So remember when Glenn said that the Arab Spring wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and the radical Islamists were all going to rise to power and turn against the West? Media pundits like William Kristol tried to say that Glenn was being overly pessimistic and that everything was going to be fine. Well, now Egypt’s President has pretty much given himself the powers of the dictators, and the mainstream media has praised him. TIME has even listed him as a potential “Person of the Year” for 2012.
“Morsi, definitely not a dictator,” Glenn said sarcastically. ”And, of course, he said originally that the Muslim Brotherhood definitely didn’t have any interest in any power.”
And while many said the Muslim Brotherhood couldn’t take control because they represented such a small percentage of the population, recent news has shown that isn’t the case.
“ Then suddenly (the Muslim Brotherhood won) president and controlled parliament and the courts. And then they suspend all the laws just for the good of the people and the democracy.”
Egypt’s president told the country’s top judges Monday that he did not infringe on their authority when he seized near absolute powers, setting up a prolonged showdown on the eve of a mass protest planned by opponents of the Islamist leader.
An aide to President Mohammed Morsi said the decree was limited to “sovereignty-related issues,” but that did not satisfy his critics.
The uncompromising stance came during a meeting between Morsi and members of the Supreme Judiciary Council in a bid to resolve a four-day crisis that has plunged the country into a new round of turmoil with clashes between the two sides that have left one protester dead and hundreds wounded.
The judiciary, the main target of Morsi’s edicts, also has pushed back, calling the decrees a power grab and an “assault” on the branch’s independence. Judges and prosecutors stayed away from many courts in Cairo and other cities on Sunday and Monday.
A spokesman said Morsi told the judges that he acted within his right as the nation’s sole source of legislation when he issued decrees putting himself above judicial oversight. The president also extended the same immunity to two bodies dominated by his Islamist allies – a panel drafting a new constitution and parliament’s mostly toothless upper chamber.
And while Morsi has seized control of power in Egypt, people are wondering why the United States has stood by and done nothing.
“One of the protestors in Tahrir Square was interviewed by an Egyptian American journalist and he writes in his column about what she had to say. And she’s a student and she’s wondering why the United States supports those who don’t share their most basic values of freedom and democracy, sharply taking Amy at the coziness of the United States with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Pat said.
Glenn then shifted over to the media and Bill Kristol, who early in the Arab Spring called the critics too pessimistic over the uprisings in Egypt. He started off by playing
Early last year: “These skeptics have been proven to be too skeptical. The naysayers who have said, oh, it can never happen, it’s going to be violent, his departure will mean the Muslim Brotherhood taking over the next day or total chaos in the streets of Egypt, they’ve been proven wrong.”
One week ago: “If as appears to be the case the Muslim Brotherhood which now rules Egypt is not rallying to Hamas’ defense.”
Stu, Glenn, and Pat all pointed out that Kristol’s recent statements were more of an aside rather than a statement of concern, and he never mentioned that it disproves everything he said during the Arab Spring.
But even more concerning than Bill Kristol is the language being used by TIME Magazine as they consider him for Person of the Year. On their website, TIME is allowing people to vote on who they think should win the coveted award, won in the past by people like Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama. But now they seem to be rewriting history and normalizing the actions of the radical Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.
Below is an excerpt from TIME:
His and his party’s electoral victory this summer heralded a new moment for the Arab world’s most populous nation, so long kept underfoot by the Western-backed authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak. Democratically elected, Morsy and his Islamist allies are now changing the landscape of Middle Eastern politics. The Muslim Brotherhood’s religiosity is moderate, or at least moderated by pragmatism; its politics are populist and likely the template for a number of other fledgling democracies in the region. In the space of a few months, Morsy outmaneuvered Egypt’s influential generals — the most significant vestiges of the Mubarak regime — and consolidated his grip on power. And as rockets exploded over Gaza and Israel, he played an instrumental — some would say historic — role in brokering a cease-fire between Hamas and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Moderate? Pragmatic? The people of Egypt once again protesting a dictator in power may not agree.
As of publication of this article, Morsi leads the voting for who should be TIME’s Person of the Year.