I, for one, am absolutely shocked to see a pro-life administration taking action to reduce the availability of contraceptives. Up until now, I had always thought that the pro-life movement was a totally sincere effort to reduce the incidence of abortions by any means necessary. This makes it look like their convictions about the metaphysical status of the fetus are really just of a piece with a whole set of reactionary attitudes about women's sexuality and gender roles.

Meanwhile, does anyone else find it interesting that yesterday's Washington Post poll showed that people prefer Obama over McCain on "Social issues, such as abortion and gay civil unions" by a gigantic 56-32 margin? That's not even close, but the conventional wisdom usually holds that these topics give the GOP an edge. Social conservatives like to say they do, of course, but economic populists tend to say the same thing, too. But that's a bigger lead than Obama has on, say, "the economy" as an issue.

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