I suspect chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and regulatory czar Cass Sunstein have become the advisers that Obama follows most closely. For Emanuel, look at the New York Times story today on his almost completed agreement with S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham: closing Guantanamo in exchange for making military tribunals the norm, and the invention of permanent-detained status for prisoners whom they couldn’t possibly convict–because of insufficient or tainted evidence. This is step 2, after the ousting of Greg Craig.
On Sunstein: his 2004 statement in Dissent, when he was at the University of Chicago, now seems an impressive clue to the first year of Obama’s presidency. Very limited objections to the Bush policy on civil liberties, surveillance, the rights of prisoners. The key–according to CS–was to change the subject to domestic policy. Take up the burden of the wars abroad, pursue the state prosecutions at home, and expand the base of social democracy.