Barack Obama’s open-mic comments to Russian President Medvedev gave us a terrifying insight into the true mindset of our president.

You remember the incident. Mistakenly thinking his remarks were inaudible, Obama told Medvedev he needed a little “space” for his missile-defense plans. This year’s election is his last, he reminded the Russian, but after that he will be more “flexible” to work with.

Obama’s loyal corps of apologists in the mainstream media rushed to his defense. The rock-solid New York Times abandoned independent thinking to opine that really important people talk to each other like that all the time, as if honesty and integrity become beneath you when you reach a certain level. Others actually approved of the president’s “candor.”

But they’re attempting to defend the indefensible. This is no normal gaffe like having been to “all 57” states or an offensive opinion like his reference to the unsophisticated folks who are “bitter clingers” to their guns and religion. This is intent to deceive the American people pure and simple.

His message to Medvedev was this: If I tell the American people that I plan to give in to your demands on missile defense, they won’t like it and I will be punished politically. So I’ll tell them what they want to hear for now and after the election I’ll be there for you. What other interpretation is there?

Of course, Medvedev understood completely. That’s how they do it in Russia. But in America, our government is traditionally of, by and for the people. We are not used to being disrespected by our leaders and treated like dupes for their political gain.

It’s hard to understand why, for Obama, winning the approval of Vladimir Putin is more important than protecting Americans in a dangerous world. Sure, the administration denied they would be “flexible” on missile defense when they were trying to shepherd the New Start treaty through the Senate last year. But the American Left has a long history of being curiously opposed to our country doing what it can to protect itself from missile strikes.

Missile defense is a strategy that should have broad appeal to pacifists, isolationists, hawks and all of us hoping for a secure future. But the Left has ridiculed “Star Wars” since it first was envisioned by President Reagan. They adamantly oppose funding it, then they pooh-pooh the scientific breakthroughs that are achieved in spite of the obstacles they throw in the way. Even after missile defense proved a key factor in ending the Cold War, their opposition was unabated.

Russia today is poking us in the eye around the globe, from Syria to Iran to Eastern Europe. Does their belligerence warrant having a missile shield in place against them? That’s hard to say, but the Russians’ attitude is alarming. Tellingly, their top priority is keeping us from having interceptors for their missiles. In other words, it is highly important to them to be able to protect their massive investments in nuclear warheads that can be used to threaten and intimidate us.

In that case, why would we ever agree to make ourselves more vulnerable? How would we explain that to Ronald Reagan? He made the world vastly safer by pursuing the opposite strategy.

President Obama’s willingness to prostrate us before the Russians reveals a leader with little regard for his own nation. He seems highly influenced by far left radicals who see in America only imperialism, racism and greed, not the world center of liberty and opportunity for all. For Obama, there’s apparently nothing here that warrants any special protection.

Maybe we need more “open mics” to find out what his real plans are for a second term. Would he really obstruct our chance to become energy independent with our newfound fuel reserves? Would he spend even more on entitlements and drive us deeper into debt? Would he go ahead with crippling taxes on our economy? What are his real plans regarding “comprehensive immigration reform,” i.e. amnesty? What about the growth of labor unions and voter fraud?

Nobody knows and that’s the problem. We have a president who doesn’t level with us. His second term would likely be a nasty shock.

East Valley resident Tom Patterson ( is a retired physician and former state senator.

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