“Don’t do stupid s—” is the president’s formula for avoiding foreign entanglements, but “stupid” has been the byword of his administration thus far. It was stupid to push health care through Congress on a party-line vote and a loophole in the teeth of fierce public resistance, stupid to announce a surge in Afghanistan and then say he’d be leaving, stupid to leave Iraq without an American presence, stupid to draw a red line and let Syrian President Bashar Assad cross it, stupid to blunder into and then out of Libya, and stupid to pull missiles out of Eastern Europe just as Russia, in spite of his “reset,” was beginning to stir.

It was stupid to push mandates and job-killing measures in the face of serious underemployment. The one thing he’s done that showed any brains was to time the most odious parts of his health care fiasco to detonate after he won re-election. In fact, it’s hard to think of anything he’s done that hasn’t been stupid — except, of course, run his campaigns.

And now, in what was once his patented realm of pure theatre, he’s turned out to be stupid, too.

Was he too bright to realize we might react differently to a man who was captured in battle, and one who walked off on his own for still unknown reasons, that we might be moved by the fact that his colleagues despised him, or that honor might count to a number of people, though he was too bright to feel it himself?