Certainly, President Bush had his faults, but it's pretty hard to imagine him laughing had a comic wished kidney failure on, say, Keith Olbermann. He never stooped to the politics of pettiness. Yet President Obama -- harbinger of hope, unity and reconciliation -- was apparently happy enough with the crack to giggle along. Tells you a lot, doesn't it?
Sykes' "joke" wouldn't really even be worth pointing out if it weren't so consistent with the left's way of operating. Check these quotes, for example -- where Nina Totenberg wishes AIDS on Jesse Helms and Julianne Malveaux wishes an early death on Clarence Thomas.
In contrast, it's virtually impossible to find any conservative of any prominence "joking" about wishing harm to President Obama, or any of his circle (and no, lefties, hoping that his administration fails in its efforts to drag this country to the left doesn't count). Those who do are roundly reproved. But don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to disagree with Sykes approach (or Obama's reaction) on the left; dissent has, apparently, gone out of fashion and lockstep conformity is in.
What's remarkable is how difficult it is for the left to acknowledge the existence of evil when it comes to a bunch of terrorists who want to kill us and openly express hate for the country -- and how easy it is for them to see evil only in their fellow citizens who have the temerity to disagree with them.