Nasty catch-phrase of the day

Just watching MSNBC on the State of the Union speech. Senator Dianne Fienstein is interviewed and asked about what she thinks about the experience with elections in Egypt, Saudi etc. and the fact that these regimes are hardly democratic yet useful allies. She says (I paraphrase):

I think we need to promote stability and economic development. Democracy is difficult to build, it needs an enlightened electorate.
What the hell is an "enlightened electorate"? One that doesn't vote for Islamists? One that votes for the Americans' favorite candidate? Are Americans, when they voted to re-elect Bush, an "enlightened electorate"? No wonder Cindy Sheehan wants to run against her.

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,