Having said all that, and recognising that it would be both distasteful and unwise to attempt to use Egypt as a political football, Maha's post on Republican reaction did get me thinking once again about their rhetorical strategies.
As Egypt continues to unravel, some rightie bloggers have seized a story at Huffington Post to bash the Obama Administration. The article says that in 2009 the Obama Administration deeply cut money for programs designed to promote democracy in Egypt, partly at the urging of the embassy in Cairo.I wouldn't want to go too far down the Republican hypocrisy route on this occasion: it might be their defining feature, but having some of them calling for spending cuts whilst others (bloggers, no less) criticise the results of those cuts isn't hypocrisy a priori.
Now, in retrospect, the White House might deeply regret that decision. But, y’know, that’s how it is with cutting government programs. It isn’t painless.
Sen. Rand Paul last week (before Egypt began to unravel) was marching around boldly declaring that all foreign aid should be cut, which would include what’s left of the programs to promote democracy. And, y’know, in their speeches Republicans are gung-ho for cutting just about all government spending that’s not attached to a defense contract.
Having said that, if this does get picked up by the GOP establishment - and I'd be surprised if it doesn't, since a) "Obama is losing us Egypt" is already the party line and b) it's not like logic or shame has ever stopped these people before - it arguably won't be their demands for cuts across the board that will make them hypocritical. That's mainly just incoherence.
What will make them hypocrites is their own former responses to things that went south after they tried/managed to cut the safeguards that were supposed to help. Remember Bobby Jindal mocking the idea that the US needed volcano monitors in the official SOTU rebuttal? Just before Mt. Redoubt erupted? Awkward.