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First take

Leonard Pitts has a strong blast at social conservatism out today that ought to generate some discussion. (He makes the point that he’s not talking here about small-government, fiscal or foreign policy conservatism.) By way of description, he notes, “Always, social conservatism defined “them” as something faceless and frightening against which the rest of “us” must struggle with everything we had, or else be overrun. It is an ideology that has contributed virtually nothing of value to the life of the nation – unless you count mindless panic as a good thing.” And he points out polling showing that for the first time since such polling has been done, as many Americans now call themselves social liberals as social conservatives – when the polling was first done, in the 90s, the sc side outnumbers the lc side about two to one. He wrote, “Gallup’s numbers suggest more Americans are seeing through this con job, this appeal to their basest selves. They suggest the GOP, held in willing thrall to this dead-end thinking for years, may now have a chance to break free.” The polling has been pretty clear on this for a while, and the next few elections may tell quite a story.

About the Washington state second special session: What we have here is a failure to compromise. No new facts are needed; a little bit of give is. The call of a third would be cause for serious complaint.

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