The reaction to the news from over the weekend that Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had “quietly” and “informally” changed the Senate dress code to essentially allow Senators to wear what they want has sparked debate on whether it was wrong or right, along with speculation over if it had anything to do with Sen. John Fetterman’s (D-Pa.) penchant for showing up for work in the United States Senate wearing sweatshirt hoodies and shorts.
I think it’s pretty obvious this was a Fetterman-inspired thing considering, to my knowledge, there were no other Senators clamoring to wear gym attire while they worked – ostensibly – on behalf of the people while voting on legislation and giving speeches on the Senate floor.
In any event, the change has caused a war of words between Republicans and Democrats, with Republicans, for the most part, agreeing that the departure from having dress code standards is further evidence of the lack of respect Democrats have for setting standards, and Democrats including Fetterman essentially telling them, in turn, to get over it.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 GOP presidential candidate, also spoke about the issue briefly Monday during a Jacksonville press conference where bonuses were given to first responders for the third consecutive year.
Here’s what he said:
“Did you guys hear the US Senate just eliminated its dress code because you got this guy from Pennsylvania who’s got a lot of problems. I mean let’s just be honest, like how he got elected – well, he got elected, because they didn’t want the alternative. But, he wears, like, sweatshirts and hoodies and shorts, and that’s his thing.
So he would campaign in that. Which is your prerogative, right? I mean if that’s what you want to do. But to show up in the United States Senate with that and not have the decency to put on proper attire, I think it’s disrespectful to the body. And I think the fact that the Senate changed the rules to accommodate that speaks very poorly to how they consider that. We need to be lifting up our standards in this country, not dumbing down our standards in this country, and this is an example why.”
DESANTIS: “The US Senate just eliminated its dress code because you got this guy from Pennsylvania [Fetterman] – who’s got a lot of problems […] he wears, like, sweatshirts and hoodies and shorts […] We need to be lifting up our standards in this country, not dumbing down.” pic.twitter.com/IZDlkmPcPA
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) September 18, 2023
While I think the Senate lowering its dress code standards for Senators (the original standards still apply to staff and guests) is not a hill anyone thinks is worth dying on, it’s important to make the larger point as DeSantis did in talking about either keeping or raising standards and not lowering them.
Obviously, this does not apply just to dress codes in Washington, D.C. but also in public school classrooms, businesses, and beyond, where we’ve seen a real decline in high standards over the years in the name of “inclusivity” or whatever.
In my opinion, a great many problems we have in this country could be reduced or eliminated if people in positions of power refused to bow to cancel culture mobs and instead did the right thing by refusing to “dumb down” standards and by also rejecting woke so-called “standards” that have no business being implemented in the public school system and workplace.
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