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After working with Egypt’s president, Mohammad Morsi, to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas last month, President Barack Obama reportedly came away impressed by his fellow former university professor’s pragmatism and “engineer’s precision.” But whatever the Egyptian president’s intellectual gifts, a good memory is clearly not one of them. After having barely eked out in a victory in last June’s presidential election, with a significant assist from liberal and left-leaning revolutionaries who saw Morsi’s opponent as a throwback to the old regime, the new president has thumbed his nose at his erstwhile allies and his promises of democracy. On Nov. 22, he issued a decree granting himself extraordinary, unquestioned authority, and last week his allies in the constitutional assembly rammed through a draft constitution that includes expanded presidential powers, protections for the military, and a highly illiberal social agenda.


Masoud, Tarek, and Wael Nawara. "Will Egypt’s Liberals Ever Win?" Slate. December 4, 2012.