Mohamed Morsi's bid to put himself above the courts, at least temporarily, has protesters filling Tahrir Square again and commenters debating whether he's been a dictator-in-waiting all along. Two views on that subject:
- Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times: Morsi is no moderate and never has been, no matter what his defenders in the West say. The new power grab is only the latest evidence: "In less than half a year, Mohamed Morsi has deftly built the apparatus of despotism," writes Goldberg. He and the Muslim Brotherhood are using the excuse of cleaning up Hosni Mubarak's mess to "consolidate power" and to turn Morsi into a dictator in all but name. (Goldberg likens the tactic to what the Nazis did in pre-war Germany.) It's "heartening" that protesters are rising up, "but that doesn't mean Morsi's intended goal is any less obvious." Full column here.
- Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View: Yes, Morsi "overreached in his decree and explained it poorly," but he did so "in the service of preserving electoral democracy." He's already walked it back some, and now he should "clarify that he is not claiming any inherent authority for the presidency." Don't give up on him or democracy in Egypt yet. But Morsi "must do more to demonstrate that he still believes in the system that brought him to office." Full column here.