There's a fair critique to be made that the Obama administration's response to the street revolution in Egypt has been a bit muddled. There's a fair excuse for that too -- we're in a tough spot, between the fact that Mubarak is an autocrat who has consistently stymied democratic reform in his country, and the fact that he's our autocrat and has managed to keep an uneasy peace with its neighbor to the east. The devil you know and all that. Still, there is little evidence that these protests have been driven by Islamist forces. And ultimately, the US will suffer far more if the Egyptian people believe that, when the chips were down, the United States wasn't there for them when they took to the streets and demanded their legitimate rights to democratic self-governance. And so, while there might have been a bit more hedging than I'd prefer, I was heartened to see Obama strongly back the rights of the Egyptian protesters and call for desperately needed reforms in the country. At the same time, folks who claim they haven't been nearly clear enough have a point.
In any event, whatever failings of clarity Obama may have had, there is no such ambiguity in the position of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), GOP Conference chairman. He's loud and clear: the US needs to back Mubarak and make sure these protests are crushed. Presumably, he will then wonder why American credibility regarding democracy is shot to hell.