Monday, February 28, 2005


Yglesias notices that conservatives are surprisingly quiet on Egypt making a bit of noise about making baby steps towards Democracy. I know liberals are rather quiet because these things have a habit of not actually happening. It's not exactly the same, but I remember the good old days when babies were being ripped from incubators in Kuwait by Iraqi soldiers when we were promised that women in Kuwait would get to vote real soon now. And, then we were promised that again in 1999. And, hey, again in 2004. Well, at least they're still talking about it. They sure do keep talking about it, even proposing bills and whatnot. But, amazingly it doesn't happen.

But, the more interesting question is why conservatives aren't jumping up and down about this. I think it's pretty obvious -- most aren't particularly concerned with spreading Democracy around the world. George Bush might actually be sincere in his new mission, though I don't think he has a deep grasp of what "democracy" is, but most of the rest of them aren't.

Republicans have never stopped being isolationist and anti-nation building (true of most of the US population, actually). They don't think tyranny leads to terrorism (nor am I claiming there's necessarily a strong connection), and don't really want to expend any treasure helping out "the other." What they do like is killing bad guys, and when George Bush says "spreading freedom and democracy" what they hear is "killing bad guys." They like killing "bad guys," and they're a bit lost without an enemy, so the actual spreading of democracy just doesn't excite them that much.

Though, yes, they rarely fail to grasp the latest bit of news to beat up on those freedom-hating democrats, so it's a bit puzzling why they haven't at least done that.