Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome back to freedom, such as it is.

President Obama has made several quick moves to rescind executive orders first enacted by George W. Bush. Among the highlights are the order to close Guantanamo Bay, the allowing of more stem cell research in the United States, the end of the "global gag rule" which had prevented medical professionals getting U.S. funding around the world from even telling patients about abortion, and getting rid of the rule that prevents states from setting tougher emission standards than set by the federal government.

The last of those orders is interesting to me, because it shows a shift in conservative thinking in my lifetime. "States rights" was a big favorite of the conservative movement back in the day, back when it meant "don't interfere in how we turn some of our citizens into second class citizens". Clearly, the conservative movement is now much more interested in "corporate rights", and the reason for this change is as simple to understand as reading a donor list. In the 21st Century, "moderate Republican" means someone who is not completely in the tank for corporate polluters, as is shown by Gov. Schwarzenegger being one of the first people to ask Obama to lift the restrictions on the states.

I'm 100% confident I'm not going to like some of Obama's decisions, but it is nice to feel as though my government is not habitually heading in the wrong direction on 99.9% of the issues, which was the case with Bush and his cronies. It is going to take some getting used to.


Karen Zipdrive said...

I disagreed with maybe 98% of Bush's decisions.
If I can agree with 75% of Obama's decisions, I'd consider that a resounding victory.
Only two areas concern me with Obama:
I want him to push for full investigations of the Bush administration for war crimes and lying to Congress to drag us into war.
I want him to push for equal rights in all things for gays and lesbians. Equal rights for equal taxation.

Matty Boy said...

KZ: Those numbers sound about right.

For me, I want to see some legal responsibility for the people who re-defined torture, who spied on American citizens without warrants and, like you said, hold people responsible for war crimes.

I'd like to see science get more respect as well, and this first week is a promising step forward.

CDP said...

I hate to sound wishy-washy, but I do think that Obama needs to wait a bit on investigations into Bush era crimes. Not forever or anything, but until the economy starts to recover. On the gay rights thing, I'm 100% with KZD--I'll be really disappointed if he doesn't take a strong stand on this, now.

Lisa said...

One major difference between liberals and conservatives is authoritarianism. Where liberals such as yourself, me, and the other commenters so far are quick to admit that we don't expect to agree with 100% of our President's decisions or policies. Many people who identify as conservatives believe that you have to support the President 100% because of the office he holds. Unless, of course, that President is a Democrat.

Whoops - sorry for that off topic comment. I agree that Obama should do as much as possible to reverse the bad Bush decisions and to hold the Bushies accountable for all sorts of crimes against the people and the Constitution.

dguzman said...

For me, it's just nice to remember that I don't have to cringe when I hear a news report that starts out "The president...." I'm still reflexively tensing up and my finger flies to change the station, but then I have that sweet sweet moment when I remember that it's OBAMA they're talking about. Then I relax.

And Zip's numbers are good for me too.

namastenancy said...

I know that I won't agree with everything he does; after all, I never agree 100% with anybody so why should the president be any different. But given that I DISAGREED about 99% with Bush (and before him with Regan and the whole era of "free market capitalism), even a 50% agreement will be a vast improvement. Plus, he's stopped the Bush give-away of federal lands and stopped the pro-fetus (NOT PRO-LIFE REALLY) idiots from preventing women's access to birth control. In my book, those two (3?) decisions put him far ahead of the previous occupants of the White House. I do hope that Bush and Cheney can be brought to trial for war crimes but I also know that might be a stinky old mess that he doesn't want to touch.
Furthermore, he's smart and his team has hit the ground running and I trust them to try to move more of the country from the wing-nut right back to the center.

FranIAm said...

He's not perfect by a stretch but it is so damn different!

Karen Zipdrive said...

I just thought of a great way for Obama to get a lot done on one day so he can take the rest of the year off.
"Whatever Bush did, by executive order I hereby un-do it."
Then he can jet off to Hawaii and clear some pineapple brush.

Anonymous said...

It's getting our troops out of Iraq that I'm waiting on. That is really at the top of my list. If he achieves that, he's my kind of President. Bush should be held accountable, Cheney too and watch for the Justic Dept trying good ole crazy horse Gonzales. I see where Turd Blossom has already been called to testify. How will he dodge this bullet?