Reuters plays up the fact that it’s a Democrat who’s taking the hardline here. And you know what? They should:

“When our major aid recipients engage in conduct that flies in the face of our own values then we ourselves are tarnished,” said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the Appropriations Committee’s senior Democrat.

Obey said he will try to cut back the bill’s $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt — the second biggest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel — when it reaches the full committee. The rest of Egypt’s appropriation was for non-military aid…

Since 1979, the United States has pumped more than $60 billion of aid into Egypt, but many Republicans and Democrats are growing impatient with Cairo over the slow pace of democratic reform…

Rep. Jim Kolbe, the Arizona Republican who heads the foreign aid subcommittee, said he will oppose Obey because Egypt is a “strategic partner” that is “clearly moving toward democracy.” Cutting aid only would make Cairo turn to China and former Soviet countries for its military needs, he said.

Follow Kolbe’s reasoning out to its logical conclusion and see where it takes you. Here’s the latest example of Egypt “clearly moving toward democracy”; you’re obliged to click and read at least the first two paragraphs. And here’s my post from last week on Egyptian policemen clearly moving their feet towards protesters’ democratic ribcages. Follow the link there to Sandmonkey’s blog and check out the photos.