COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama's unfortunate open mic incident continues to have unfortunate repercussions. While he hastens to try to reassure there is less than meets the ear, most people are studiously refusing to be comforted.
Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president, has pounced, according to Hot Air, suggesting Russia is our "No. 1 geopolitical foe," a phrase somewhat less succinct than "evil empire." Russia is usually an impediment to dealing with problem children around the world such as Iran and Syria. But it could be argued al-Qaida and China are bigger "foes" than Russia. Still, Romney had a point. One should not treat with a country like Russia with too much "flexibility."
PJ Media reports Poland is alarmed at the prospect of being sold down the river a second time by Obama over the subject of missile defense. The president has made it a matter of policy to treat allies such as Israel and Great Britain with unbecoming shabbiness. The countries of Eastern Europe have bitter memories of what that usually leads to.
The Obama people are in full-fledged damage control. But that horse has already galloped out of the barn. Obama, through his loose lips, has once again demonstrated that his version of "smart diplomacy" is not altogether smart. He can reassure the Poles, the Czechs and everyone that he is not going to trade away missile defense, and he will not be believed. Of course, he is saying that now, before the election. Afterward will be another story.
More importantly, from the standpoint of Obama's short-term future, he has handed a talking point to Romney and every other Republican that will be used from now until November. The spectacle of the president openly plotting with a Russian leader against the interests of his own country is one more indictment against the very idea of a second term for this president.
At least President Jimmy Carter, someone Obama is more beginning to resemble, was not caught conspiring with Leonid Brezhnev promising to cut deals on arms control and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as soon as he put away that irksome Ronald Reagan. Obama thus continues to astonish and appall.