The PJ Tatler

MSNBC Analyst: Obama No Dictator...Compared to Kim Jong-Un

Sheesh. Alex Wagner answered a question that nobody asked her which came out making her look ridiculous.

For some reason, Wagner felt compelled to defend President Obama from detractors who compare him to a dictator. At the end of a segment detailing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s decree that no one in his country can share his name, Wagner offered up her opinion on what a real dictator looks like.

ALEX WAGNER: There is only one Kim Jong Un and in North Korea, that’s a law. By directive of the North Korean regime, the name Kim Jong Un is now off-limits to any other citizens of the secretive and repressive state. Birth certificates with the name Kim Jong Un are rejected and anyone who happens to share the supreme leader’s name must change it. The order dates back to 2011 when Kim came to power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il who incidentally participated in the very same vanity project as did his father before him.

The cult of personality is nothing new to North Koreans who are required to hang portraits of Kim’s father and his grandfather on the walls of their homes and offices. North Koreans also wear lapel pins featuring their leaders and riotous applause is strongly encouraged wherever and whenever the one and only Kim Jong Un appears.

To all the detractors who compare our American president to an emperor and a dictator, this is what dictatorship actually looks like. And to the 169 babies born between 2007 and 2011 named Barack: you can keep your name. That’s all for now; I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

“Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations,” says Mark Finklestein of Newsbusters. Indeed. NoKo’s Kim is a tyrant, no question.

But Wagner’s straw-man argument is absurd. I can’t think of anyone who has compared Obama to Kim, even if they think he’s acting more like a dictator than a constitutionally-bound American president. If “dictator” can be defined as a leader exercising arbitrary power, you can make a case against Obama — a weak case, in my opinion, if only because President Obama was elected and the Congress is hanging on to some powers, like the power of the purse and the power to investigate the executive branch.

How about comparing Obama to Vladimir Putin? I see possibilities in that comparison. But Wagner thought she was being amusing by taking an extreme example of dictatorship and tried to tar Obama’s opponents as crazy.

Better luck next time, Alex.