Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Seattle Times, Editorials: It's time to end the pingpong match over the viaduct tunnel project

The Seattle Times takes a swing at calling on the mayor to recognize that the political game is over.

The city, state and county have haggled long enough over the deep-bore tunnel to replace the aging and dangerous Alaskan Way Viaduct. At some point, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has to concede he lost this debate. The time to march forward is now.
. . .
At some point, the mayor has to concede he lost this debate. The time to march forward, and live up to his campaign rhetoric, is now.

Editorials | It's time to end the pingpong match over the viaduct tunnel project | Seattle Times Newspaper

The short answer is that he can't choose to stop. He must keep going through the motions until his supporters let him off the hook. The problem for Mayor Mike McGinn is that they never will. Opposition to the tunnel for the majority of his supporters is stronger than their support for him. That is the truth he needs to embrace, and maybe he has.

This is a no-win situation. He won election by a thin margin by agreeing to not stand in the way, but he got into position to win by opposing the tunnel. If he stops his opposition he stands to lose his base, if he obstructs he loses his majority support from last November's election.

It is a lose-lose proposition.
But wait, it could get worse for the mayor. He is managing to create opposition to him personally by focusing on the actions and motives of others.
This is a fundimental attribution error, or Actor-observer bias, pick your favorite. The problem is wrongly attributed to the person rather than the subject.

Coming out of this "debate" over how the State will pay for the State's highway will people leave their opposition attached to the project, or has the mayor made the opposition about him?

It is one thing to lose a debate in your first year, but quite another to be ineffectual and ignored for another three.
On subjects where he might find common ground he makes it difficult for the people he opposes to overcome their dislike of him.
The short answer: Mike McGinn needs to stop acting like a jackass.
I just don't think he knows how.

1 comment:

Peter said...

BR said on SC that politicans wouldn`t act on the arena issue until it`s made an issue again. What kind of things could happen to make an arena an issue again with the county? Is it like you said, will the county probably get back to the arena issue after they agree on a budget?

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