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Egyptâ€™s President Mohamed Morsi can at least get a prize for brazenness. Just last Wednesday he was being praised by the Obama administration for his â€śpracticalâ€ť role in working out a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. â€śThis was somebody focused on solving problems,â€ť a â€śsenior administration officialâ€ť admiringly told the New York Times.
The very next day, Thursday, Morsi engaged in a different kind of â€śproblem solvingâ€ťâ€”taking steps to steamroll the opposition and move a big step closer to totalitarian rule for himself and his Muslim Brotherhood.
A decree issued by Morsi on that day shields his decisions from judicial review and effectively puts him beyond the law. It gives the same kind of protection to the lower house of parliamentâ€”which is dominated by Islamists who are writing Egyptâ€™s new constitution and had been facing legal challenges; and similarly insulates the Islamist-controlled upper...