- The White House Website under Obama’s leadership is now employing a Creative Commons Attribution license for its content. That’s almost copyfree policy.
- Scott McNealy was tapped by the Obama Administration to author an analysis of the benefits of vendor-nonspecific information technology policy focusing on open source software. (edit: more on the subject, from another source)
- Obama set into motion a plan to close Guantanamo Bay.
- With the stroke of a pen, Obama nullified every legal opinion on the subject of interrogation and torture produced under the aegis of the Bush Administration.
Considering the substantial lack of campaign promises about reversing all the harm the Bush Administration did while Obama was running for the Presidency, I’m stunned to see him taking such broad and dramatic corrective action so quickly. Color me surprised — and pleased.
Part of the reason I’m so stunned by this is the fact that he managed to break campaign promises during his campaign, before he even took office. Basically, his actions on the campaign trail trained me to believe he was going to be no better than Bush on matters of privacy, recourse to the courts, et cetera. I considered listing a litany of his “errors” during his campaign, starting with his betrayal of his constituents on the subject of telecom immunity (and the FISA bill in general), but that’s not really the point of what I’m saying. The point is that, in the face of such expectations that Obama would not prove substantially better than Bush on any subject, I’m shocked to see the steps being taken to improve transparency of government policy, eliminate improper executive fiat, and enact similar corrections to the damage done in the Bush years.
At the same time, however, I see a continuation of business-as-usual when it comes to economic mismanagement in the general case, and I haven’t encountered anything to assuage my fears with regard to his likely willingness to encroach upon rights and liberties that are traditionally disregarded as unimportant or even harmful by the Democrats. Despite these initially positive steps taken by the Obama administration, I can’t help but feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop: What liberties will we have taken from us in exchange for those we’re beginning to regain? I guess only time will tell.
Maybe Obama will be two steps forward and three steps back, which is about what I expected from government before Bush came into office. That, at least, would be a marked improvement over Bush’s holding ground on some issues and taking eight steps back on others.