President Barack Obama and his supporters cannot admit that the resounding Republican victory on Nov. 4 was a repudiation of administration policies, not the result of a Democratic failure to communicate, writes Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal
Election exit polls showed Republicans increasing their support with key demographic groups including Asians, women, and millennials, according to Rove.
"The president's refusal to listen to the voters' message — that they want him reined in and many of his policies stopped —will lead him to make more unnecessary mistakes," writes Rove.
The Republican strategist points to immigration as the perfect example.
The president insists that the House pass last year's 1,200-page Senate immigration bill or else he will issue an executive order that could allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the country indefinitely. But there is no way for the House to process the legislation before the Christmas recess even if it was inclined to pass it, Rove writes.
There is a backlog of legislation that needs to take priority, including a spending measure to keep the government afloat for the remainder of the fiscal year, he writes.
"Does Mr. Obama really expect the House to craft complex laws in a matter of days? Americans saw how badly that turned out with Obamacare."
Rove advises the president not to provoke "a constitutional crisis" that would only make it harder for Republicans to work with him.
"Carrying through on his threat to suspend the law would obliterate the president's chances for any further significant legislative achievements in the remainder of his administration," Rove writes.
Should the president choose confrontation, Republicans would be wise to oppose him by every means necessary, yet to do so without over-the-top displays of petulance or threats of impeachment, Rove says.
"If the president mishandles immigration, Americans will have little expectation he will better handle other issues. His approval numbers will decline further, even possibly among disappointed Hispanics.
"What's left of his faltering presidency depends on what Mr. Obama does now," Rove concludes.
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