Newsweek reporter: Bush is a 'Dictator' (video)

After listening to the Financial Times' Chrystia Freeland talk about Vladimir Putin's descent into authoritarianism, Newsweek columnist Eleanor Clift remarks [VIDEO below] that at least Putin was a dictator with a commanding popularity while Bush is an unpopular and "ineffective dictator."

Freeland goes ballistic about the use of the word dictator (noting that we elect our leaders).

While it is true (with caveats) that we elect our leaders, that's not the only characteristic of a dictatorship. Merriam Webster's primary definition is: 1 a : a person granted absolute emergency power...

This is more or less what the administration's argument is with respect to Guantanamo Bay, torture, the Geneva Conventions and the Authorization to Use Military Force.

Although many in the very congress that voted for the AUMF explicitly warn the administration that it didn't include the authority to set aside the Geneva Conventions (or portions of it), that's what the president and his legal advisers are attempting to argue in response to the Supreme Court's recent Hamdan decision.

So yeah, that's sort of like being a dictator. Not to mention that the second definition is: 2 : one that dictates. Which sounds an awful lot like "a decider" but with, like, 15 more I.Q. points.

Either way, Clift revises her comment, calling Bush an authoritarian instead. Something John Dean, a lifetime conservative, agrees with.

(NewsBusters, RawStory, Merriam-Webster)

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.