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American Opinion: On President Barack Obama as dictator:

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

From Associated Press

How much did voters want America to change in 2008?

This much?

Some on the left now openly pine for the American president to become a dictator.

Filmmaker Woody Allen fantasized in an interview that "it would be good ... if (Barack Obama) could be dictator for a few years, because he could do a lot of good things quickly."

MSNBC host Chris Matthews the other day longed for the day when Obama would just take over the oil industry.

"Why doesn't the president go in there, nationalize an industry and get the job done for the people?" Matthews said recently, pointing to the oil spill in the gulf.

Such twisted thinking has been around for decades. But never before has it been so acceptable, so fashionable, to utter it out loud in public.

Meanwhile, a true dictator -- Hugo Chavez of Venezuela -- is continuing his hold on power and on that nation's resources. Recently, Chavez announced he was seizing a number of mining and transportation companies, in one instance because "we couldn't reach an amicable and reasonable settlement with the owners."

In other words, because it suited his interests.

"Since coming to power more than a decade ago," writes the Associated Press, "Chavez has nationalized major companies in the electricity, oil, steel and coffee sectors, as well as other private businesses."

Kind of like how Woody Allen and Chris Matthews would like Barack Obama to operate.

-- The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle