I'm sure that President Obama and his wife have done their best to prepare their daughters for the idea that there are crazy people out there whose hatred for their father extends to them (although it's not a job I envy). But it's difficult to prepare for this, posted on the website (a site so offensive that I didn't link to it) of the Westboro "Baptist" Church, which has organized an anti-gay protest outside of Sidwell Friends, the school the Obama girls attend: "Quakers?! Are you frigging kidding me? You pretend to be all non-violent, and you allow the most bloody, deceitful, evil, murderous bastard and his shemale sidekick to place their satanic spawn within your four walls?"
It's hard to imagine any parents or teachers keeping their cool under these circumstances. That kind of of venom, directed at a pair of very young girls, sounds like the kind of crazy that sparked incidents like 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, and possibly the shooting at Fort Hood, the victims of which the President was remembering even as these protesters awaited their close-up.
But according to TPM LiveWire , the school refused to engage.
"We support the First Amendment here, so there was nothing we wanted to do about it," [a spokesman] said. "There was nothing they did other than offend those who didn't agree with their bigoted viewpoints."
Offend, indeed-I can't imagine anyone of any political stripe who wouldn't be offended by this attempt to terrorize a pair of grade-schoolers. But the school's response was measured and cool. Be offended, if you wish, but the best thing to do is just look away.