The Washington Post is reporting on some of the first steps the Obama administration will take to undue the vast damage the Bush administration has done to domestic and foreign policy.
Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.
Anyone who thought Obama was going to go tentatively into the White House needs to read this story
Updated It's been brought to my attention that this was front-paged several hours ago. However, I think I've compiled a pretty good list below the fold of some of the key centers of attention, so I'm going to leave this up here.
Some of the key elements of Bush policy that will be overturned include:
- Reversing the provision on Federal funding for stem-cell research
- Lifting a global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion
- Reversing the decision to deny states the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, and
- Addressing the need for changes to food and drug regulations
For all of those who thought Obama would betray progressive principles once elected, this news is a significant wake-up call. Remember - the damage done over the past eight years is far from insignificant. But the fact that the Obama team has been hard at work at thinking about this is significant:
A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.
Will he fix everything immediately? No. But progress is happening.
"It took eight years to get into this mess, and it will take a long time to get out of it," [Winnie Stachelberg, the Center for American Progress's senior vice president for external affairs] said. "The next administration needs to look ahead. This transition team and the incoming administration gets that in a big way."
There is no time for second-guessing. There is only time for action. And Obama is already acting.