Saturday, January 24, 2009

A good start

When Obama first appeared on the national scene, I thought he was a great speaker, but I didn't think much of the content of his speeches. As time went, I became more and more impressed by him, and I found the content of his speeches to be much more to my liking. As a result, I was quite happy to see him first win the nomination, and then later the election. Still, words are easy - it's actions that matter, and we didn't see those until he first appointed his administration, and later took office. In other words, it's now the real Obama will show himself.

Speaking for myself, I am very happy with what I've seen so far.

Let's start with the cabinet positions. Before the names became public, there were some pretty bad names floating around, but it turned out that Obama's picks were much better than I could have hoped for. Obama demonstrated his ability to win over former opponents when he picked Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. He also demonstrated his backing of science with his selection of Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy. His candidate for the position as AG, Eric Holder, says that waterboarding is torture and his candidate as head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, vows to put science first.

That's some major changes from the last administration.

And then comes his policies. He has barely begun, but he has already done two very important things:

He has signed the order to close the Guantanomo Bay prison. That facility is a continuing monument of the Bush administration's disregard towards international law, human rights, and justice, so the faster it can be closed the better, and Obame showed that he has his priorities right by making the closing of it one of his first three executive orders. The others were a formal ban of torture and the establishment of an "interagency task force to lead a systematic review of detention policies and procedures and a review of all individual cases", as the article explains it.

The fact that Obama choose to make such executive orders his first ones tells a lot about his priorities. Much like George W. Bush's first two "Agency Responsibilities with Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" and "Executive Order: Establishment of White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives" (both issues January 29th, 2001) tells us a lot about his priorities.

Another great thing Obama has done, since he started, was to overturn the gag rule. For a good explanation of why this is important, see this description by Planned Parenthood.

What can I say? So far, I am very, very happy with the Obama presidency.

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1 Comments:

Blogger R2K said...

Not a bad first few days right?

January 24, 2009 3:21 PM  

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