MOVING THE DEBATE LEFTWARD. And this, via Jon Cohn, is why I'm enthusiastic about Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy:

Still, Mitt Romney will say this law makes him a worthy candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. And he's right. Politics should reward officials who accomplish something in office. And while it will undoubtedly annoy some progressives who don't love the plan or think he's taking credit for an idea (and favorable circumstances) that fell into his lap, they should be thankful for this development.

Thankful, because nationally the most important impact of this new law may be on politics, not policy. Once Romney starts boasting about how he achieved universal health coverage in Massachusetts, it will become that much harder for conservatives to demonize the very concept as "big government." Oh, they'll try--and they'll have at least some success. But now Democrats will have this retort: If a Republican governor and leading presidential contender with strong conservative credentials thinks universal health care is a good idea, how radical an idea can it be?


--Ezra Klein