Josh Gerstein at the Politico is on the opposite of a roll today. This afternoon (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Gerstein was barely done covering how "U.S. eases away from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi" when the military announced that Morsi had been deposed by the military, ultimately in favor of, according to the Associated Press, a temporary "government of civilian technocrats."
This evening, he's trying to position Obama as a great thinker weighing his options instead of as the guy who has been on the wrong side of freedom and democracy ever since Morsi assumed dictatorial powers in late November of last year, which should be brought up every time someone falsely claims that Morse headed a legitimate, democratically elected government (bolds are mine):
Obama strikes cautious balance on Egypt
The ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Wednesday by the Egyptian military and a broad coalition of opposition figures presents a stark choice for President Barack Obama.
He can stand by the formalities of the democratic process — or he can embrace the kind of “people power” revolt that has driven out a series of authoritarian leaders in that part of the world.
The president’s first somber statement, released hours after the military seized power, appeared to adopt both approaches, straddling the divide between the passion on the streets of Cairo and the principles of democracy.
“[W]e are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President [Morsi] and suspend the Egyptian constitution,” Obama said. “I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible.”
He added: “No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people.”
It was an early sign that pragmatism may carry the day ...
Uh. Josh? He has no choice.
Morsi, who -- it cannot be emphasized enough -- lost his legitimacy when he took dictatorial powers in November of last year, has been ousted by "the will of the people." You either figure out a way to help nurture that will into a truly democratic government, as opposed to one which was led by someone who was "preoccupied with Islamizing Egypt" -- and who, as the next excerpt shows, has no intention to accept the popular will which rejected his authoritarian rule:
... One key question is whether Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood backers will react to the coup with violence — and how the U.S. will respond if they do.
In his Tuesday night speech, Morsi seemed to be girding for a fight. “If the price for safeguarding legitimacy is my blood, then I am prepared to sacrifice my blood for the cause of safety and legitimacy of this homeland,” he declared.
“There’s a real danger of a hysterical reaction,” Ibish warned. “He knew he was done…..He was guiding his cadres on the street, potentially, for violence.” Another headache for the Obama administration: the coup could result in a cutoff of U.S. economic assistance to Egypt.
Seems like there's not a lot of straddling needed here. Morsi is the one promising a real coup. It is a real shame that Obama and his administration were trying to keep him in power until it was long past obvious that he needed to go -- which is why the "Obama Supports Terrorism" and related signs many protesters were carrying, and which most of the U.S. establishment press was determined that America not see, were so tragically valid.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.