Newsweek Editor: Bush Administration ‘Incompetent’ And Needs to be Held Accountable

Jonathan Alter, the Senior Editor of "Newsweek," last night told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that Democrats regaining power is the only way to hold the Bush administration accountable for its "incompetence." Appearing on the August 23 edition of "Countdown," he exhorted Democrats to inform voters of this fact:

Alter: "I think it`s really important for the Democrats to remind the voters that this election is really about accountability, because there hasn’t been any. The only way you can get any is to get at least one chamber of Congress."

According to Alter, this is the only scenario under which the Democrats will, at long last, be able to punish the President:

Alter: "Otherwise, you can`t hold hearings to hold their feet to the fire. You have no subpoena power, forget impeachment and all the rest of that, just getting basic answers to questions about why this administration has been incompetent. In order to do that, you`ve got to get some control and some power back. And that`s what this election is really about."

Mr. Alter is certainly no stranger to attacking George Bush. The MRC’s Geoffrey Dickens noted that he recently claimed a Bush veto of stem cell funding "may well doom thousands to die prematurely." The Newsweek editor, who appeared on the segment at 8:02PM EDT, discussed with Olbermann how the Iraq war will play out in the midterm elections. He claimed that Republicans may be able to spin the lack of a Democratic plan to their advantage, adding that the GOP is "better at the basic blocking and tackling of politics....They`re just -- they`re tougher." It’s surprising that Alter thinks of Democrats as poor little lambs, unable to play rough politics. George Allen, who made the mistake of calling a staffer of his political opponent "macaca," now finds himself being branded a racist by Democratic operatives. And who could forget Trent Lott and the Strom Thurmond birthday party? Does Alter believe that the Democrats were too delicate with him?

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org