Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Arab Spring started in Tunisia, and within a few weeks it had spread to neighboring Egypt. Today, 2 1/2 years later, Tunisia is close to ratifying a democratic constitution with well over two-thirds’ support in the constituent assembly. Egypt, as the world knows, is in the throes of a military coup that removed the democratically elected president. The obvious — and crucial — question is: What’s the difference? Why has democratic constitutionalism worked relatively well in one North African Arab country while it has crashed and burned in another? And what will the answer tell us about the future of democracy in the Arabic-speaking world, from Libya to Syria and beyond?

You might think the answer has something to do with Islam. But remarkably enough, it doesn’t. In both Tunisia and Egypt, the first democratic elections produced significant pluralities favoring Islamic democratic parties. Ennahda, the Islamist movement whose political party won in Tunisia, is ideologically similar to the Muslim Brotherhood, and is a kind of associate of the Brotherhood’s loosely affiliated internationale. Both parties believe in combining Islamic values with democratic practice. Both accept a political role for women and equal citizenship for non-Muslims, even if in practice they are both socially conservative and seek the gradual, voluntary Islamization of society.

Contrasting Styles

The contrasting personalities and styles of their leaders, however, have pushed Ennahda and the Brotherhood to behave differently when negotiating religion with secularists in their respective countries. Rachid Ghannouchi, the spiritual leader of the Tunisian Islamists, has emerged as the closest thing to an Islamic Nelson Mandela. During his decades in exile, Ghannouchi wrote extensively about the compatibility of Islam and democracy, and developed a relatively liberal vision of how Islam and the state should interact.

Skeptics then claimed that Ghannouchi’s views were a cover for a more radical agenda, and some Tunisian secularists still think so. But the evidence thus far is sharply to the contrary. When Islamists called for inserting a reference to Sharia into the Tunisian constitution — usually the sine qua non for any Islamic political party — Ghannouchi took seriously the opposition from secularists. In a dramatic showdown with members of his own party’s leadership, he reportedly threatened to resign unless they dropped the measure.

This may have been the turning point in Tunisia’s constitutional process. Ghannouchi’s position is straightforward: He wants Tunisians to adopt Islamic values, but piety means nothing if imposed by coercion. Islam, he believes, will succeed in persuading people to adopt its truths more effectively if they don’t have its teachings shoved down their throats.

Ghannouchi’s diehard critics would say that omitting Sharia from the constitutional draft was only a tactical retreat, not an ideological one. But if they are right, that is yet another reason why Tunisia’s constitutional process is working: Leaders have displayed willingness to compromise in the face of ideological opposition.

By contrast, when Mohamed Morsi was president, he proved disastrously unwilling to negotiate during Egypt’s truncated constitutional drafting process. The Brotherhood could have shown its good faith by moderating the various Islamic provisions it sought to incorporate. It wouldn’t even have had to omit Sharia, a reference to which was already included in Egypt’s pre-revolutionary constitution. Instead, the Brotherhood went further, giving constitutional authority to the clerics of al-Azhar. Compromise alone wouldn’t have forestalled the protests that led to Morsi’s overthrow. But it would have signaled a willingness to govern on behalf of the whole populace, not just those who voted for the Brotherhood.

  • charleo1

    I’m not going to take a cheap shot at the T-Party. They know how a democracy
    is supposed to work. They just believe threatening to wreck the Country’s economy,
    if it doesn’t go along with them, when the opportunity presents itself, is a lot quicker way of getting what they want, Than slowly strangling the economy, and discrediting
    the government. Which still gets you there. It just takes longer. (The truth is never a
    cheap shot.) Look, I fail to see in what way, or by what measure, it’s a democracy,
    just because a President, and parliament are elected into office. If there is a Supreme Religious Leader, calling all the shots. Isn’t that what they installed in Iran? The author is I’m sure, a very knowledgeable fellow. But, all the elections are moot, if the power to enact public policy, Islamic Law, or have a secular government, is not wielded by the person, or persons who’s names appear on the ballot. And that
    is not what Morsi, and The Muslim Brotherhood set up. So, why is the author talking about more compromise? He would have hoped Morsi would have set up more power sharing in the government, so two powerless figureheads can go up
    to the mountain and see what the old man says is going to happen? What? The economy is crumbling? People are starving? Gentlemen! I’m an economist? The important thing is aligning the people with Allah. If Allah wills it, they will not starve.
    If He does, they will. It is not for you or me, to determine such things. That’s also
    by the way, a helava investment we’re pumping 1.6 billion mostly into the military every year.

