It is 7 a.m. British time and the results of yesterday’s U.S. election have reached London. There were few surprises, one of those rare moments in recent American politics when the polls and pundits got it right. The question on everybody's mind, of course, is what the results mean. When folks here ask me, I usually say: "The results mean whatever you want them to mean." Accordingly, the politicians, activists and water cooler pundits now begin at least 72 hours of frenzied speculation about just what the American people "were saying" yesterday. Every one of them will have a different narrative. It's like a crowd at a traffic accident: interview each participant individually and they will paint a different picture of what they saw from the place where they were standing. Sometimes the most you can say with any confidence is “well, there was an accident.” So what is the absolute minimum we can say about yesterday’s results? Two things seem clear: 1) The American people are mad as hell, yet who they are mad at is a matter of dispute. Is it Obama, Congress, the economy, themselves, all of the above? 2) The victors will almost certainly mistake the mood of the American people for a mandate. Accordingly, they will craft a maximalist narrative of yesterday's events. Clinton did it in '92, Gingrich in '94 and Obama in '08. The result is always the same: the victors over-reach and the voters drag them kicking back to the centre a year or two later. We also know that lots of people will say that “this time is different.” We’ll see. The more things change....