Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Saturday, February 12th, 2011.

What Happened to Freedom? or, Going With the Flow

Obama Administration

If you watched Rachel Maddow last night, you saw a montage of righties on Fox News pooh-poohing the idea that Middle Easterners (outside of Israel, of course) could manage democratic government. Democracy is just not in their DNA, or culture, or something.

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And as I watched this, I thought, what the bleep — aren’t these some of the same people who pimped the war in Iraq as a campaign for freedom? For democracy? They sure weren’t pooh-poohing democracy in a Muslim country back when Dubya was president.

Well, folks, so much for freedom.

Pretty much in isolation on the Right, the crew at National Review Online still seems to think it was good that Mubarak resigned. However, they are now hedging their bets. Andrew McCarthy is warning us that the Muslim Brotherhood could screw it all up. In fact, he already is blaming the Obama Administration for losing democracy is Egypt, because the Obama Administration obviously doesn’t understand how awful the Muslim Brotherhood is. And we know what a reliable expert Andrew McCarthy is when it comes to, you know, Muslim stuff.

There is some talk in leftie media about how the GOP has lost control of the message machine, because Glenn Beck et al. are calling the Egyptian uprising the beginning of the end of the world. But as usual I agree with Steve M. on this — ultimately, what matters to the GOP is keeping the rubes in a state of fear and outrage so they’ll reliably march to the polls and vote to screw themselves. And scary Muslims trying to take over the world work just as well as scary Communists trying to take over the world. (In fact, Beck seems to think the Communists and the Muslims are in cahoots, even though that makes no sense at all. But of course, it hardly matters that it makes no sense, does it?)

Elsewhere — aspiring Republican presidential nominee Tim Pawlenty shows us where the rightie wind is blowing by doing the ol’ flipflop. A few days ago, Pawlenty firmly was declaring it was time for Mubarak to step down. Now, he’s calling Mubarak “our friend” and criticizing the Obama Administration for siding with the uprising.

Most of the other hopefuls either sided with Mubarak all along (i.e., Huckabee) or were critical of whatever the Obama Administration was doing without clearly saying what they would do (i.e., Palin and Gringrich), or have avoided the issue altogether (i.e., Barbour). I believe the only “hopeful” still in the “Mubarak must go” column is Mitt Romney, who carefully avoided the subject of Egypt at CPAC. Michael Scherer writes,

Mitt Romney made no mention of the historic events in Cairo, even as his speech roughly coincided with news that Mubarak had resigned. John Thune, who is speaking as I write, seems to be speaking in a vacuum, with lots of talk about Ronald Reagan but no mention of the international events that Ronald Reagan would be focusing on were he still alive. Newt Gingrich barely glossed on Obama’s foriegn policy, but focused on Iran and Hezbollah. Santorum talked about Egypt, but was nearly unintelligible. He accused Obama of siding with the Iranian regime after protests erupted there–a claim that is, it must be said, factually shaky–and siding with the protesters in Egypt even though the regime was “a friend.” The implication was that Santorum supported the Mubarak regime, but then he added, “Now I am not saying we should not side with protesters.”

CPAC — Clowns Passing as Conservatives

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