    • bikejedi

      And there it is It took a whole two seconds for a Liberal to try to make this about the Tea Party . By the way the Tea Party knows how a Representative Republic works ..You do realize that is what America is right ???? Moron Allah Akbar all praise the Obama

      • sigrid28

        As you say, “the Tea Party knows how a Representative Republic works” all right, the Tea Party just doesn’t want OUR representative republic to work any more. So what good are they any way?

        • bikejedi

          Cool a Lefty that isn’t taking cheap shots ..Thank You ..I will try to respond . They want OUR Representative Republic to work and flourish . They aren’t the ones who are trying to circumvent the Constitution . That would be Obama . Thank You for the civility

          • charleo1

            Here’s another cheap shot. The Constitution provides remedy
            for those, who in the process of governing should attempt a
            circumvention of the document. And Congress is granted with the powers of impeachment. Should they decide it’s warranted. Now, that’s the way it works. As a citizen, it is my prerogative to judge if it looks like the T-Party is trying to make the representative republic work, and flourish. Or if they, in their extreme ideology, have decided, all things considered, it would be better to wreck the whole damn thing, because they really don’t believe in it anyway. And, then use the chaos they cause, as an opportunity, to establish their own hard core authoritarian brand of government. Much more amenable to the corporate agenda. That is, in case you haven’t noticed, having a difficult time getting a majority of Americans to bend over in the necessary position. Because you don’t get all the way there, by just buying politicians. You need to tear the whole the whole thing down. That’s why I call them thugs. Because you can’t have what I consider, the best interests of your Country in mind, when you try to cause a bond crisis in the wake of an historic recession. That’s what anarchists do, before they burn down the Reichstag. Not what American politicians do, when they want the Country to flourish. It’s time for you to find your common sense. And start using it.

          • bikejedi

            I think you are so deluded and you don’t realize you have it 180 degrees reversed and COMMON SENSE would prove that .Just attempt to consider that you might have it wrong and check the facts .. Try to remain open minded I know that will be difficult . 1st the Tea Party people are the ones who believe in the Constitution and are trying to defend it . Obama by his policy and his executive orders is thumbing his nose at the document he swore to uphold , but since honesty isn’t his strong suit why would anyone believe his oath . He has proven , not by my words , but by his own actions he Lies excuses , and that he is unworthy of trust . That isn’t my opinion but borne out by the facts and his history in a job he is overmatched in . the most Liberal of Newspapers the NY Times agrees . They are backed up by his adopted hometown’s ( and please don’t blame Chicago for him ) Tribune . Yes there is remedy through impeachment but Obama is well protected by his PR Liberal Media and his devoted flock and most importantly the invariable Race card you all would play if someone brought up Impeachment so it hasn’t happened …..yet . The only people who are trying to do a totalitarian regime are Obama and his peeps . And as for any corporate agenda the Tea Party believes in Free Markets and no bailouts for favored companies who might just qualify because they support you . Obama’s record on helping his cronies out mirrors everything that is done in Chicago . Ask for a companies support and donations and if you don’t get it crush them . If they are your friends reward them . See GM GE and Solyndra . GE and GM offshored jobs using our bailouts . So you see everything you stated is true …about Obama and the Dems and the facts bear that out

          • WhutHeSaid

            We can put and end to your vile and despicable lying right now by asking you this question: Do you support the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution?

