SOMEDAY I’d love to create a journalism course based on covering the uprising in Egypt, now approaching its first anniversary. Lesson No. 1 would be the following: Whenever you see elephants flying, shut up and take notes. The Egyptian uprising is the equivalent of elephants flying. No one predicted it, and no one had seen this before. If you didn’t see it coming, what makes you think you know where it’s going? That’s why the smartest thing now is to just shut up and take notes.
If you do, the first thing you’ll write is that the Islamist parties — the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Al Nour Party — just crushed the secular liberals, who actually sparked the rebellion here, in the free Egyptian parliamentary elections, winning some 65 percent of the seats. To not be worried about the theocratic, antipluralistic, anti-women’s-rights, xenophobic strands in these Islamist parties is to be recklessly naïve. But to assume that the Islamists will not be impacted, or moderated, by the responsibilities of power, by the contending new power centers here and by the priority of the public for jobs and clean government is to miss the dynamism of Egyptian politics today...Yeah, you gotta love all that, um, "dynamism" (lefty-speak for "people getting the bejeezus kicked out of 'em"). As for that old "the exigencies of power will moderate Islamists" argument--didn't that one, you should pardon the cliché, fly out the window with Hezbo (in Lebanon) and Hamas (in Gaza)?
And flying elephants? The only one I'm aware of is a Disney beast called Dumbo, a name which, given the above, could be the nic of an NYT knucklehead. (It occurs to me that what TLF is really talking about is what he thinks is a "flying pig" moment, but he can't use that cliché because, well, pigs ain't halal.)