Pay no attention to those radical Islamists behind the curtain...
A large part of Obama's middle east strategy rests on the dubious notion we can deal with "moderate" Islamists running countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen.
Of course, when news leaks out that Yemen's Islamists have initiated a reign of terror that makes the French Revolution look like a Paris picnic, and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi places himself above the law by decree, it sort of makes their policy look foolish.
That's why the White House is saying there's nothing much to worry about.
The White House released a short note on Tuesday downplaying rising concerns about the growing power of Islamist theocrats in Egypt.
The White House note instead played up the relatively minor issue of economic trade, even as a pro-democracy riot broke out at Egypt's presidential palace.
Egypt's president is an Islamist who is pushing a controversial draft constitution that would establish Islam as the foundation for the nation's laws, society and business sector.
"National Security Advisor Tom Donilon met today with Assistant to the President of Egypt for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Dr. Essam el-Haddad," began the press statement, which was released 7.32 p.m. EST, after the evening TV news shows had aired.
"They discussed a broad range of issues, including our bilateral economic cooperation, joint efforts to promote regional security and build on the cease-fire in Gaza, and Egypt's democratic transition and the need to move forward with a peaceful and inclusive transition that respects the rights of all Egyptians," the statement said.
Since Nov. 22, when Egypt's president declared himself exempt from judicial rulings, White House spokesman Jay Carney has said little about the coup and turmoil.
President Barack Obama has said nothing in public on the matter, even though he pressured Egypt's army to remove the country's secular autocrat in 2011 - a move that helped the Islamist group gain the presidency and a super-majority in the country's parliament.
Tuesday's brief announcement came as thousands of pro-democracy protesters pushed up against Egypt's presidential palace, prompting a back-door exit by President Mohammed Morsi.
The contrast with the administration's reaction to Mubarak's crack down is astonishing. Morsi has gathered unto himself more power than Mubarak ever dreamed, spit in the face of most Egyptians by ramming a sharia-based constitution through parliament, and has countenanced the hiring of street gangs to beat up demonstrators. But apparently, we can ignore all of that in the interest of maintaining the fiction that there is any such person as a "moderate" Islamist.
To admit the truth would be the same as admitting the president's policy is an abject failure. Good luck getting Obama to admit that.