OPED: The Muslim Brotherhood is scared.
That’s right: scared. They will probably still win, but the Muslim Brotherhood is scared.
In politics, when you are confident, you close out your campaign with positive, uplifting messages. You trumpet the righteousness of your argument. But when you are scared, you hold panicky news conferences lashing out at your opponents:
“… Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy has accused the US, Zionists and Gulf states of trying to ruin Egypt’s democratic process… People who say the constitution was rushed are ‘liars’…”
Blasting the Americans (Morsi’s biggest foreign enabler), the Zionists and the Gulf States is the card you play when you are rattled. And calling voters questioning the rushed nature of the constitution process (recall all-night constitutional term-paper-esque cram session?) “liars” is just plain stupid.
This is not the language of a confident, winning majority. Nor was today’s other accusatory news conference held by the constitution’s crafters:
“… to combat what they described as ‘lies propagated by the opposition.’ The Constituent Assembly and Wasat Party member Abul-Ela Mady was the first to speak, saying that members of the assembly were the ‘real representatives of the people,’ slamming opposition figures who claim the new constitution as an ‘isolated elite’ document…”
In politics, when you self-proclaim yourself the “real representatives of the people” it most certainly and absolutely means you are not.
And finally when you fear the media, you instill fear in them, by besieging, threatening, and blaming:
“… Salafi sit-in outside Media Production City… members are calling for a potentially violent purge of all ‘corrupt’ and ‘anti-Islamic’ media personalities… death threats rising out of a handful of protestors gathered… while a formation of 17 men in track suits and galabeyas performed military-style drills up and down the driveway, chanting ‘Faith! Determination! [President Mohamed] Morsy shoots to kill!’…”
Defensive, accusatory news conferences on the eve of the election mean only one thing: fear. Closing arguments from your supporters claiming you “shoot to kill” display zero faith or determination in the legitimacy of “yes” position.
The Muslim Brotherhood is in crisis. And one thing they’ve proven is they do not possess the skills to manage or communicate in times of crisis. President Morsi set the political bar far to high when he claimed “around 90 percent” of Egyptians support him on the constitution. And now the Brotherhood’s “cadres” are finding out at the street level just how impossibly high that is.
Despite their fear and their truly amateur performance, the Muslim Brotherhood will probably still “win” at the polls. But it will be victory without legitimacy and without valor. And a victory shrouded in blood and shame.