It’s not necessary to read tea leaves to figure out that Tuesday’s election results might be interpreted as a sign of some Americans’ dissatisfaction with the government and the desire to change who’s in charge.

But GOP guru Karl Rove wants to remind Republicans that their mass takeover of the House and other top power positions is only the first step in stepping up their fight against the “Obama-Pelosi agenda,” and they didn’t win some popularity contest at the midterms, either, even if they won a lot of seats. –KA

Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal:

Republicans must not delude themselves: The voters didn’t throw out the Democrats because they are enraptured with the GOP. The polling data suggest that many voters, while warming to the party, still remain nervous about it. Republicans are on probation. And whether they get off of it depends on whether they do what they said they would on the campaign trail.

Voters want Republicans to press for reform—regardless of the obstacles placed in their way by Mr. Obama. They understand Mr. Obama is president for two more years and retains the veto, but they will insist Republicans at least fight for change.

Republicans should be willing to compromise on details. Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “I’d rather get 80% of what I want than to go over the cliff with my flag flying.” But voters will not tolerate compromise on fundamental principles.

Americans clearly want the new Congress to focus on economic growth and creating jobs in the private sector. Real spending reductions, an extension of the Bush tax cuts, ending earmarks, using the returns from the bailouts to reduce the debt, and turning Fannie and Freddie into private companies should all be at the top of the GOP’s agenda.

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