Spare tire?” How does a presidential candidate receive such a nickname? Clearly a slap in the

Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi

Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi

face — but I suppose that’s just politics! Sounds like politics in the good-old U.S.A. to me; but in Egypt?  In the days before Muhammad Morsi’s election as Egypt’s fifth president (June 30, 2012), someone (in the press?) gave him the nickname, “spare tire.” Morsi, an academian, rose through the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood as a man who could be depended upon, who would do what he was told to do, and a loyalist to the ideaology of the 84-years old Muslim Brotherhood — but Morsi was never thought to be a leader. He was backup, second string, to the candidate of favor, Khairat El-Shater, the Brotherhood’s charismatic “deputy supreme guide.” However, El-Shater was disqualified by Egypt’s military election commission (the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) on 14 April 2012, just a few weeks before the election because of a technicality. Morsi became the Brotherhood candidate only after El-Shater was given the boot — much like a spare tire is mounted when the good tire fails; but just like a spare tire is quickly replaced, so it appears to be the case for Muhammad Morsi.  The military has given Morsi until 11:00am ET, July 3, 2013, for his agreement to the demands of the “opposition”  or step-down as president (apparently non-Muslim Brotherhood, but it seems difficult to figure out who the “opposition” really is).   Read more here.

As I write this post, the deadline has passed. Morsi has publicly stated that he will not resign, but will die first. The New York Times quotes Morsi’s midnight hour speech on 7/2:

“The people empowered me, the people chose me, through a free and fair election,” he said.  “Legitimacy is the only way to protect our country and prevent bloodshed, to move to a new phase,” Mr. Morsi said. “Legitimacy is the only thing that guarantees for all of us that there will not be any fighting and conflict, that there will not be bloodshed. . . .  If the price of protecting legitimacy is my blood, I’m willing to pay it,” he said. “And it would be a cheap price for the sake of protecting this country.”

On July 4th, 2013, the good-old U.S.A. will celebrate Independence Day. I may not agree with the decisions of the present administration but one thing for sure: in the home of the free and the land of the brave, presidents don’t get replaced by the people but every four years, on election day, and only by going to the polls and casting their vote. Perhaps replacing presidents in Egypt is like changing a tire on a car. If you don’t like the decisions of the man you just elected, get rid of him. Throw him in the trunk, under the bus, wherever you want. After all, democracy is government “by the people for the people,” right?  So much for Arab Spring democracy. Morsi appears to be its next victim.


Jesus come quickly.