Greg Nickels, with finger planted firmly in the air to sense the direction of public opinion, has responded to Clay Bennett's response to his .... oh, who can keep track of it all, anyway?
Don't get me wrong, I'm solidly with Nickels in his position, but I'm not naïve enough to think that Nickels wouldn't be taking this position if it weren't for the efforts of Brian and the A Deal is a Deal organization. As a politician, Nickels is canny enough to know that one of the best positions to take in an argument is against someone the public despises. Government officials love this tactic: Politicians will always beat the drum against tobacco companies or sex offenders, even if there is no immediate danger, simply because they know they'll score points in the court of public opinion.
It helps, of course, when you have someone like Clay Bennett, who - like Michael Heisley in Vancouver a few years back - has been playing his new-found home like a piano in the Tulsa production of "A Music Man."
Unlike Harold Hill, though, Clay Bennett isn't selling us a pile of musical instruments and uniforms, he's trying to take away something that's been a part of Seattle for more than 40 years. Let's hope, like Hill, he sees the error of his ways soon enough.