Michelle Goldberg at The Daily Beast has the best of the growing number of analyses of how confused the right-wing has become, twisting itself into knots over the unfolding events in Cairo. Exhibit A, or course, is Glenn Beck, but it doesn't stop there:
It was only a few years ago, you'll remember, that conservatives were crowing about a new birth of freedom in the Muslim world. Gunning for war with Iraq, conservatives attacked earlier generations of foreign-policy realists for propping up Arab dictators, arguing that political oppression and corruption created stultifying societies were terrorism bred. George Bush made the rhetorical championing of Middle Eastern democracy a centerpiece of his presidency. In a 2003 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, he promised that a "liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions."
It was never entirely clear how the right's support for political freedom in the Muslim world meshed with its overwhelming contempt for Muslim people. Still, Bush had the passionate backing of most conservatives. A March 2003 dispatch from The Dallas Morning News, for example, featured an up-and-coming right-wing radio host who was organizing pro-Bush rallies across the country: "From his studio in Philadelphia, syndicated radio talk-show host Glenn Beck urges Americans to support President Bush and what he characterizes as Mr. Bush's plan for seeding freedom in the Middle East with the invasion of U.S. troops."
Gosh, were we ever that young and foolish?