No compromise so far..

Why did the Western media report today that Morsi has compromised his position? As far as I can see the MB has softened its language (with vague promises of "national dialoge") but not its position. See Ikwhanweb's increasingly bitter Twitter feed: "no turning back,decree is staying, those not willing to reach to a point of stability will be held accountable to God & history."

And speaking of Ikhwanweb, where do they get off describing the protesters as "liberals, secularists and filuls"? I guess you just need to take one look at this crowd of mostly veiled women to know they're all that. 

Not that the opposition doesn't have some blindspots of its own. The longer the protests last and the bigger they get, the more maximalist the protesters' demands become (another familiar phenomenon). Now some say they want the declaration rescinded, a new constituent assembly, and Morsi to step down (the last demand in particular makes little sense). Tempting as it is to dream of pushing a "Restart" button on the whole deeply flawed process, I don't think it's realistic, or fair to the Islamists and their supporters. Let's just focus on limiting Morsi's dictatorial powers and re-establishing judicial review. Then start negotiations -- again -- on a more representative constituent assembly. 

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Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.