In 1949, an up-and-coming young Representative from California, Richard Nixon – not yet Tricky Dick – was running for the Senate. His candidacy and personal philosophy was an odd amalgam of instinctual progressivism and ritual anti-Communism. He was fresh from his personal triumph in unmasking Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, using the famous “pumpkin papers” from Whittaker Chambers.
One of his key campaign platforms was – wait for it – essentially ObamaCare for Californians! He thus augured Mitt Romney’s program as Governor of Massachusetts many years in the future. Nixon won but never followed through on this, and probably it was never possible in the political climate of the time, but isn’t that a wondrous thing?