No, I am not joking about either half of that title.
Today, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that National Seersucker Day has been formally reinstated. A bipartisan Capitol Hill tradition, Members of the House of Representatives typically wear Seersucker on Wednesdays and Senators wear it on Thursdays.
The tradition started in 1996 by Trent Lott, and continued until 2012. That year ninnyhammers in the Senate decided that it was, astoundingly, bad PR to have Hill staffers and legislators be doing anything except engage in hyper-partisan Stab Time. Dana Milbank at the time got it right:
I agree that seersucker is not weighty. When I wear my seersucker suit and powdered white bucks (only between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and typically with a bow tie), perfect strangers have at times greeted me as “Professor” or “Poindexter.”
But those who canceled Seersucker Thursday have got it exactly backward: Our leaders can’t agree on important things because they’re missing this kind of social lubricant. “Some say you don’t want to make it look like the Senate’s being jovial with all these serious things going on,” Lott told me. “My view is you can’t get serious things done because you don’t have events where you can enjoy each other’s company.”
Now, I understand that many of the people reading this are at least neutral towards the idea that it has to be a war of partisan all against all in Congress; I don’t trust the so-and-sos in the Democratic party myself. And I also suspect that most of the people reading this will be suspicious of Party X politicians getting too chummy with Party Y ones. But if we can’t have a danged sartorial tradition in Congress then you might as well stop reading about politics*, because the Republic is doomed anyway**. We on the Right talk – and lament – a lot about how everything has gotten politicized, lately. If we mean it, then we should favor silly things like this, precisely because they are silly.
Full disclosure: I do not own a seersucker suit. I hate suits.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Including reading about it on this site.
**Spoiler warning: the Republic is not actually doomed.