The Seattle Times has been cycling through editorial writers over the past year –saying goodbye to veteran writers Lance Dickie, Lynne Varner, and Bruce Ramsey, as well removing relative newcomers Erik P. Smith and Sharon Pian Chan from the page. And judging from a recent entry, the Times will likely be in the market for another new one soon.
Robert Vickers joined the Times from out-of-state in August, so I suppose he can be forgiven for not knowing too much about Washington State’s recent political history. But it’s hard to excuse his piece asking “Is Gov. Jay Inslee an absentee governor or a patient strategist?,” given that he should at least know a bit about music.
It’s hard to say who should be more insulted by Vickers’ piece – the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown, for being compared to Christine Gregoire, or the “Bad Boys of Rock and Roll,” the Rolling Stones, for being compared to Jay Inslee. Vickers showed each a serious lack of respect.
Vickers was evidently trying to find some excuse for why Jay Inslee hasn’t seemed to get much done as governor. So he chalked it up to Inslee not looking good because he was following a James Brown-like talent like Gregoire.
Talk about completely lacking any sense of perspective.
Anyone who lived through the Gregoire years—starting with an “election” provided by King County’s convenient ability to find ballots after election day, to a stunning increase in the size of state government by over a third in less than four years thanks to a booming economy, and completed by an utter inability to prioritize state spending when the economy stalled—would hardly find her performance worthy of comparison to Buster Brown, let alone James.
And, anyone who thinks that the global warming-one note player Inslee should be mentioned in the same article (let alone the same sentence) as Mick, Keith and the Boys has clearly not been paying attention to rock history or state politics.
At least Vickers does capture a true glimpse of Inslee, paraphrasing observers who suggest Inslee’s “been busy doing nothing. Worse, he’s been silent on some of the most pressing issues facing the state.”
Hardly music to our ears however. Who will be next up at the Times?