          • charleo1

            You’re just repeating a lot of conclusions. for which you have
            no idea if Obama as President had anything to do with it. We
            know he didn’t create the worst economy in 80 years. So, the
            nasty plot you seem to imply, only works if you blame Obama
            for the crisis. Now, doesn’t it make more sense to believe if
            there was a case aganist Obama to be made, the Right would have figured out a way to make it? If he was wrong to bail out GM, then that would would have been especially evident to those in Michigan, or Ohio. One candidate said, bail GM out, and kiss it good bye! The other bailed it out. One was right, in the minds of the majority. And one was determined wrong. Those are the facts that contradict your contentions. That somehow, people can’t determine for themselves who is essentially doing what must be done to address the situation. Not with the infallibility of God, but to the best of his ability. And as far as Congress is concerned, if they are unable for Any reason to act. I believe the Country expects the President to do what is necessary for the good of the Country. He is not preventing Congress from acting.
            Now, if you have any justification for the actions of the T-Party in the summer of 2011, in the matter of raising the debt
            ceiling. Because their explanation was demagoguery only
            complete idiots would believe. Their demands handed the
            Country as to their requirements to agree to cast their necessary votes in the affirmative to what was an absolutely mandatory imperative that Congress act. Was one of the worse abuses of obviously misplaced trust in elected officials
            I have ever witnessed. There was absolutely no excuse for it.
            None. And since you didn’t try to address it, I’m guessing
            it’s the reason for all the who shot John about the press,
            and, totalitarian regime? Sure I say. Of all the totalitarian
            regimes in world history, this one is so slick, only the T-
            Party can see it.

      • charleo1

        I said they know how the system works. They just don’t like the system.
        If a few things about a dictatorial theocracy resemble the T-Party’s
        preferred method of conducting themselves in positions of authority,
        and other Americans comment on it. Look, if they cared what people
        thought of them, they would get out of the T-Party, and go back to enforcing for the mob, and dodging child support enforcement like
        they were doing before. I should learn about them? I grew up on the
        side of town, that dreamed of one day renting our own mobil home.
        I know what a thug is.

        • bikejedi

          First off that seems like a disjointed post but let me take a shot . I would disagree . Not only does the Tea Party know whats in the Constitution they support it . They don’t view it as a living breathing document to be interpreted anyway they see fit . They understand that if they don’t like something that’s in it there are avenues to amend it . Nothing dictatorial about that . I think you have them confused with Mr ignore the Constitution or go around it by Exec order .

          • WhutHeSaid

            Because you are a Tea Bigot we know that you are lying. The Tea Bigots only exist because they hate the black man in the White House. Most of them couldn’t correctly spell ‘Constitution’ much less understand what it’s about or support it.

            The very name ‘Tea Party’ is a lie. Vile bigots and tax-evaders have nothing in common with the founders of this country — who were the progressives of their day — and they don’t support the US Constitution either. You can’t spend 10 minutes in the presence of a gaggle of Tea Bigots without hearing them attack the 14th Amendment.

            Your President is black. He’s not going to change his color for you no matter how much you lie, cheat and steal. America despise the Tea Party more than any political group in recent memory, and for good reasons. There is NOTHING that the Tea Party has done for the good of the country. Every Tea Bigot mistakenly elected to political office has proven that they lied to get into office (usually about jobs, jobs, jobs), and immediately set about attacking the rights of people who are not like them. This is why they are being ejected like Allen West.

            If you call yourself ‘Tea Party’ then you are a liar and a bigot, and the rest of America is sick of your vile antics.

          • bikejedi

            You are joking right ? Every study shows that Conservatives and Tea Party people are well better versed on the Constitution . did you see the study done by the Liberals at Pew Research ? And there you go again playing the race card . There are many better qualified black people then Obama . Dem Colin Powell as well as Condi Rice and Allen West are all vastly more qualified then Obama . PLEASE STOP USING the RACE CARD when you have nothing …It just make your argument look weal and you intolerant . Nobody I know hates him because he is black .They dislike his policy and that he is a dishonest lying excuse maker . His record shows he is overmatched and instead of never votiong for a Black Man again maybe we should never vote for a Community Organizer . So no take you race card and please come back when you have a legitimate point …K . Please gain some perspective and maturity or I will not respond to your hate and intolerance ….

          • WhutHeSaid

            You can talk about Allen West being qualified for anything with a straight face and still try to convince us Tea Bigots are knowledgeable? Allen West is the poster boy for nutty, dangerous demagogues, and his rejection by the voters lets you know where these Tea Bigots are headed.

            Stop lying. I don’t care if you respond to me or not — just STOP LYING. The Tea Party was created for one purpose and one purpose only: To oppose the black man in the White House. Everything else is a lie.

