Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 12 22:27:07 UTC 2009

CNN has just reported that (and I quote)  "Obama is tightening his grip on
power ahead of the inauguration."  The "tightening" is evidenced mainly
by Obama's acceptance of  Bush's offer to release remaining "bail-out" money
on the day he takes office.

Now in the old-time dino days, the only people described as "tightening
their grip on power" were newly-minted "Communist Bloc" heads of state and
the odd leaders of coup d'etats in Latin America and elsewhere.

There's something a little disturbing to me about this extension of the
meaning of "power" to include "a term of national office gained through
democratic election" as though everyone "knows" there's "really no
difference" between a U.S. President and someone who forcibly seizes power
with the presumed intention of becoming "President for Life" (or beyond
life, as is the case of North Korea's Glorious Leader Kim Il Sung, who,
though long dead, is still named right there in the Constitution of the
Democratic [sic] People's Republic as the country's "Eternal President.")


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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