As I imagine you already know, Elizabeth Lauten, a staffer for Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, has issued an apology for this Facebook attack on Malia and Sasha Obama, posted after they (understandably) responded to the pardoning of a ceremonial Thanksgiving turkey with eye-rolls.
The apology for what she said about the Obamas' daughters seems sincere:
I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager. 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. Please know that these judgmental feelings truly have no pace in my heart. Furthermore, I'd like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.But I guess this congressional staffer doesn't feel any need to apologize for saying that the president and first lady "don't respect their positions that much, or the nation for that matter." I guess when there's a Democratic president it's not necessary for political opponents who work in the government to concede that, while people may disagree on policy, the president and first lady love their country and are trying to do what they think is best for it. I think it's safe to say that if a Democratic congressional staffer had said that about not just the Bush twins but George W. Bush and Laura, even at W's lowest point in popularity, it would have been conceded that the staffer went way over the line. Obama? No problem. (It wouldn't have been considered a problem in the Clinton years, either, I'd say.)
I don't know if Elizabeth Lauten is the sort of person who believes every Facebook post and email forward claiming that, say, Michelle Obama failed to put her hand over her heart during a salute to the flag on Veterans Day (not true), or that President Obama is uniquely disrespectful to his Oval Office desk (he isn't), but the notion that the president and first lady hate America and its institutions is widespread on the right, and is reinforced by a steady stream of assertions like this, big and small.
The mainstream press just shrugs. Ron Fournier probably thinks that Republicans wouldn't think Obama hates America if Obama would just lead more effectively.
And so a ridiculous, meaningless ceremony -- which became an annual ritual for presidents only in the past 25 years -- leads to claims that the president disrespects his office. And Lauter will get away with saying that.