Recently, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer loosened the dress code, and, in response, Senator John Fetterman donned his trademark hoodie. Naturally, Republicans worked themselves into high dudgeon* over this. Sen. Rand Paul, designated asshole of the Senate (though closely challenged by Ted Cruz), went so far as to pose in a bath robe on the Senate steps (Paul kinda gave off the whole ‘Borat in a mankini’ vibe akshually).
There do seem to be some people genuinely, if ridiculously, discomforted by the whole thing: Washington Post center-right columnist Kathleen Parker became so deranged, she claimed Trump had a good sense of style. Which explains a lot about Parker’s op-eds. But I digress.
Regarding the actual distress, it’s amazing that centrists and conservatives are letting Fetterman live rent-free in their heads, especially since conservatives spend far too much time trying to troll others. Of course, given that Fetterman realizes he’s pissing off the right people, he’s going to keep doing it–and use it to make political points: he recently told House Republicans that if they manage to pass a budget on time, he’ll wear a suit for a whole week (hopefully, not the same suit…).
But what we need to realize is that this is same sort of ersatz outrage that accompanied Lizzo’s playing of an old flute from the Smithsonian at one of her concerts. Conservatives howled so loudly, one would have thought she masturbated on stage with said flute, rather than just playing it (Lizzo is a trained flautist), never mind that this was the Smithsonian’s idea in the first place.
So when is the last time you heard about The Desecration of the Flute? It was nothing but bullshit, disguised as rage. If Republicans were smart, they would stop making a big deal about Fetterman’s Sartorial Splendor–he likely would stop. But Republicans need to gin up their outrage machine and there are enough centrist suckers in the legacy media to indulge this absurdity for a while, so Sartorial Splendor it is.
*I’ve always wondered what low dudgeon looks like.