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.