Herbert: Egypt Si! Yanqui No!

February 12th, 2011 7:59 AM

To the streets, Americans!  We need to make the US more like . . . Egypt!

That's the thrust of Bob Herbert's hysterical rant in today's New York Times.  His notion is that while democracy is flourishing in Egypt, it is weakening here to the extent that [emphasis added]: "we’re in serious danger of becoming a democracy in name only."

Money in politics is Herbert's predictable culprit, with "the endlessly egregious Koch brothers" serving as his bogeymen-in-chief. So where does Herbert head for a solution?  Why, to the late, self-described democratic socialist historian Howard Zinn, of course. Here's how Herbert concludes his call to action [emphasis added]:

I had lunch with the historian Howard Zinn just a few weeks before he died in January 2010. He was chagrined about the state of affairs in the U.S. but not at all daunted. “If there is going to be change,” he said, “real change, it will have to work its way from the bottom up, from the people themselves.”

I thought of that as I watched the coverage of the ecstatic celebrations in the streets of Cairo.

Sounds like Bob is boosting the idea of people taking to the streets.  Fine. Nothing could be more American.  In fact, it happened very recently, with very dramatic results.  Did Herbert ever hear of something called the Tea Party?  Millions of grassrooters took to the streets over the last couple years, culminating in the multitudinous rally in DC organized by Glenn Beck. They were protesting the very higher taxes and greater government control over our lives that Bob boosts.  And they achieved the "real change" of which Zinn spoke, administering that celebrated "shellacking" to the powers that be.

So, though not heading in your prefered direction, Mr. H, democracy is alive and well in America.  Haven't you noticed?