Something that has frustrated me recently is the theme I hear from some politicians and commenters who say that the debate over the SR-99 tunnel replacement for the Viaduct is over. After all, our leaders decided back in January that we’d have a tunnel. This continued bickering is just another example of the Seattle Process.
When “bickering” reaches the point of a serious primary challenge, though, that means the debate isn’t over. Far from it.
When McGinn came to the blog meet-up last week, I was moved by some of his populist appeals. Politicians don’t tell us when the debate is over. They don’t threaten to withhold state money to get their way. They don’t move the city in a direction that we don’t want them to. That’s not their job. We don’t answer to them, they answer to us. I’ll admit, McGinn’s stump speech struck a chord with me.
It’s true that transit advocates should worry gravely about McGinn’s misplaced softness on rail transit (he’s wrong, it can’t wait). And it’s true that opposing a tunnel doesn’t mean that McGinn will be a functional mayor. We can argue his candidacy, but we can’t argue that he has renewed discussion about the tunnel and whether it’s really the agreement that Seattle should be a party to. How can one see an image like this and think the debate’s over?