The Pennsylvania senator is the poster boy — if self-indulgent sloppiness is your thing — for the Senate dropping a dress code that required senators to dress in business attire when appearing on the Senate floor.
Fetterman briefly complied with the rule by making the sacrifice of putting on a suit and tie after he was first elected. Then, he reverted to his standard uniform that makes it look like he just arrived after sitting on his couch, surrounded by empty pizza boxes, watching football games all weekend.
There’s business casual, then there’s Fetterman’s garb. It wouldn’t be acceptable at many fraternity events around the country. Philadelphia Eagles fans dress more carefully on game days. If he showed up at almost any service or working-class job in America dressed this way, his supervisor would give him a stern talking-to and insist that he have more respect for himself, his colleagues, and his customers.
An employee of mine had a stroke a few years ago. If you didn’t know about it, nothing about his speech or mannerisms would make you wonder, “Did that guy suffer some brain damage?” He’s pretty close to normal, but it still affects him. He misplaces things more often than usual, forgets some details, and sometimes has what he calls “brown-outs,” especially in extremely hot weather. He can handle a warehouse job, but it would be cruel and unusual to force him to hold the responsibilities of a U.S. senator.
In Fetterman’s case, I think the amoral sociopaths around him who put him in this position deserve the contempt. The man clearly isn’t fit to function in that environment. We can only hope he improves enough to one day realize how little those ghouls care about anything other than using him as a rubber stamp. Lowry should have focused his ire there rather than take the opportunity to indulge in some petty snobbery. In the abstract, sure, it’s important to dress appropriately for special occasions. In practice, though, many of us manage to live complete lives without ever encountering such occasions. I’m not just saying it because I, too, favor athleisure clothing year-round. I remember seeing articles in the recent past complaining about women wearing yoga pants in public, which struck me as equally stupid. Not everyone wears business attire from 9-5. Schedules and activities vary widely. A lot of this kvetching strikes me as a yearning for a bygone world where social roles were more clearly defined and regimented.