Think Again: Chutzpah on the Right

One reason for the unusual inability of conservatives--and even neoconservatives--to settle on a "line" and stick to it as they've done so effectively in previous efforts to attack and demonize the president is that their own position on democracy is a complete contradiction. They frequently profess to support "democracy" in the abstract and frequently blame its absence in the Arab world for the attractions of violent Islamic extremism and other cultural ills in the Middle East. But they neglect to note the fact that it is the very lack of democracy in these nations that prevents them from adopting far more extreme anti-Western and particularly anti-Israel positions.

Add this to the contempt that so many profess for Islam and the alarmism with which they operate whenever discussing it and you have a formula for hypocrisy at best, and a crack up--see under "Beck, Glenn"--at worst.

Of course another reason that conservatives are divided--to put it generously--about democracy in the Arab world is that for many of them their primary concern is not democracy or even the Arab world, but Israel. A prime specimen of this species can be seen in former Bush National Security official (and Reagan State Department apparatchik) Elliott Abrams. In recent weeks, Abrams, now associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, has taken to the pages of both the New York Times and the Washington Post to score the president for his insufficient attention to democracy around the world in general and Egypt and Tunisia in particular.

The "price" for Obama's policy of democratic inaction and lack of concern, Abrams insists, "has been paid by men and women from China to Russia to Iran to Egypt to Venezuela, who had expected a louder voice and a firmer helping hand from the United States."

Elliott Abrams holds the remarkable position--second only to Henry Kissinger perhaps--of playing a role in the undermining of democracy in three separate continents: Central America, North America, and the Middle East. The fact that he thinks himself qualified to lecture the president on this very topic deserves to put him in the Chutzpah Hall of Fame, as soon as it is founded and built. Read all about it, here.