          • bikejedi

            He lost because the Dems Gerry mandered his district to make it majority Dem and George Soros pumped in money for a Campaign of Lies against him . The ads were proven to be falsehoods and Lies and they were called out for it …Do you even pay attention . Of course to Low information people ( read Dem voters ) that campaign was all that they needed .

          • WhutHeSaid

            He lost because he’s a nut and a liar. Every time a news story was written about him it contained the word ‘crazy’ at least once. He is a perfect example of what the Tea Party has to offer: Lies, bigoted hate, and lunacy. America isn’t buying.

          • bikejedi

            Ok lets say for a second that that is the way he was perceived by low information voters . That may be why he did lose then . So George Soro’s campaign worked on them and you . You are hating on a decorated soldier because why?????? Because you PERCIEVE him to be the way George Soros wants you too …Boy looks like he has lots of puppets besides Obama . And by the way every thing I pointed out was true also . So we can blame George Soro’s and the redistricted map …See middle ground …Low information voters caused by George Soro’s campaign of Lies and a redistricted map plus . Look it worked on you . You view him as a racist just because he opposes Obama on Ideology ..Look you can disagree with someone and call them out on it and you shouldn’t have the race card played ( except if you are immature ) especially if you are Black also …How do you Liberals justify your hypocrisy ? How can he be racist he is black . According to the Liberal play book only creepy assed crackers can be racist .

          • WhutHeSaid

            A ‘decorated soldier’? Try a dangerous nut-bag who was Article-15’d in the field for his nutty and violent behavior. Did you hear that? Even the military considered his behavior too violent and dangerous. He’s a nut — plain and simple.

            Have you been sleeping for so long that you missed all of the nutty and bizarre statements he’s made in public during his ill-fated political career? Who knows what he says in private — I for one don’t even want to know.

            Let me give you some advice: If you want to be a lying bigot that’s your business. That’s what the Tea Party is all about, and it’s a free country. No law against being a lying bigot. But if you actually want people to take you seriously, then you need to actually look at your own statements. Allen West is a dangerous nut-bag, and that’s why he was given the bum’s rush. People had TOO MUCH information about Allen West — not low information — which is to say that the wacky moron opened his mouth too often and let the bigoted, bizarre and just plain incomprehensible contents spill out for all to see.

          • bikejedi

            Race Card Guy …As I said Im not responding to you further because all you do is call other people bigots and play the race card . It is the sign of ignorance immaturity and intolerance

          • WhutHeSaid

            Well, either that or it’s because you didn’t want to respond to my question on the 14th Amendment.

      • Jim Myers

        A Representative Republic built largely on Tax Cuts For The Wealthy, and the Corporations. (WELFARE FOR THE WEALTHY.)

        Voter Suppression.

        Extreme Gerrymandering.

        Elimination of Choice For Women.

        Targeting of illegal Immigrants, (While protecting the industries that use that cheap labor.)

        Eliminating Environmental Regulations.

        Killing off The Middle Class.

        Elimination of Organized Labor. (While organizing the wealthy,powerful and politically connected as a united front against the commoners.)

        Reductions in public education.

        Denial of facts based scientific evidence, in favor of their own beliefs.

        Professing “Christian Values”, while doing nearly everything exactly opposite to the teachings of Christ.

        And, the list goes on and on and on.

        Yeah, the Tea Party is all for “A Representative Republic”, as long as it only “Represents” the views of the Tea Party.

        • bikejedi

          What voter suppression …are you referring to the IRS targeting of Conservative groups ?
          Extreme gerrymandering …Like the congressional remap in Illinois ?
          Elimination of choice for women …How by not wanting to fund PP with Tax Dollars or by making some professional student pay for her own Lifestyle choices ?
          Targeting of Illegal Immigrants by wanting adherence to the laws ? Or by punishing the Legal ones just to pander to the criminals ?
          Eliminating Environmental rules …Which ones ? most of them suck any way
          Killing off the middle class . Obama’s policies are shrinking the number of people employed and who are employed full time ..while putting more people on the dole then at anytime in American History
          Eliminating of Organized Labor ….Well Private Union membership has shrunk to its lowest levels ever under Obama.. Well you can see that this is covered …I could do this all day but I’m bored

          • WhutHeSaid

            You’re bored because you are a one-trick pony. All you know how to do is lie. Trust me — the rest of us are tired of the lying as well. Try learning a new trick.

