How Egypt’s Michelle Bachmann became President and Plunged the Country into Chaos (Cole at Truthdig)

My column is out at Truthdig, “How Egypt’s Michelle Bachmann became President and Plunged the country into Chaos”.


“Despite Egypt’s sagging economy, Morsi did not make stimulating it his first priority, and instead tried to please the International Monetary Fund with austerity policies, rather on the model of the Mariano Rajoy government in Spain. The Brotherhood’s class base is private business, whether small or large, and Morsi has been distinctly unfriendly to the demands of labor unions and to those of the public sector, which account for half of the country’s economy. In 2009, economists such as Paul Krugman warned that Barack Obama’s stimulus was far too small. Morsi, steward of a much more fragile economy, put forth no stimulus at all.

Once he became president, Morsi had an opportunity to address the inequities in the constitutional drafting committee, which was disproportionately in the hands of fundamentalist Muslim Brothers and Salafis, marginalizing liberals, leftists, women and Coptic Christians. He had promised that the constitution would be consensual, but that body was highly unlikely to produce a widely acceptable organic law for the nation. Morsi let the unfair composition stand, and he appears to have been afraid that it would be struck down by the courts (it finally was, long after it mattered, in the spring).”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in Egypt | 2 Responses | Print |

2 Responses

  1. I noticed that you wrote, “Last month, Morsi suddenly appointed 17 provincial governors (governors are appointed, not elected, in Egypt, which is one of the things wrong with Egyptian politics).” It’s also one of the things wrong with Turkish politics, and what recently allowed Erdogan to move governors around (e.g., to swap governors of Izmir and Diyarbakir).

  2. One wonders when failure piles upon failure, how long it will be before political leaders come to their senses and reject the Chicago School, austerity economic policies.

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