Articles by Karl Rove

Welcome to the Unaffordable Careless Act

Wall Street Journal | August 29, 2013

Harvard (and later Columbia) sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote in 1936 about the "unanticipated consequences of purposive social action." Pity that Barack Obama, an alumnus of both universities, either never read or took to heart Merton's warnings. It would have saved Americans a lot of misery.

The president certainly did not promote the Affordable Care Act by promising it would mean more part-time and fewer full-time jobs. Yet that is one of its unanticipated consequences.

Republicans Do Have Ideas for Health Care

Wall Street Journal | August 22, 2013

In remarks at the White House last month, President Obama claimed that if Republicans "had some better ideas" on health care, he was "happy to hear them. But I haven't heard any so far."

The Democratic National Committee expanded the president's charge, claiming in a press release last week that "the GOP is simply out of ideas" on health care. Liberal opinion writers are now echoing Mr. Obama. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein writes that "Republicans have no idea what is it is they'll do" to replace the Affordable Care Act. The New York Times's Paul Krugman chimes in that the GOP goal is to "deny essential health care and financial security to millions of their fellow Americans."

Can the Democrats Retake the House in 2014?

Wall Street Journal | August 15, 2013

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama told donors at a California fundraiser that "It would be a whole lot easier to govern if I had Nancy Pelosi as speaker." A month later at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in Chicago, the president went further, saying Democrats have "a great chance of taking back the House."

A Wounded Warrior Starts a New Chapter

Wall Street Journal | August 8, 2013

This is a story of heroism and endurance you need to know about.

On Friday at 11 a.m., surrounded by comrades, family and friends, Lt. Jason Redman will retire from the U.S. Navy after a distinguished career of nearly 21 years, in a ceremony at the SEAL Heritage Center on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va.

Jay enlisted in the Navy in 1992 as a teenager, earned his SEAL trident emblem in 1996 and rose by 2000 to Petty Officer First Class. He was then selected as one of 50 enlisted personnel in the Navy to get a shot at an officer track by returning to college. He was commissioned an ensign in May 2004, deployed the next year to Afghanistan and then to Iraq.

Setting a Budget Trap for Republicans

Wall Street Journal | August 1, 2013

Sometimes politicians, like magicians, use distraction. Take President Obama's latest pivot to the economy, which began with last week's speech in Illinois and concluded on Tuesday at an Amazon facility in Tennessee. The pivot isn't about the economy. It's a setup for two budget battles with Congress this fall.

The first will be about funding the federal government for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Mr. Obama proposed the sequester, signed the July 2011 budget agreement with its hard caps on discretionary spending, and threatened to veto any attempt to repeal or mitigate it. Nevertheless, last week he attacked the sequester as "a meat clever" that "cost jobs" and later told the New York Times Sunday that he's worried about "the drop-off in government spending."

Foreign Policy and the Vision Thing

Wall Street Journal | July 25, 2013

When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he promised that America would be more respected and liked in the world. Foreign leaders would bow to his wishes. Ancient conflicts would end. In a speech before hundreds of thousands in Berlin, he vowed to do nothing less than "remake the world."

Instead, President Obama's foreign policy has been a failure tactically and strategically, almost from beginning to end, mostly because he lacks strategic vision.

Start with Iraq, where Mr. Obama has largely surrendered America's hard-won gains. The Iraqis and our allies wanted a continued U.S. military presence to protect them. 

ObamaCare's Coalition Begins to Fracture

Wall Street Journal | July 18, 2013

The letter was unusually harsh. Addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, it was really intended for President Barack Obama. The letter was not from Mr. Obama's GOP adversaries but from the presidents of three powerful unions.

On July 12, James Hoffa of the Teamsters (1.4 million members), Joseph Hansen of the Food and Commercial Workers (1.3 million members) and D. Taylor of UNITE-HERE (200,000 members, mostly culinary and hotel workers) wrote to complain about the president's Affordable Care Act.

The ObamaCare Spin Machine Revs Up

Wall Street Journal | July 11, 2013

There's been a recent flurry of activities attempting to boost the Affordable Care Act. In mid-June, for example, President Obama's "Organizing for Action" group reportedly spent seven figures on TV ads (in California, Florida and Texas) claiming, "Americans are already seeing the benefits" of health-care reform.

Also in June, the administration and an allied nonprofit, Enroll America, described how hundreds of thousands of community organizers will sign up seven million uninsured people for health coverage, once registration for subsidized insurance starts Oct. 1.

More White Votes Alone Won't Save the GOP

Wall Street Journal | June 27, 2013

As immigration reform grinds its way through the U.S. Senate, the main focus has rightly been on the legislation's policy consequences. But there are important political implications, especially for the GOP, that are worth examining.

Some observers, including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan and the Center for Immigration Studies, argue that if Republicans want to win back the White House, they should focus on white voters (who comprised 72% of the electorate in 2012) rather than worrying about Latinos. After all, new Census Bureau estimates are that 100,042,000 whites voted in 2008 but only 98,041,000 did in 2012. Wouldn't it be better to get those two million whites back into the polling booth?

The Millennials Sour on Obama

Wall Street Journal | June 20, 2013

Both political parties find their congressional leadership and rank-and-file split by the controversy over the National Security Agency's surveillance of Americans' phone records. Democratic Sen.Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, defends the program for having disrupted plots and prevented terrorist attacks. Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, on the other hand, finds it a violation of fundamental civil liberties.

The Triumph of William McKinley

This book offers a fresh look at President William McKinley, whose 1896 campaign defeated William Jennings Bryan, ended a period of bitter gridlock, and reformed and modernized his party. The 1896 election is a drama in its own right, but McKinley's transformative political strategies and campaign tactics offer important lessons for both political parties today who face a similar landscape and many of the same challenges.

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