          • bikejedi

            No just got bored yanking that post apart point by point ..You did see that right ? And congratulations that is the first post you have made where you didn’t play the race card ….

          • WhutHeSaid

            All you did was regurgitate standard Tea Bigot crap, which is to say spew lies.

            Tell me: Why are all of the Tea Bigots too cowardly to admit they are bigots? Everyone already knows they are, so what’s to gain? Is it just that Tea Bigots must utter enough lies every day to prevent going into withdrawal or something?

          • bikejedi

            Hey race card guy . Please point out one Lie

          • WhutHeSaid

            OK, let’s start with your support for the US Constitution. Tell us why you support or oppose the 14th Amendment.

    • sigrid28

      My son had to come in to calm me down when I recalled that we’re still gifting the Egyptian military $1.6 billion annually EVEN AFTER they staged a coup, that should have put a halt to that “right away quick” as my grandmother used to say. As a graduate of California State University-Northridge I believe), Morsi has no excuse for somehow misunderstanding what the majority in Egypt demonstrated so vehemently to achieve: a secular democracy. He has in a self-serving way capitulated to the Muslim Brotherhood, which suggests that when he went to college in the U.S. he paid attention mainly to our religious right and acts accordingly, dancing with the one who brought ya.

      • bikejedi

        Good post . Smart son . Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood . He was a leader of that …I think a lot of people of conscience there were fed up with the senseless killings being done by Muslims in the name of Allah . I think they also realized this was the biggest problem with their economy . Egypt relies heavily on tourism and all the radical Muslims and their murders killed all of that . Hence Morsi had to go .

      • charleo1

        You’re correct in pointing out the very difficult, legal position the
        coup put the Obama Administration in. However, the military is
        the power center, and if we don’t provide the juice, and hold our
        position. We need to accept another player like Russia, or China
        will have no such legal hurtles to clear. I really do not understand
        what took place in the pre election primary that produced the
        choice of an obvious theocrat, or Hosni Murbarak’s right hand
        man. To an educated people that seem to want a secular
        democracy. Do you see our better option as sticking with the
        military? Coup, and all? Or, urging the reinstating of Morsi?
        I think you’ve got to stick with the military, as they seem to be
        more with the majority. Right?

        • sigrid28

          I do not see Obama as having “brought” Morsi to the dance; rather, I think Morsi was invited by the Muslim Brotherhood. Looking at it simply, I think Morsi tainted any positive association he may have had with Obama and the U.S. (a secular democracy) by instituting changes demanded by the Muslim Brotherhood, to appease the one third of the Egyptian electorate who voted for him.

          Noah Feldman is certainly spot on in noting that secular democracy has not had a successful run in the Middle East so far, so why should it flourish the first time it is attempted in Egypt? Nevertheless, as Feldman points out, rightly in my opinion, a growing majority of citizens, even in primarily Muslim countries, demand it. I think Morsi’s far right sympathies in U.S. politics, suggested by his graduation with an economics degree from CSUN, may have blinded him to the true nature of secular democracy in the U.S.–he was hampered by appreciating the right more than the left in the U.S. He cannot reinstate his position of leadership, but the military could appease the Muslim Brotherhood by bringing him in briefly an economic consultant–once things have settled down. In Egypt, the military much cobble together a coalition government quickly or oversee a civil war, though I hope this does not occur.

  • bikejedi

    Unbelievably Naïve story . Name ONE just ONE Country that has an Islamic democracy that works ? the two cannot coexist as a working unit . They are diametrically opposed . But Low Information Liberals will somehow blame the Tea Party or something else for this too . It seems the only lessons they have learned from Obama is how to Lie and make excuses . Well at least you are learning from the best . I want to know if Obama is going to retrieve all of our Tax Dollars he gave to the Muslim Brotherhood there ? You know… his Muslim Brothers . Don’t even try to still sell that soap that Obama is Christian . If you sell that you are a perfect Obama voter …totally ignorant and devoid of any common sense

    • Jim Myers

      A Representative Republic CANNOT work in an environment where a block of the Representatives refuses to compromise or negotiate with anyone taking a different view or stance.

