Egypt's sham election
Even the NYTimes is calling it that! Moneyshot: A few limited gestures were made in the general direction of democracy, thanks to repeated nudging from Mr. Mubarak's most important international supporter, George Bush. For the first time in Egyptian history, the names of opposition presidential candidates actually appeared on the ballot. And for the first time in decades limited expressions of political criticism and protest were allowed. Compared with past elections under the half-century-old Egyptian military dictatorship, this one plainly marked an advance. But compared with the real democracy that Egypt's 76 million people need and deserve, the election was an elaborate and largely meaningless sham. The loosening of the reins may have gone further than first intended, but nobody is counting on any lasting political opening. And while some optimistically hope that last week's imitation election could prepare the way for a more genuinely competitive contest next time around, it could as easily turn out to be the ceremonial opening act of a planned dynastic succession, with the 77-year-old Mr. Mubarak's 41-year-old son being groomed to succeed him. So true!