GAY MARRIAGE AMENDMENT GOES DOWN TO SMOKING DEFEAT….Today’s “Whistling Past the Graveyard” award winner:

“Ultimately, we will win this fight,” said Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. “Marriage is the union of a man and a woman.”

Sure, Sam. The gay marriage amendment failed 48-50, and since John Kerry and John Edwards would have voted against it if they hadn’t been campaigning, the real vote was 48-52. FMA supporters couldn’t even get a majority, let alone two-thirds.

What’s more, this was their best shot. We all know that tolerance of gays increases steadily every year, which means that if FMA didn’t pass this year, it’s never going to pass. It’s just plain dead.

I’m a little sorry this couldn’t have been drawn out a bit more, since I continue to think that on balance it’s a loser issue for Republicans, but a solid defeat is good enough for now. Within a few years, we might actually be ready to advance gay rights, instead of merely fighting to keep them from losing ground.