      The Tea Party is comprised of Obstructionists, regardless of what you think or say.

      And as such, CANNOT be considered Representative.

      Unless, you believe that Obstructionism IS Representative of the Republic.

      In which case, you would be blatantly wrong.

      • bikejedi

        Well the Tea Party people who were elected in 2010 were elected by Americans who wanted Obama’s expansion of Govt , Spending , Regulations , and new revenuing stopped . So they are doing what Americans elected them to do . That my friend is NOT Obstructionism . By the way that is an old inaccurate talking Point you are trying to use that is not representative of what has happened under Obama but rather just the Pr talking point Obama and his Media are selling to the Left . For just one example look at Obama’s Sequestration Bill . He had a year and a half to meet with Republicans to try to find an alternative to it . It was his baby and he liked it when he wrote it . He thought the Republicans would never go to it because of the Defense cuts it would entail . Boehner kept asking him to meet and discuss it . Obama kept refusing tp meet thinking the Republicans would just negotiate against themselves …EEEEHHHHH He was wrong and when he chose to go golfing rather then meet the Republicans accepted Obama’s plan . Obama was furious over it and has spent his time acting like a petulant child and taking it out on hard working Americans ( see the FAA cuts ) . He aslo is punishing school children by canceling Whitehouse tours while he and Michele take a 100 mil Vacay …In the meantime they tried to paint the Republicans as obstructionists and the letter Boehner sent Obama prove otherwise . It was Obama who was the obstructionist and when he didn’t get his way he punished Americans . So the facts don’t support your talking point

        • WhutHeSaid

          How can you tell outrageous whoppers and still hold your head up high? Your mama should beat your ass for lying. You have the nerve to whine about White House tours when the vile and despicable Tea Bigots are actively attacking nutrition programs for children who don’t have enough to eat?

          This kind of lying and stupidity is why America despises the Tea Bigots more than any political group in recent history.

          • bikejedi

            Why do you play the race and call others bigots when they aren’t being intolerant and immature towards you ?????

          • WhutHeSaid

            I usually wait to see evidence of bigoted hate before I get worked up, but not in the case of Tea Bigots. The reason is that Tea Bigots are, well, bigots. It’s the one thing they all agree on. It’s the whole reason for their existence. Anyone who mistakenly wandered into a Tea Party rally has either left in disgust or they are fine with the bigoted hate. If you join a bigoted hate organization, then you are a hateful bigot. Why would you want to belong to a bigoted hate organization if you aren’t? Why do you want people to believe you aren’t a bigot?

    • Jim Myers

      So, the crap about President Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright was all conjured up as a smoke screen against President Obama?

      You Obama haters should get together and at least get your stories straight. Either President Obama was a member of Reverend Wright’s Congregation, or not.

      And, if he is indeed a Muslim, why does he not pray to Allah five times a day?

      And, if he is a Muslim, so what? Is there anything in the Constitution stating that a Muslim cannot be President of the United States? Of course not.

      HE WON THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. GET OVER IT.

      • charleo1

        That’s the thing about mob mentality. Once they decide to bury
        the person up to their neck, and stone them to death. Whatever
        rumors that may drift through the crowd as they gather their rocks,
        are not examined for consistency as to the original reason for the
        stoning. The truth, as we all know very well, the symbolic stoning
        of Barack Obama, began as soon as he ascended to the highest
        political office in the land. For exactly the reasons one might
        first assume, with only the most basic knowledge of our history.
        As Freud pointed out, often a cigar, is simply a cigar. Racism is

        often simply racism. Having nothing to do with competing political
        philosophies. Or, anything nearly as complicated. It simply is what it is.

        • Jim Myers

          Most of the Right Wingers who bash the President simply don’t have the guts to admit they are Racist.

          Even those who decided the day President Obama took office that they would do everything in their power to make him a one term President.

