Obama missed his moment in Egypt

Liberal blogger Booman buys the NY Times story hook, line and sinker and thinks Clinton was all alone backing Mubarak.

Look, Booman, either that means Obama was letting Hillary drive the policy or he wasn’t paying attention because the clear message Mubarak got was that the US backed him, not the masses in the streets.

I am not sure why Obamabots like Booman think that either of these represent a comforting conclusion.

Of course, Booman does not take the time to get the details right: Frank Wisner, the envoy, is Frank Wisner the 3d, not junior, and while his father, FW2d, was involved in the overthrow of the shah (as one of the founders of the OSS and CIA) he was also – in that peculiar manner of the right wing social democratic culture in the early CIA – a stalwart supporter of the Hungarian Uprising which was crushed by Soviet tanks while the US stood on the sidelines (as Obama has done in Burma, China and Iran).

It is that bit of the story that makes the FW3d angle so intriguing. Wisner’s father reportedly committed suicide in the wake of mental illness triggered in part by his reaction to the crushing of the Hungarian movement.

We wait in vain for the day when Obama will have anything like this kind of emotional connection to a broad social movement for democracy. There is little evidence of it here. He missed his Harold Washington moment in history (when black Chicago rose up to oust the white Irish and racist hierarchy, a moment Obama claimed was so significant to him personally).

That said, of course, the smart play for Clinton here would have been to push and push hard to back a new realism that includes the role of workers and middle class activists in world politics.

If Obama balked she could have resigned and started her own path to the White House, if he went along then the victory would have had her signature. Instead she remains trapped in Foggy Bottom.