Nothing new here, as both Democrats and Republicans do it. When Dubya came to office, he reversed Clintonian mandates, and now Barack Obama has taken a few swipes at George W. and his executive orders.

First, under the Rahm Emanuel rule, all government agencies have been forced to place on hold any directives that hadn’t taken hold by Jan. 20, inauguration day of the new administration.

This has affected important labor issues such as the E-Verify system and the change in documentation for employment verification. You can read about these in the News Alerts section of Personnel Concepts.

This past Friday, Obama wielded his pen to crack the union code, or rather the Bushian anti-union code, by reversing some Bush decrees.

One reversal told federal contractors they could not (as in DON’T) post notifications of workers’ rights to withhold the portion of their union dues that go to political activity. A second mandated that federal contractors could not use federal payments to support or oppose unionization efforts (the thrust here is obvious since no employer would bother to pay for pro-union activities). The third ukase forces successor government contractors to offer jobs first (only?) to workers employed by the predecessor contractor.

All three edicts reverse Bush, who reversed Clinton, who was either original in these or reversed the elder Bush. Either way, you get the idea–and we all get to pay for their caprice when things backfire or produce unintended consequences.