Articles by Karl Rove
In congressional testimony last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blamed Republican governors for her department's failure to create a "model exchange" where consumers could shop for health-insurance coverage in states that don't set up their own exchange.
Nice try, but GOP governors aren't the problem. Team Obama's tendency to blame someone else for its shortcomings is tiresome. The Affordable Care Act requires HHS to operate exchanges in states that won't operate their own. Since the act became law in March 2010, it has been abundantly clear that the agency would have to deploy a model exchange. It is Ms. Sebelius's fault there isn't one.
President Obama likes pretending he floats above politics. In fact, he is the most compulsively partisan president in modern times. Everything he says and does is better understood through a partisan lens.
So consider the recent Washington Post article in which Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker reported Mr. Obama wants to "cement his legacy" by working "to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control" so he can then "push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office."
The midterm election is still 19 months away, but for some it's never too early for demagoguery. And so this week the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a new "Mediscare" ad. The targets are 17 Republican congressmen who supported the House budget framework that includes Medicare reforms.
The ad has menacing music, doomsday predictions and a tagline that these GOP congressmen voted for "a radical vision for America" that guts Medicare. The spot is deceitful but still deserves a swift, powerful rebuttal. Even a deeply dishonest attack on Medicare, if unrefuted, can do damage.
Maybe Majority Leader Harry Reid didn't want a lot of attention as the United States Senate voted on a budget resolution for the first time in four years. Or maybe he's a Las Vegas night owl.
Whatever the reason, it was 5 a.m. last Saturday when the Senate approved a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014 by a razor thin 50-49 vote. Both houses of Congress have now passed resolutions setting the overall level of outlays for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, as well as subtotals for the budget's major areas.
In the 2012 presidential postmortems, Democrats claimed that an army of computer engineers, mathematicians and social scientists created a huge data advantage over Republicans that helped President Obama win re-election. There's truth in that.
Two aspects of this data gap stand out. The first is microtargeting. This means compiling and using hundreds of pieces of information about each voter that—combined with survey research—can help campaigns predict how likely a person is to vote, how persuadable they are, what issues matter to them, and what arguments they find persuasive.
Americans have watched Washington ricochet from one manufactured crisis to another, damaging both parties and President Obama's approval ratings. The January Pew Research survey found fewer Americans than ever trusting government's decisions.
This situation is creating internal divisions within the Republican and Democratic parties that will further complicate things in Washington. Let's begin with the GOP.
They may be far from combat, but military families serve alongside their loved ones—enduring separation, anxiety and, too often, tragic loss. Some families have a particularly difficult burden to bear, having to care for wounded loved ones, those injured or struck by illness while serving. It is work that can stretch into a lifetime.
Since the 9/11 attacks, former Sens. Elizabeth and Bob Dole have regularly visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center and met husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, children and friends who stationed themselves by loved ones' beds for weeks and months. Inspired by their example, Mrs. Dole in 2012 started "Caring for Military Families," a program of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
The $85 billion in spending that will eventually be cut after the sequester kicks in amounts to around two cents on the dollar in the overall federal budget. That hasn't kept Mr. Obama and his team from trying to scare the bejesus out of Americans about the spending reductions.
On Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he'd have to furlough 5,000 air-traffic controllers. On Saturday, the president warned in his weekly radio address that thousands of teachers "will be laid off," and "tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care."
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.