Watching a Mohammad Morsi speech on Twitter
Billed as a chance for the President of Egypt to assuage some of his fiercer critics ahead of a planned round of nationwide protests on June 30, Mohammad Morsi didn’t let down those baying for his blood last night.
Following his speeches on Twitter has always amused and dismayed me in more or less equal measure; the English-speaking, predominantly liberal Twitter crowd are not Morsi’s support base – he could hand out money, gas and bread to everyone, solve Egypt’s debt and security crises, send tourism revenue soaring, implement robust legal recourse against sexual harassment and put 10 million Egyptians into work and still many would despise the very sight of him.
So it’s always interesting to see Twitter react as if he’s got no supporters at all – as if his rambling, often incoherent speeches are from another planet, rather than addressed to millions of people who don’t happen to share the worldview of online communities. It goes a little something like this:
“Morsi says he wishes he could queue for gas like the rest of us, ROFLMAO”
“He’s on drugs”
“Morsi says there are no political prisoners in Egypt?!!?!?!”
“He’s used the word “jerry can” like 4 times”
“Morsi’s obviously only addressing his supporters”
“Morsi’s blaming protesters for instability”
“He says that he inherited huge amounts of public debt from corrupt, quasi-state owned companies when he took the presidency”
“He’s trying to say that the Ikhwan are a revolutionary party after they were systematically oppressed and arrested for the last 70+ yrs”
“He’s transparently making up the tourism numbers”
“He’s mentioned the former prosecutor general 3 times!!”
“Morsi says the judiciary and politics shouldn’t mix. Lol, what’s he smoking?!”
“Morsi announces the formation of a cross party committee to review and rule upon his previous constitutional amendments”
“Yeah, well, he’s still asking us to trust the police”
“He’s suggesting people stop killing each other and says security will be tightened ahead of June 30″
N.B. Obviously, Morsi lied quite a bit last night and his advisers need to take politics a good deal more seriously. He’s overseen a ramping up of attacks on freedom of expression, been in charge when widespread police brutality has been recorded and shamefully didn’t even mention, let alone condemn, the lynching of four Shiite civilians last week.
The president is historically unpopular and so he’s obviously earned the position of ridicule he finds himself in (although he’s still got higher approval ratings than, say, David Cameron). I guess what I’m saying is that elected leaders are allowed to be unpopular without necessarily being illegitimate. How do you get rid of an unpopular leader? You vote for the other guy (which is admittedly easier when they don’t boycott).
Tagged: Cairo, Egypt, Ikhwan, June 30, Mohammad Mosri, Mohammed Morsi, Morsi, Morsi speech, Mursi, Muslim Brotherhood, Tahrir