Opinion

Sense of entitlement in Federal Way mayor race | Firearms Lawyer

The pundits tell us that people are fed up with the sense of entitlement they perceive in professional politicians.

Lately, I have noticed that my friend Skip Priest seems to have a certain sense of entitlement. Skip told me recently in his congenitally congenial fashion that my recent column in The Mirror commenting on the Federal Way mayoral race was a “kiss-ass” piece. Was Skip joking with me because I reported that he had a favorable rating from the NRA? Some people in Federal Way don’t like the NRA.

As soon as Skip paid me this back-sided compliment, he immediately corrected himself and attributed the remark to his wife. At first I shrugged it off. Then after an Oct. 6 debate at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, I complimented Skip on how he handled the issues, but told him I thought Jim Ferrell had won the debate. I thought Skip glared at me, but he was probably stressed from the pounding he received from his opponent. He abruptly turned and walked off.

I thought to myself that before I lose one or more of the few friends I still have, I had better seek advice from someone that knows politics. So I started reviewing some of Mike Royko’s old columns from the Chicago Daily News.

A mayoral aide in Chicago once told reporters, “Don't print what he (the mayor) said. Print what he meant." I wanted to understand the meaning of what Skip said. According to Royko, there were several theories that arose as to what Chicago’s famous machine boss, Mayor Daley, meant when he said, "If they don't like it, they can kiss my ass." Royko advanced the theory that Daley made the statement regarding the mayoral backside due to a wish to become a sort of Blarney Stone of Chicago. If a person kisses the Blarney Stone, he will receive the gift of oratory. Perhaps Skip thinks that I am endowed with such a gift.

City Hall insiders knew that to kiss the Blarney Stone could result not only in the gift of wealth, but even make folks glib and persuasive. According to Royko, people from all over the world might consider visiting Chicago, just as tourists visit Blarney Castle in Ireland, so they can kiss the famous landmark.

The fact that both mayoral candidates Priest and Ferrell favor making Federal Way a destination city for tourists causes me to wonder whether this has anything to do with Skip describing my attempt at punditry in terms that caused me so much consternation.

I doubt whether Skip might think that his backside could possibly become a Federal Way tourist attraction. But the phrase "You're giving me a lot of Blarney" is as American as apple pie. Ordinary citizens in Federal Way may someday exclaim that a lawyer like me "really has the Priest’s gift" — my shameless borrowing from Royko notwithstanding. Someday, Federal Wayans might even tell jokes about writers that pen “Skippy” pieces when the political prose seems to lack the proper journalistic acerbity (acidity of taste, character, or tone) to which we have all grown accustomed.

Royko pointed out that royal subjects usually show respect with a physical gesture like a bow or a curtsy. In some kingdoms, on the other hand, those who sought favor from a king were expected to kiss some part of the king’s attire. Did Skip perceive that my recent column was an attempt to extend a gesture of respect and reverence toward his person?

History does not contain a record of any king receiving a kiss in precisely the area to which Skip and Mayor Daley alluded. But why not? We should start doing unique things in a town as unique as Federal Way. Skip already seemed prepared to greet me with his backside after the debate. Soon he may greet all of us by turning his back when we pay our respects.

Royko had another interesting theory involving the ancient belief that those who were sick could be cured by kissing the feet of the king. I know that Skip isn’t so cheeky as to believe that he can initiate a low-cost health care program for us. President Obama has already taken care of that.

According to some Chicago voters, Mayor Daley had more brains in his bottom than his critics had in their heads. Skip is obviously a very cerebral fellow, but no one would suggest that his grey matter is located below his neck. If I were a journalist instead of a lawyer, I would have to learn to be more caustic in my opinions, however.

Boss Tweed once stated, “I don't care a straw for your newspaper articles! My constituents don't know how to read, but they can't help seeing them damned pictures." You, the reader, must decide whether the picture herein captures an arrogant sense of entitlement, or just an arrogant Firearms Lawyer receiving his just comeuppance.

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