How do you respond when someone says something totally outrageous, but you don’t want to take the bait by getting angry and worked up and possibly coming out looking like the bad guy yourself? One classic response to that situation is to just look a little stunned and say “Wow,” then let it hang there, giving people the chance to dwell on what the other guy said.
When it comes to the Senate Republican open letter to Iran, President Obama is sort of doing the world leader version of that. Obama isn’t expressing outrage or anger over the letter, he’s just sorta … letting it hang out there what those 47 senators did, initially calling it “somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with hardliners in Iran.” In the trailer for an upcoming interview with Vice News, Obama continues the same tone:
I’m embarrassed for them. For them to address a letter to the ayatollah, who they claim is our mortal enemy, and their basic argument to them is “don’t deal with our president ’cause you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement.” That’s close to unprecedented.
In short, “Wow, guys. I think you made yourselves look bad enough, so I’m just going to leave it there.”