As an Obama fan, I can say that he did "royally" screw up. American citizens should never bow to royalty. We are always expected to bend over backwards to not offend other cultures, WHICH I DON'T MIND! After all, we are American. It is who we are. It is one reason the world looks up to us.
We don't have many of our own customs...we are still a young country and very heterogeneous. But one of our very few customs stems from our founding belief that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.
We never bow, we never courtsey.
We don't dip Old Glory either in ceremonies, but you get the drift.
It is entirely respectful for a subject of a monarch to bow, even if the monarch is a figurehead. A British national courtsies to her Queen or a Japaneese citizen bows to his emperor. But Americans do not have, nor recognize, monarchs. That is why it is appropriate to shake hands and smile, but never bow. Other countries should realize that as Americans, we don't believe in monarchs.
Yes, Obama was wrong. But all of these conservatives yelling foul are the same idiots who dismissed Ronald Reagan NOT ONLY BOWING but also BEING KNIGHTED BY THE QUEEN. This is not only wrong, but illegal.
Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution says: "No title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."
Be consistent, hypocrites.