Karl Rove had some good advice for Republicans in his year-end Wall Street Journal column. "It won't be enough to surf voter dissatisfaction with Mr. Obama and Democrats," he wrote. "Voters will want to know what Republican candidates would do."

It's become clear over the year just past that economic distress has not increased Americans' desire for big government spending programs. Voters are recoiling against the $787 billion stimulus package, the narrowly passed Democratic health-care bills and the cap-and-trade bill that's stalled in the Senate. They don't like the smell of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and earmark corruption.

Republicans can make political hay -- and good policy sense -- by promising to repeal such measures if they get the votes to do so. But like any political party seeking a mandate, they need to look farther ahead.

Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner and a Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column in The New York Post click here.