But we didn’t vote for him

Checking out the President-elect’s blog, today I see a post about Obama meeting with Sen. McCain to discuss ideas for approaching and solving some of our nation’s many troubles.

The blog post quotes, among others, one Tamara, of Springfield, Oregon – perhaps it’s the fact that she’s from my home state that made her quote catch my eye:

“If you truly want to gain the support and respect of those who did not vote for you, you could ‘reach across the aisle’ so to speak and begin with incorporating some of the ideas from the Republicans.”

Wait a minute.

Didn’t we, as a people, just spend 18 months rejecting the ideas of the Republicans? Didn’t Republicans, by and large, lose and lose big up and down the ticket? Local races, state races, national races… a whole lotta lose for anyone with an “R” after their name. Even the ones who tried to hide their party affiliation, like former Senator Gordon Smith, whose TV ads pictured him with Democrat Ron Wyden, or Democrat Barack Obama. Or Dino Rossi, whose only mention of his Republican-ness in the ad I saw consisted of white letters on a white background saying that he was “GOP”.

And yet, the voters could instantly tell that the Republicans were, in fact, Republicans because of the obvious signs: they hated the gays and the brown-skinned people, and accused their opponents of harboring treason in their hearts, and associated with terrorists.

Which of these “ideas” of Sen. McCain, you know, the ideas that cost him the election, is President-elect Obama supposed to incorporate into his platform, exactly? Is Tamara suggesting that Mr. Obama now appoint an intellectually incurious, uneducated, vindictive nobody to his Cabinet? Is Mr. Obama supposed to now actually associate with someone who pursued violent means forty years ago, who was never convicted of any crimes, and who has reformed themselves and become an influential member of society? Or is Mr. Obama supposed to drop everything in a media stunt, and rush off to get involved in issues that will not benefit from his actions, only to have his own party reject his help and vote against his ideas?

This is not change we can believe in.

Elections have consequences. And the vast majority of us (certainly a larger percentage than trusted Bush over Gore in 2000, and a larger percentage than trusted Bush over Kerry in 2004) trust Mr. Obama to get things done.

If we’d wanted Sen. McCain’s ideas, we would have voted for him.