On the eve of our July 4 celebration of the Declaration of Independence, deep dish theoreticians can certainly go on about the problem of the concrete meaning of “consent” of the governed as it is expressed in the Declaration. This abstract principle certainly has problems in reality: does someone “consent” to the principles and present government of the United States just because he is born here? Casting votes in successive, frequent elections may well be a suitable, practical ratification of the abstract principle of consent, but the Supreme Court also recognized a long time ago (I forget the case) that emigration from the U.S. is an unenumerated natural right.
The point of this is to set up the outrageous stance Obama is taking: calling on Egypt to “restore a democratically elected government,” which might mean the Muslim Brotherhood. From ABC:
President Barack Obama says he’s ordered his administration to review U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. He says he’s calling on Egypt’s military to return authority to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible.
“The U.S. is monitoring the very fluid situation and believes ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people and we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove president Morsi and suspend the constitution,” Mr. Obama said.
The presence on the street of 20 million Egyptians, facing a prospect of the end of free elections under the Muslim Brotherhood, is a pretty clear signal that the people of Egypt do not consent to the sectarian ruination of the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama ought to have “reviewed” American aid to Egypt while Morsi was attempting to consolidate dictatorial powers. And given his total malpractice of statecraft over the last two years, Obama ought to keep his mouth shut right now, as Egyptians sort things out for themselves.