Thursday, December 13, 2012

On Morsi's Opponents

Morsi’s opponents in the “National Salvation Front” have garnered plenty of criticism for being obstructionists, sore losers, or bad faith interlocutors, depending on who’s leveling the charge. My own view is that their fault is more basic than that, having to do with their half-baked idea of what a political opposition is. Effective opposition doesn’t mean stomping one’s foot like a toddler and rejecting everything that comes from the government. It means keeping tabs on officials and informing citizens of their misdeeds. Above all, it means persuading the public that the opposition can do better at running things than the government.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Death Knell for an Old Political Style

In his fatally belated public address on Thursday, Mohamed Morsi was a man reduced, reading awkwardly from an underwhelming script, mouthing stale words without energy or conviction. He looked very much like a party elder preaching to the faithful, not a president reaching out to a divided nation. What a sharp contrast from the president-elect taking the oath of office before jubilant crowds in Tahrir Square, or the responsible leader who addressed the nation hours after the tragic Asyut train crash.