      • bikejedi

        Jim take a chill . First I could care less if he is Muslim . What bothers most is that he lies about his true faith only to pander for votes . Do you think he could’ve won had he come out as Muslim ? That is why the deception is relevant . Aren’t you sick of all the LIes , the sealing of his records , and the deceptions ? So I don’t care that he is Muslim I care that he LIES . Rev Wrights church was a church of hatred and Obama used it as a Religious beard . By the way Wright is a convert from Islam ( or so he claims ) . This is common knowledge in Chicago .

        • WhutHeSaid

          Why do you pretend to dislike lying? Everything the Tea Party says is a lie. The very name is a lie. Who do you think you’re fooling — you don’t oppose lying because that’s the Tea Party’s favorite tool.

          • bikejedi

            The Tea Party is an apt name for who and what they represent . Just like the Socialist Party of America and the Communist Party of America who supported Obama . Aint that the truth .

          • WhutHeSaid

            Everything the Tea Party represents is a lie. The name is a lie. The ‘taxed enough already’ claim is a lie. The concern about ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ is a lie. What has the Tea Party EVER done to help Americans? Name one thing.

          • bikejedi

            The motto taxed enough already is how they feel . No Lie about that . They have done a lot to curtail Obama’s expansion of business stopping regulations . They have tried to slow down his record spending habits . They may be the only reason we have even very limited growth .

          • WhutHeSaid

            See? Just more lies. They have done NOTHING to help Americans. The obstruction directed against Obama is because he is black.

            Where were the Tea Bigots when ALL of the Republican Presidents in the last 30 years grew spending faster than ALL Democrats? Oh yes, those Presidents weren’t black.

            Just stop lying.

          • bikejedi

            Race card Race card Race card …you got anything else ?
            Read my posts . I pointed out many instances where they helped Obama in spite of his own overmatched A$$ …

          • WhutHeSaid

            See? Yet more lying. Where were the Tea Bigots when the WHITE Presidents were spending money hand over fist? They weren’t anywhere to be found, because the President was white. Now all of a sudden they hate federal spending AND it just happens to coincide with the first black President?

            Yeah, we believe that spending is what you care about, sure *wink, wink*.

          • bikejedi

            I am not going to answer you anymore because you are just using the race card on everything . Obama is half white …did you not know that ??????? grow up the race card is for immature intolerant people who cant debate on merit . Have a nice weekend stewing in your race card .

          • WhutHeSaid

            Of course you aren’t, because there is no way to explain how you belong to a bigoted hate organization but aren’t a bigot. I could debate you successfully on a number of issues, but what’s the point if you are a bigot? That would be like two people in a swimming pool arguing about whether the water is too hot or too cold when there is a big turd floating in the water nearby. At that point — who cares?

          • bikejedi

            As I said Im not responding to you further because all you do is call other people bigots and play the race card . It is the sign of ignorance immaturity and intolerance

          • WhutHeSaid

            Actually, it appears to me that every time the topic turned to the 14th Amendment you all of a sudden you didn’t want to participate. Curious coincidence, isn’t it?

          • bikejedi

            Whut It has nothing to do with the 14th …As I said Im not responding to you further because all you do is call other people bigots and play the race card . It is the sign of ignorance immaturity and intolerance .

          • WhutHeSaid

            Yes it does. I’ll pretend for the sake of the argument that you never admitted being a Tea Bigot. Will that help? Now tell us about how you support the US Constitution – especially the 14th Amendment.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Just what I thought. It’s not that you are offended, rather, it’s because I went right to the heart of the matter. As soon as somebody mentions the 14th Amendment all of your desire to debate evaporates — why is that?

            Honestly, you sashay out here and announce that you belong to a bigoted organization (The Tea Party), then pretend to be offended when you are called on it. That’s about the same as somebody announcing they belong to the KKK, then whining and crying about people using ‘the race card’. Unbelievable!

