Thursday, January 22, 2009

Congress Schmongress

Behold the power of the executive order. As Spencer Ackerman writes,
For all the talk about Obama not governing as a progressive, take a look at his first not-even-48 hours in office. He's suspended the Guantanamo Bay military commissions, a first step toward shuttering the entire detention complex. He's assembled his military commanders to discuss troop withdrawals from Iraq. He's issued a far-reaching order on transparency in his administration that mandates, among other things, a two-year ban on any ex-lobbyists working on issues they lobbied for. And now he's shutting down the CIA's off-the-books detention complexes in the war on terrorism.
In another seemingly-minor but symbolically-powerful gesture, the Obama folks have re-written the source code for the White House website to make it more easily searchable from outside search engines. The Bush source code had 2,400 lines of code to make it difficult to search. As Ezra Klein writes, this move
bespeaks an administration that, at this point, doesn't think it needs to hide its words and actions from the people it governs.
Now, when do they start legislating?

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