It’s been a while since anyone’s been able to write that.

But that’s the basic feel of this Jonathan Tobin post at Commentary , which Jim hipped me to, “Beating the Brotherhood Isn’t Impossible.”

Here’s the most comforting sentence: The Arab spring may have turned in many places into an Islamist winter, but their eventual triumph is not certain.

Tobin’s piece suggests to me the idea that the brief experience of that Winter by the Egyptians, which vividly displayed the outrageous behavior of the Brotherhood even when it had been cooperated with in good faith by liberals, the military, etc., (a bit like our hopefully brief experience of Really Existing Obamacare), has turned them against it for a generation. Sometimes, a shot of winter’s bitter blast is needed for political health.

Of course, the situation’s still pretty mixed-up. I was reading the Arabist blog the other day for the first time in a while, and there remain plenty of reasons to worry about how the military regime of Sisi will develop. Sisi himself planning to run for president, after his once promising not to, doesn’t seem a good sign, for one.

But if it’s now mainly to be a fight between liberal democrats and quasi-liberal authoritarians, or more likely, a fight about how authoritarian and quasi-liberal the government can be, well, it’ll be comparatively nice to have that semi-clear fight, and not to have that third guy, the Islamist factor, also in the ring, potentially gaining control of either the democratic or military partisans. We can hope.

And no thanks to our State Department.

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