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Egypt’s 4th of July

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi celebrate outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

Strange how things work – on a day when we celebrate throwing off military rule in favor of Democracy, Egypt throws off Democracy in favor of military rule. At least temporarily.

Egyptians turned on the TV to see a general with lots of ribbons informing them that their president…

“Did not meet the demands of the masses of the people.”

You have to admit, it’s much more effective than our impeachment process. “Good evening my fellow Egyptians. We’ve kicked out the president and we’re replacing your
constitution with a road map.

“This road map includes the following: suspending the constitution for the provisionally, the Chief Justice will have the power to hand down presidential decrees.”

Can you imagine if that happened here – the head of the joint chiefs suspending the constitution, and putting Chief Justice Roberts is in charge?

Would we all sit quietly at home or freak out and grab our guns? I’d rather not find out.

The lesson appears to be that when you’re starting up a new democracy, it’s not enough to hold elections. You also need leaders who pay attention to the polls. We don’t think much of opinion polls, but they let politicians know what people are thinking between elections.

And in Egypt, people were thinking – hey, the electricity goes off even more than it used to, the garbage isn’t being picked up, inflation is insane, and the president’s Muslim Brotherhood pals are repressive and incompetent.
Which brings us to the other lesson: that uncompromising Muslim Brotherhood approach certainly helped win the presidency, but it backfired big time when it came to actually running the country.

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