The Pioneer Institute gives props to Gov. Deval Patrick for taking action to curtail police details and fat public pensions, as well as showing improved skills in political hardball. Potential Republican challengers in 2010 can't be happy when a
conservative-leaning [CORRECTION: "free-market-supportive" is a better description] think tank commends Patrick for "burnish[ing] his image as a Beacon Hill outsider willing to stand up to vested special interest groups."
Then again, almost everyone agrees that Patrick has been taking small, if highly symbolic, steps toward reform. If he loses interest in such issues (maybe after this fall's nonbinding, but highly symbolic, vote on abolishing the income tax?), he'll probably become less popular than ever among conservatives and Republicans.