Make no mistake about it. If Egypt goes down, and the Islamists seize power, Barack Obama is Jimmy Carter. And he will achieve the same electoral success with his reelection effort.
Hosni Mubarak has now called out the army to stem the unrest. We’ll see if they’ll fire on their own people.
No discussion of his private urgings toward Mubarak to reform politically will save Obama from the charge he “lost” Egypt if Mubarak goes down the toilet. Even if the charge is no better that partially fair, Mubarak is Obama’s baby to lose.
Not since Jimmy Carter “lost” Iran have the consequences of the overthrow of a moderate Arab dictator been so fraught with gloomy possibilities.
While he’s busy focused on electric car batteries, the president better be sure he’s doing whatever limited things he can to prop up Mubarak. Reform can come later. That is, if Obama doesn’t want to be Jimmy Carter.