El-Ghobashy on Morsi

Mona El-Ghobashy with some insights on Morsi and the MB's mistake of opting for "elite-level machinations", in the NYT: 

Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood faced daunting obstacles, said Prof. Mona el-Ghobashy, who teaches political science at Barnard College and studies the Brotherhood. “The first elected president as a product of revolutionary upheaval is already in a hazardous position,” she said. “He was not only the first, but he was elected by the skin of an onion,” she said, with just over 51 percent of the vote.

Mr. Morsi was ill equipped to soothe the nation, a party oligarch who hailed from the “most conservative flank of the most conservative organization,” Professor Ghobashy said. And the Brotherhood, seeking to tighten its grip on power, favored “elite level machinations” — like neutralizing the military — rather than the public and its needs, she said.

“They are old-style politicians. The people are trotted out to give you their vote. Then, ‘Go back home, and let the leaders take care of you,’ ” Professor Ghobashy said. “The newly empowered public, which doesn’t have fixed allegiances to the felool” — the remnants of the old government — “or the Brotherhood, need you to deliver.”

 

Ghobashy: Egyptian Politics Upended

Egyptian Politics Upended

Don't miss Mona el-Ghobashy's take on Egypt, for MERIP (I just renewed my subscription, so should you to get access to their latest print issue on "The US posture in the Middle East" and support their wonderful free pieces online):

Mursi’s recovery of presidential power capped more than a year of intrigue. After coordinating with the Muslim Brothers on the shape of the presidential election, the generals ended up openly vying with the Islamist group for the position they both had intended to share. The project of the negotiated presidency failed; the generals lost the election and gutted the presidency; and in July the SCAF was all set to write military tutelage of civilian government into the constitution. But then Mursi struck. In the aftermath, the military appears poised to quit formal politics, auguring a new political setup about which only one thing is certain: The Egyptian state is no longer off limits to the Egyptian people.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.