Yesterday J.P. Green and I both wrote about the uncertain progressive response to events in Egypt. But it’s worth noting that conservatives are struggling with the issue even more.
Politico reports today that congressional Republicans are keeping quiet and generally being supportive of the administration’s line on Egypt. Let’s give them some credit and assume this is in part attributable to the impulse to support the president in a foreign policy crisis. But it’s also pretty clear conservatives have no defined point of view for this sort of situation, and that they are torn between the democracy-promotion fad of the Bush administration and more durable fears of democracy becoming the gateway to jihadi domination of the Middle East.
In the conservative commentariat and blogsphere, however, negative views of what’s happening in Egypt are a lot more common. Fox News coverage has dwelled on possible “radical Islamic” motives behind the Egyptian demonstrations. A Media Matters report suggests that conservative gabbers are itching to blame Obama for fears raised by the Egyptian uprising, but can’t agree whether Obama is to be attacked for abandoning Mubarak or failing to abandon him.
Some conservatives seem to be looking to Israel for clues on how to react. Mike Huckabee, who happens to be on a trip to Israel at the moment, issued a statement referring to the Egyptian protests as “destabilization,” and is almost certainly channeling Israeli appreciation of Mubarak’s longstanding support for Egypt’s treaty with Israel.
My very favorite right-wing reaction, though, is from a pseudonymous front-page blogger at the influential Red State site who is blaming all the upheaveals of the Middle East on a conspiracy of unions, new media companies, and the socialists of the Obama administration. Gaze in awe:
Given the State Department’s involvement with a group committed to using the internet for “social change,” which calls into question both the President’s as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call to restore the internet, it appears the world may be witnessing the first internet-led attempts at “regime change,” orchestrated by President Obama and his allies on the Left.
It’s interesting to see what conservatives come up with to say in a situation where there’s no talking points to follow.