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Editorial: Stop the war talk

“We’re at war. Simply at war.”

Who’s speaking? George W. Bush? FDR? Abraham Lincoln?

Would you believe State Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Upper Shore?

And who is fighting whom? U.S. vs. Al-Qaeda? Western democracies vs. Axis powers? North vs. South?

Would you believe, the O’Malley administration vs. rural Maryland?

At least, that’s way the Maryland Senate’s newly minted minority leader sees it. And that’s how he

framed the issue last week when he met with about 50 rural lawmakers to discuss O’Malley policies they find particularly odious, namely the governor’s plans to use state muscle to curb sprawling local development, ban many new septic systems and push for higher “flush taxes” to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

But instead of debate, discussion and compromise, Mr. Pipkin and some of his allies seem to prefer the nuclear option.

While it makes for good sound bites, that kind of scorched-earth rhetoric is not constructive. It’s the same kind of behavior that has helped to give us gridlock in Washington.

All Maryland citizens deserve to see constructive engagement by their lawmakers on such issues to produce sound, fair, forward-looking policies that will help improve our economy and our quality of life.

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