September 28 — The United States Senate voted unanimously yesterday on a rule that would require members to wear a jacket, shirt and tie at all times when on the Senate floor.
The ruling came a few weeks after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer relaxed the rules on dress, leading to Senator John Fetterman from Pennsylvania to preside over proceedings in a sweatshirt and shorts.
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM suggested, “I think what this speaks larger to is norms. It’s okay for the Senate to reflect on our norms. This is what we stand for. We work for the American people. There is decorum. There are norms. How embarrassing is John Fetterman to Pennsylvania and the world here? You have to go in your hoodie and you have to go in shorts and sneakers to meet the world leaders, to meet with your leader of the Democrat party. It’s a walking embarrassment, but think about the norms that have gone by the wayside. If the Senate can pull back some of these norms, thankfully, maybe you do the next schools and maybe you do the next rule of law, and maybe you do the next bathrooms for boys and bathrooms for girls. Norms seem to have a place in society.”
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This was a good move yesterday. Fetterman’s office said he will follow this rule but the work around is he can still be in that coat room in the back of the chamber when they’re voting in his shorts and hoodie and flip flops and just duck his head out the door when they call for the vote. So I’m sure that’s what he’s going to continue to do. But this is a good move. I never liked that rule when Schumer implemented it a few weeks ago. It was undermining the institution. It was deteriorating the respect that that institution should deserve. And Schumer, I don’t want to say to his credit, but if you look at his announcement yesterday, he sort of acknowledged that it was a mistake for him to have relaxed that rule. He said he did talk to John Fetterman, and said that this rule needed to now go away. I don’t think Schumer was expecting the pushback he got on it and Schumer of course supported going back to the old rule of needing a coat and tie at all times in the Senate.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “I don’t know why they even went down this road. This was absurd from the beginning. It’s absurd that he’s standing in the cloak room and I guess that’s what they were trying to, like cover that absurdity by allowing a relaxation and Fetterman didn’t even attempt to do anything close to what the old standard was. He went totally the other direction, defiant, disruptive of norms. This is not what we need right now. We need standards. Human beings need standards for society to function.”
In Fetterman’s press release yesterday, it included a picture of Kevin James from The King of Queens in a flannel shirt with his arms crossed with a nonplussed look on his face.
Barkdoll said, “I’m not sure what Fetterman was conveying there in a press release other than to say he just doesn’t care and if that is what he was trying to convey, doesn’t it even make the situation worse? So we’ll see. You’re gonna see Senate sessions here today and next week. Is he on the floor in a suit and tie or is he MIA, just working from that cloak room in the back of the chamber?”
Pennsylvania Representative Rob Kauffman noted, “There is a decorum of the House and you are not able to be on the House floor without, it’s collared shirt, tie, jacket to speak in the House. I have to admit, I feel as though under the Democrats that is degraded somewhat. You now have folks who are wearing strange hats. These are folks who are not sure which gender they are for many days. So you have a degradation of the dress code. We still have one. You cannot get on in sweats and all that kind of thing, but you do have some strange dynamics now that they’re going to try to make all the multicultural folks feel happy.”
Ryan said, “I’m hoping we’ll take a good hard look at this and the norms that are finally getting some attention here instead of pandering to a spoiled brat idiot.”
Kauffman suggested, “There was a pushback on this that folks never expected. I had an anecdote this week that happened to me. I left the Capital one evening and I went to a store on Carlisle Pike. I was dressed like I would be on the House floor. I walked in, I was returning an item. The lady who was of European descent, waiting on me at the counter, asked me if I was a banker. I looked at her like, no, no, I work in the Capitol. She was asking because I had that norm of what she experienced as a European. She’s like, oh, many men still dress professionally back in my country where I came from. She liked the fact that I just looked like a professional person. I wasn’t in sweats and a t-shirt. I think that’s what people want. Obviously, you can be more casual when you’re out and about but there should be an expectation and we have societal norms that we have gotten away from and I think there is a coming around of yes, we do like the traditional somewhat.”
Jansen pointed out, “It’s amazing to me how it came down to clothing before some people finally opened their eyes, but it goes to everything we’ve been discussing here. There’s a reason we have norms and standards because it causes us to have some stability in our society. When it comes to the streets of Philadelphia or the Capitol halls of Harrisburg or the federal government, there’s a desire to disrupt norms to cause chaos and to cause us to lose faith in the stability of our country. If we don’t start hooking this all together, we’re in trouble.”
Kauffman said, “We need to bring those societal norms back to the schoolhouse. That’s where it’s the worst, where we need it the most. Our young people need to understand that there is a standard, there is a norm and there is good in society with some kind of conforming to those norms.”
Jansen added, “The line they tell us it’s about inclusion, but it’s not about inclusion. It’s about disruption and that’s the big lie we’re being sold.”