Articles by Karl Rove
Congressional Republicans are simultaneously united, divided and confused about the $85 billion of cuts in defense and domestic discretionary spending that begin on March 1 when the budget sequester takes effect.
Republicans are united in their dislike of across-the-board cuts but understand that this is the only way now to restrain federal spending. The GOP-controlled House twice passed bills, in May and December of 2012, that replaced the sequester with targeted reductions to less essential programs. Both measures were ignored by the White House and Democratic Senate. This led to the current impasse.
President Obama delivered yet another speech with skill Tuesday night and, near the end when he spoke about victims of gun violence, emotion. The president's problem has never been with the theatrics of politics. It's the substantive and governing side where he continually falls short. So it was with this most recent State of the Union.
This speech stood in sharp contrast to Mr. Obama's inaugural address, when he emphasized liberal social issues and climate change at the expense of economic issues.
There was rare good news from Washington last week, as eight senators—four from each party—announced a "Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform."
The so-called Gang of Eight proposed a "tough but fair path" to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would commence only after the federal government secured the borders and put in place systems to prevent foreigners from overstaying their visas and to help employers verify that any new hires are legal.
Many are arguing these days that President Obama has forged a new majority coalition of women, minorities, young people and upscale cultural liberals so large and durable that he can do what no president has done before—pursue a very liberal agenda without serious opposition or defections from his own party. Demography is destiny, this argument holds, and it is irrevocably on the side of Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party.
Yes, there will be fewer whites and more minorities in the future, and Republicans will have to adjust. But the situation is more complicated than that.
President Obama's 15-minute, 2,108-word second inaugural address followed the old wedding advice to offer "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue."
The "something old" was Mr. Obama's habit of serving up straw men before triumphantly demolishing them. "No single person," he harrumphed, "can train all the math and science teachers" or "build all the roads and networks and research labs" America needs.
As President Obama prepares to be sworn in a second time, it's a good moment to consider the state of the union during his era.
As of his first inaugural, 134.379 million Americans were working and unemployment was 7.3%. Four years later, 134.021 million are working and unemployment is 7.8%. In January 2009, 32.2 million people were on food stamps and 13.2% of Americans lived in poverty. Now, 47.5 million receive food stamps and the poverty rate is up to 15%.
President Obama says he won't negotiate with Republicans over his proposed more than $1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling as a matter of principle because Congress "should pay the bills that they have already racked up."
Set aside the obvious—that he championed the spending and signed the measures that racked up the bills, which Republicans opposed. There may be no person in America with less moral authority than Mr. Obama on this issue. Six years ago he led a Democratic effort to defeat a $781 billion debt-ceiling increase.
A year ago, I offered political predictions for 2012. It's time to assess what I got right and wrong—and to make some predictions for 2013.
President Barack Obama wasn't in the Christmas spirit during recent discussions with Speaker John Boehner to avoid the fiscal cliff.
According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, when Mr. Boehner asked what he would get for offering $800 billion in new tax revenues, the president responded, "You get nothing," adding, "I get that for free."
Since the election, House Speaker John Boehner has emerged as that Washington rarity, the adult in charge. To keep the country from plunging over the fiscal cliff, he has dealt with a president uninterested in compromise while leading a GOP House caucus understandably reluctant to concede much to that president.