- - Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

While he was mocked for his performance in the last debate and had a disappointing showing in New Hampshire, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said what none of his rivals are willing to admit: “Let’s dispel [sic] with the fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to change this country” — with astonishing success.

Without this frame of reference, it’s impossible to understand what happened in the past seven years. The president of the United States is a man of the left — a hardcore ideologue with a soft facade who wants to make America poorer and weaker, grow government and increase dependence.

In the incompetent-ideologue debate, the other side is represented by Donald Trump, who responded to Mr. Rubio: “I think we have a president who as a president is totally incompetent. He has no idea of what he is doing and the country is going to hell.”

The president had no idea that Obamacare would be costly and coercive? He didn’t have an inkling of the impact of a $19 trillion national debt on the economy (almost half accumulated on his watch)? He couldn’t imagine that leaving four Americans to die in Benghazi would show terrorists we have the resolve of the French Army in 1940?

Incompetence is when the outcome is the opposite of what’s intended. Lyndon Johnson intended to win the war on poverty. Instead, it was poverty that won in the inner cities. He intended to defeat communism in Southeast Asia. The outcome was helicopters evacuating our personnel from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in what would soon be Ho Chi Minh City.

Like a guided missile that doesn’t waver from its trajectory, President Obama is right on course. His worldview is that of Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. When he told us before the 2008 election, “We’re just five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” he was not speaking of a return to constitutional government and fiscal responsibility.

The Affordable Care Act was always intended to be a way station on the road to a medical gulag. The president gave the game away in a 2003 speech to the Illinois AFL-CIO, when he declared: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program.”

Thomas Sowell, dean of free-market commentators, says that whether Obamacare is a success or a failure depends on whether the president’s goal was “to improve medical treatment of Americans or leave as his permanent legacy a system of income redistribution through Obamacare and tight government control of the medical profession.”

Did the president believe that executive amnesties would result in improved border security? From Central America alone, 240,000 new illegal immigrants have entered the country since 2012, as Border Patrol agents were ordered to stand down. Illegal immigration is the perfect solvent to erode the national identity the left abhors.

In Mr. Obama’s first term, food stamp rolls grew 75 times as fast as jobs — 14.7 million new recipients versus 194,000 new jobs. More than 60 percent of the jobs created under this president are low-income employment in food services, home health care and temp work. In January, the labor participation rate was 62.7 percent. More than 90 million Americans are no longer looking for jobs. That’s exactly what the president wants. Every American out of work or in a low-paying job is another vote for more welfare and higher taxes on the rich.

When he came to office, the 44th president of the United States told us that America was overbearing, arrogant and a danger to world peace. He apologized for our alleged sins against Islam (from the crusades onward), bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia, created as much distance as politically possible between U.S. policy and Israel, and helped to oust friendly regimes in Egypt and Libya. The former was replaced with the Muslim Brotherhood. The latter descended into chaos.

After the president ditched Iraq, the Islamic State became the prom date from Hell. Weeks after we negotiated a deal to lift sanctions on Iran and release $150 billion in frozen assets — providing a big boost to its nuclear weapons program — North Korea tested a new ballistic missile.

Mr. Obama will leave America in global retreat with our enemies advancing on every front. The Islamic State now has chemical weapons.

And still most Republican candidates pretend that Barack Obama is Jerry Lewis in “The Disorderly Orderly,” instead of Jason Robards as Al Capone in “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.”

Don Feder, a former columnist for the Boston Herald, is a freelance writer.

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