Submitted By Todd on January 24th at 8:06pm
Barack's got 'em.
U.S. President Barack Obama reversed a ban implemented by his predecessor, George W. Bush, on funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide information about the procedures to women abroad, the White House said Friday.Yup. In a time of crisis, more overseas abortions is at the top of the list for the incoming President. Bizarre.
The memorandum, which Obama signed late Friday afternoon without media fanfare, was immediately lauded by pro-choice groups. Anti-abortion advocates criticized the president for what they said was a betrayal of his campaign pledge to support policies that reduced the number of abortions.Without much fanfare is right. The transparent President didn't have a signing ceremony for this order. Not so his prior executive orders.
On his first full day in office he called in top military advisers and pushed them for a faster timetable for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq. Then he announced that he would close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. And he rolled out new policies meant to curb the power of lobbyists.The orders are largely symbolic - it's about Obama posing for the liberal wing of his party, and pretending to live up to promises made during the campaign.
But those actions had another purpose: clearing some issues off the table for now so that Obama can turn his attention to thornier projects, such as health care, that have confounded past presidents. "He is definitely buying time and space," said Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster.It's the economy that needs attention, health care reform that voters are eager for, and an end to foreign wars that would please Americans. Barack wants to work on those things, but he wants the radicals calmed to maximize political support for the stuff that matters.
Obama's initial moves have a certain political utility: Everything he did tracked campaign promises to break sharply from the Bush administration.It's not that the MoveOn.org crowd won't be furious with Barack for effectively going back on his promises. But for the majority of Dems, who have made Hope and Change their new mantra during their daily meditations, the pretending to be doing something will be enough.