Hamas in power

So, the Palestinian parliament has convened, with Hamas in control. At dailykos.com, there are those who see this as a failure of the Bush policy to foster democracy in the Middle East. Those people are so shortsighted in their hatred of Bush and the Republicans. My response to one of their blinded-by-hate drones’ spiel:

Just because we want to foster democracy around the world does not mean that we must treat the democratic choices of the people equally. If the people of the Palestinian territories want to elect Hamas, we should definitely respect that choice as legitimate if it is indeed legitimate. But that does not mean that the United States is obligated to treat that government as an equal peer, nor that we must extend the same aid, support and policies as that applied to prior governments, nor that we even must extend diplomatic recognition to it. Endorsing the means of choosing a government in no way binds us in whether we choose to accept that government as one with which we will deal.

So, the people of Palestine are absolutely entitled to elect whomever they like. That is a fundamental human right. I’m quite happy to have seen a peaceful election with wide participation. Bravo. But their choices may come with consequences, and they need to weigh those consequences when they make their choices. If they don’t like the consequences of this choice, then they should take that into account at the next election. That’s democracy.

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