... but things really are different. I know because I saw this SNL skit:
It's a small thing, but in effect and as a symbol it's a BIG thing. It says that maybe—in spite of Ms. Lauten—that freedom of speech just might be making a comeback—a strictly limited late-night make jokes while its still legal—comeback.