At Crosscut, Knute Berger has an outstanding description of -- if not explanation for -- Seattle's peculiar distaste for the sorts of confrontational politics and that much of the rest of the country considers simply the noisy foundry of policy-making.
From the column:
"An online critic recently took me to task for my article defending Seattle Center's world's fair legacy. My critic began his tirade using my nickname, saying, `Skip's a nice guy, but he's wack-a-doodle-doo. ...'
"The nice-guy preamble was so Seattle. But it wasn't really nice, which gets to my point. Seattle operates under the guise of nice, it tips its hat to nice. But much of the time, we're something the postcard doesn't show: a passive-aggressive, often dysfunctional, conflict-averse town where the sharpest knives often leave their mark in the form of a Happy Face."