          • bikejedi

            1 I’m not offended I saw your tactics of immature intolerance and bigotry . I told you I wasn’t going to respond to after that . You have stated lies about me also . 1 NOWHERE and NEVER did I say I was a Tea Party member because I am not . I agree with their basic premises however . You would do good to find out real info about these people instead of hate propaganda . They are concerned law abiding Constitutional Patriots . They are not bigots nor do they care that Obama is half cracker . They don’t play the race card every time they don’t have anything . This is why I am not going to respond to you again .The immature ignorant intolerant tactic of calling people bigots and playing the race card……. and what’s especially appalling is you don’t understand the people you are trying to label and the labels you are playing don’t apply to them but yourself By the way the KKK ??? ….you mean that group of racist intolerant Democrats They were started by Democrats . Sen Byrd was a KKK member and was supported by the Dems in good standing . See ya have a nice weekend filled with rage

          • WhutHeSaid

            Hee-hee! Rage? Not me, buddy.

            I noticed that you STILL didn’t answer the 14th Amendment question. That’s a real problem area for you, isn’t it?

            Constitutional Patriots? HA – that’s a good one!

          • bikejedi

            At this point I would hope that your liberal friends point out to you how immature and intolerant your rants are ? You are embarrassing the left on a level of Fern

  • howa4x

    This is what happens when any political group that has been outlawed for so many years takes power. Being underground requires a very committed person to be a member. Their views become insular and they treat outsiders with suspicion. They become convinced that their way is the only way. Even though Morsi was educated in this country it didn’t change his religious viewpoint. The founder of the Muslim brotherhood a person named Qutb also came here for his education and wrote how American women showed their legs in public and how distasteful it was, and that they wore makeup. His followers included the Blind Sheik who is in prison for plotting to blow up public places in NYC and Al Zawayri ,Bin Laden’s number 2, who had a major role in the initial bombing of the world trade center in 93 and it’s eventual collapse on 9/11. A spin off of the brotherhood is Hamas who still lobes rockets into Israel, and continues to deny it’s existence . Even though Morsi was elected he only had 30% of the votes in a multiple candidate race. This means 70% of the population didn’t want him, so when he tried to consolidate authority it was seen as a power grab and the revolt happened, and the army, who was skeptical of the Brotherhood anyway, steeped in to maintain order. In an age of access to technology where anyone can be on Facebook and governments can’t really control the news anymore, it is much harder to survive if you are seen as an autocrat. Maybe the Brotherhood learned a lesson from this or maybe it just hardened their views.

    • sigrid28

      This post really helps readers better understand the current situation in Egypt. Thanks.

  • Dominick Vila

    Islam is an excuse used by some to criticize those they hate or find a facile explanation for issues they don’t understand. What is really behind the successes and failures we are seeing throughout North Africa, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf is the struggle of people who have been suppressed for centuries by a small elite with the support of the military. Like most human beings, regardless of religious convictions or political ideology, people in that part of the world are struggling to find solutions to the misery they have endured for generations, hoping for a better future for their children.
    The transition from oppression to democracy in that part of the world often depends on the wealth of every nation, their ability to invest and create an infrastructure capable of supporting the populace, tribal rivalries, and traditions.
    In some ways, the same can be found in the Americas, where a few countries have prospered and achieved a high standard of living and freedom, while others are part of a Third World country where only misery and oppression prevail.
    Hopefully, the appointment of El Baradei as Prime Minister will limit the control the military will exert over the Egyptian people and the transition to democratic principles continues unabated. Judging by what is going on, that process is going to be tenuous in Egypt.

  • emadis41

    Morsy main mistake was that he allowed much freedom of speech that was over used and abused by his opponents, who rang from the Mubarak to the leftist and atheists, who rejected anything to do with Islam. The coup was planned long ago, and in my believe from day one of his presidency. The army was supported a corrupted Mubarak era general who embezzled $80 million on the purchase of 16 planes for the national airline. It was also the oppositions desire to overthrow him, not to share power, they brainwashed million of youth with lies and many were willing to accept these ridiculous lies, such as he sold the Suez Canal to Qatar, He sold the Egyptian antiquity treasures to the Qataris..Even more that anything their claim to collect 22 million signature, yet a look at these signatures, it was found to be fraudulent, including names of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Let me say that Morsy made mistakes, but a coup is worse mistake than any, and all his mistakes. It created a new dictatorship that may last for a long time. The puppet interim president has more power than Morsy ever grabbed, with both legislation, Judiciary and Executive power in his hand, and for undetermined time.

  • pennhr

    Barbara M. The word is “compromise.” But you have my “like” for sure.