Public officials are parodied all the time. In Huntsville, Utah, Barack Obama was parodied with a “Huntsville Welcomes Obama’s Farewell Tour?” On the back of a car was a reference to the disastrous Fast and Furious program: “Ask about our assault gun plan. Call Eric Holder.”
I suppose someone could make a connection about “farewell tour” and “assault gun” and somehow suggest that is suppose to be a threat to the president. But if things have degenerated that far in free speech, then the First Amendment may as well be stricken from the Constitution. Nevertheless, the local sheriff’s department contacted the Secret Service because some people interpreted the parody as a threat to the president.
Parodying presidents is as old as the Republic. Some of the past parodies with Obama have been offensive. They have been racially tinged or have alluded to violence. This one? Not really. The injustice here is not what is being done to Obama, but trying to bring the intimidation of the Secret Service into what is a First Amendment right. It even has the mayor suggesting that next year things like this may not be allowed. If Romney is elected, that would be just in time for his presidency.