election hair of the dog

So What Radical Treats Does Obama Have in Store for January 21?

It’s not going to all be like this for the first 100 days. There’ll be a lot of this, sure. But it won’t be everything.

Conservatives who have worried that Barack Obama will make drastic changes to signature Bush policies from the minute he arrives in office have found fodder for their fears over the past few days. Obama’s team has said that they don’t want to face the kind of ideological battles that mired down Bill Clinton over subjects like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in his first 100 days in office. But he’s also long pledged to review “every executive order” made by the Bush administration. That’s nearly 300 orders, and his advisers say that it’s impossible to tackle more than three major issues at once. Still, here are some specifics his team has been hinting at, beyond the vague general concepts of “health care” and “the economy.” They have the rosy stink of the liberal agenda all over them:

Closing Guantánamo: “President-elect Obama’s advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.” [Time]

Lifting Research Restrictions on Stem-Cell Research: Both transition-team head John Podesta and future chief of staff Rahm Emanuel have hinted in interviews that an executive order freeing up stem-cell research, one of Bush’s major ideological stands, will be high on Obama’s priority list. [WSJ, Fox News]

Barring Drilling in Utah and Elsewhere Domestically: On Election Day, the Bush administration announced that it would open up 360,000 acres of land in Utah to oil and natural-gas drilling in December. Podesta has suggested that this is “a mistake.” [ENS]

Capping Greenhouse Gases: Bush and Congress ditched the Kyoto Protocol, but America might get another chance at a 190-nation climate-change summit in Copenhagen at the end of 2009. That’s a very short time to write a nation’s entirely new environmental policy, but Obama has talked a big game about his cap-and-trade program, and since the US (along with China) has the world’s biggest carbon footprint, he’ll be under pressure to put his money where his mouth was. [Reuters]

Enlarging SCHIP: The Democrats in Congress have been itching to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Their last efforts were vetoed by President Bush. Since Obama’s universal-coverage goals dovetail with this effort, they’ll likely push him on this right away. [NYT]

So What Radical Treats Does Obama Have in Store for January 21?