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Everyone in the Senate yesterday pretended the markup session and vote were an example of legislating the way it’s supposed to be done, with both sides agreeing to tough compromises and bravely chucking aside special interests in favor of the broader good. But it was just another fight between a group of people committed to a cause and a bunch of policy nihilists. The policy nihilists have a built-in advantage, every time. They are happy to exploit that advantage. That’s why Democrats had to abandon same-sex couples, and that’s why doing so still doesn’t guarantee the bill’s success.