Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?

I do not think so. We know the shotgun does not sing the song (thanks Pete), Cheney is moving back to Wyoming. Still, The Associated Press: Amid Obama's change, there's also more of the same provokes some thought:
"The Bush policy of imprisoning enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial? The Obama White House is OK with that.

The Bush tax cuts for the rich that candidate Obama promised to wipe out early? President Obama will let them run their course.

The Bush team's claim of a 'state secrets' privilege to avoid releasing information? The Obama White House has agreed thrice over, even as it reviews the policy.

Across the landscape of government, there are plenty of other instances in which Obama is staying his Republican predecessor's course — at least for now.

Has Obama had a sudden change of heart or undergone a sea change in ideology? Hardly. He's made a clean break with the Bush administration on all sorts of policies and more change is surely coming."

His holdover actions can be traced to a variety of factors: the practical realities of governing, the natural inclination of presidents to preserve their powers, the limits imposed by a tough economy and existing entanglements abroad, and the fact that it's not always easy or desirable to turn around complex policies on a dime.

After all, he's been in office not even six weeks.

That is right. Six weeks. He has Bush's economic meltdown to deal with. He has Bush's Iraqi misadventure to deal with. I am not so keen about Obama not repudiating Bush's executive privilege position but there is time to deal with that. (And we have a less supine Congress than what the Republicans offered Bush.)

Maybe, just maybe, the people got smarter. Maybe we got a leader who does rise up to the occasion and will do as much good and as little bad as possible. Maybe we all know the words to the song and know to keep an eye on our politicians. Eight years of George W. Bush showed we could be fooled (well, those that voted for him...)

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