Just to be clear: The fact that at least one Seattle reporter is finding the daily drum-beat from the tunnel antagonists to be increasingly soporific is probably a good sign (for the tunnel antagonists).

Why do I say that? Because that reporter's statement today reminded me of something I learned about message repetition while writing about Barack Obama's 2008 Democratic primary campaign in Iowa:

Even when you think it's working for the good, to watch this repetition in action, from behind the curtain, is nauseating. Political consultant David Axelrod, Obama's top campaign strategist, once told a reporter: "Here is the rule we follow with our clients—when the campaign staff and the reporters become physically ill over the repetition of the message, only then have you begun to penetrate the public consciousness."

Both Councilmember Mike O'Brien and Mayor Mike McGinn (whose message-repeater Aaron Pickus was spotted outside the O'Brien press conference today) benefit from having a very simple message, which is actually a very simple question: How are we going to pay for this thing?

No one has a good answer. But now that McGinn and O'Brien have asked it enough times—and in enough different ways—the public consciousness seems to have been penetrated. The proof is not just in the polling. It's in the reporters reaching for the NoDoz.