但是现在，保守派对奥巴马的讨伐又有了新的口实，因为奥巴马在步入第二个任期之际已经明确表示，将通过监管命令实现自己的施政意图。国会山的反对党不能容忍。所以在这个时候，奥巴马的第一任监管一把手正应该站出来解释政府规章制度背后的哲学依据。凯斯•桑斯坦是奥巴马在芝加哥大学法学院（University of Chicago Law School）任教期间的朋友，过去四年里一直担任白宫信息与管制事务办公室（Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs，以下简称OIRA）主任。这个职位虽然职责模糊，但权力极大，无论是制定燃油效率标准、重新设计食物金字塔这样的小事，还是医疗改革、华尔街改革这样的大事，桑斯坦都能插上一脚。
It's an article of faith among conservatives that President Obama scratches his itch for bigger government by imposing job-killing rules on businesses as fast as his administration can dream them up. Mitt Romney invoked it frequently on the campaign trial, asserting that regulations had quadrupled over the last four years. That's not true: Onerecent tally found that through the first 42 months of his term, Obama approved slightly more rules than President George W. Bush did in his second term and slightly fewer than in his first.
But the charge is gaining renewed currency as Obama embarks on his second term with a declared intent to accomplish by regulatory fiat what the opposition on Capitol Hill won't allow. So it's an auspicious moment for Obama's first-term regulatory czar to drop his latest attempt at explaining the philosophy behind that rulemaking. Cass Sunstein, a friend of Obama's from his University of Chicago Law School days, spent the last four years running the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). It's an obscure but exceedingly powerful perch that enabled Sunstein to put his imprint on everything from fuel efficiency standards and the redesign of the food pyramid to the rules for the landmark health care and Wall Street overhauls.
Sunstein used his office as a laboratory for his brand of "libertarian paternalism" -- his self-described and seemingly paradoxical approach to structuring prompts for people that promote their welfare by protecting them from their more self-destructive impulses. (Think of a supermarket that encourages healthy eating by displaying fruits and vegetables in the front of the store while relegating junk food to the back.)
Sunstein's approach is built on behavioral economics, which in recent years has upended centuries of belief that individuals are rational actors who will act in their own best interest left to their own devices. The science behind behavioral economics is largely established, but applying it in the policy realm remains controversial in some quarters. Detractors conjure Big Brother, a specter that inspired Glenn Beck to label Sunstein "the most dangerous man in America."