Maybe we've been conned. There's a growing recognition that Barack Obama is an incompetent poser, working out of his depth, and his administration is the gang that can't shoot straight. There's a lot of evidence to support that belief.
Everything he touches becomes a bloody mess, like crushed bones and bits of flesh caught in the tracks of a tank slicing through a rank of soldiers (or civilians). Iraq, Syria, Egypt — all gone, as prospects for countries with a prosperous and democratic future. The "reset" with Russia, meant to ensure that America and the replacement republic of the old Soviet Union can be friends, is a reset, sure enough. The new Russia looks more like a reset to the Cold War, more adversary than friend, transformed by a feckless American president and an ambitious Russian leader eager to take advantage of weak and incompetent American leadership.
The "humanitarian crisis" on the southern border is the most persuasive evidence of all that America is adrift in a sea of incompetence, blown about by every ill wind that blows. The mighty ship of state is bereft of a rudder, traveling in endless circles with the captain stumbling on the bridge, trying to make sense of navigation charts he can't read.
However, this may be ascribing to incompetence what is better explained by conspiracy. Mr. Obama promised in 2008 that he intended to transform America, and he is well on his way. Anyone who looked closely at the man and the influences that shaped who he would become risked being called a racist, a nativist, a bigot and a redneck yahoo. He was the messiah everyone was waiting for.
The ruins of American foreign policy are not likely to catch the attention of a culture drunk on the entertainment of the trivial, the trifling and the unimportant. But everybody begins to notice when the chaos comes close, when those responsible for monitoring the border begin to tremble and sag under the weight of a tsunami of illegal immigration. The scary implications for the future of the exceptional nation begins to weigh on Congress.
This week, a Texas congressman who does not have the luxury of looking the other way because he sees trouble in every direction he looks, said what the nice people think must never be said. The tsunami will change everything.
"Either we're going to enforce our laws and remain strong, economically or otherwise, or we ignore the rule of law and go to being a Third World country," Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican, told Fox News. "You've got to follow the law. You cannot bring hundreds of thousands of people in this country without destroying the country. Then there's no place that people can dream about coming."
No one knows this better than Barack Obama. Making the United States over into a Third World country is exactly what this president is about. He is of the Third World. He spent his formative years in the Third World, and when his mother, obsessed with the Third World, brought him back to America, he sought out the company of those who dreamed of making America over into the world's largest welfare state, a France writ large, with Velveeta instead of Camembert. He and his Chicago cohort of potheads, "community organizers" and dreamers of fuzzy dreams entertained themselves with fantasies of how they would one day transform the land of the free and the home of the brave into a nation worthy of taking its rightful place among the nations of the Third World.
Mr. Obama sounds like that captain who can't make sense of the navigation charts, but it may be an act. He understands navigation very well. He talks of deporting the illegal children, of appointing hundreds of immigration judges and opening a vast new network of "detention facilities." That may be his promised jobs program.
But he has no intention of deporting more than a few token illegals, probably the gangbangers who came in with the rest. He can't do more than that. He knows the American people, with more mercy and compassion in their hearts than he has, would not stand for dumping children on a barren and hostile landscape, to be carrion for the coyotes. There's got to be a better way.
Of course, once the transformation of America is complete, and there's not much difference between Indiana and El Salvador, or between San Francisco and Honduras, the invasions will cease. America will no longer be the stuff of the dreams of "the huddled masses, yearning to be free." Nobody will want to come here, because it will be no better than the miserable places they would leave behind. We have seen the Obama future, and it doesn't work.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
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