Obama's not following Bush's policies, he's just being pragmatic or something

So the caricatures of answers (a) “disappointing sellout” and (b) “naive liberal” are both wrong. Sometimes — ending the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” releasing the Office of Legal Counsel memos on the same — he has embraced the “liberal” side. Sometimes — reaffirming a broad state secrets privilege, reviving military commissions, envisioning a legal mechanism for preventive detention — he has come down on the “conservative” side.

Which makes (c) “kinder, gentler Bush” the most intriguing wrong answer. This argument has been made most extensively by Jack Goldsmith, head of the Office of Legal Counsel under George W. Bush. Writing in the New Republic, Goldsmith asserted that Obama has “copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit. Almost all of the Obama changes have been at the level of packaging, argumentation, symbol, and rhetoric.”

This is true only if you define “the Bush program” as what the courts and, to a shamefully lesser extent, Congress, had forced Bush to do by the end of his administration.