“That mature attitude seems to have largely vanished.”

[ Snowpocalyspe 2008, on Union near 23rd Ave ]

David Brooks—who doesn’t always suck—wrote in a recent column:

Now we seem to expect perfection from government and then throw temper tantrums when it is not achieved. We seem to be in the position of young adolescents — who believe mommy and daddy can take care of everything, and then grow angry and cynical when it becomes clear they can’t.

Case in point—the Seattle Times editorial board’s take on the resignation of SDOT director Grace Crunican:

Mayor Greg Nickels refused to fire Crunican out of loyalty and a sense that her overall performance on projects such as “Bridging the Gap,” designed to improve roads and sidewalks, was done quite well. Maybe it was. But a crisis is the time when leaders prove themselves — and Crunican and her staff let down the decent, snowbound citizens of Seattle.

Translation: “maybe” mommy and daddy did a good job on the critically important, long-term challenge of transforming Seattle’s transportation culture, but who cares, cause mommy and daddy couldn’t wave a magic wand and make all the snow go away, and so the “decent” citizens of Seattle had every right to throw a tantrum.

So the question is, by pandering to this kind of infantilism, is the Seatimes editorial board simply reflecting the soul of Seattle? I’d like to think that they’ve got it wrong, that it wasn’t petty politics that took down Crunican, and that McGinn is letting her go only because he believes he can find someone who will be more effective at building sustainable transportation solutions for Seattle. Above all, I hope the latter proves true, but it’s going to be a tall order.