So much for The Fetterman Rule in the Senate

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Well, it only lasted a week, but if nothing else it provided some comic relief in a news cycle that’s generally flooded with one crisis or another. The “Fetterman rule,” as it came to be known, eliminating the dress code for the upper chamber was undone by a bipartisan resolution that drew unanimous support. Even Chuck Schumer, the author of the original change, voted to restore the previous dress code. All senators will be required to wear “business attire” on the Senate floor. The sponsors of the resolution were Joe Manchin and Mitt Romney. Fetterman himself did not offer a comment after the vote. But earlier in the day, he assured the rest of the Senate that would wear a suit whenever he is called upon to speak or preside over the chamber. (NY Post)

Advertisement

The Senate passed a bipartisan resolution Wednesday to restore the formal dress code in the upper chamber following blowback over the loosening of the rule.

Under the resolution, which passed unanimously, senators will once again be required to wear business attire on the floor.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed a rollback of the dress code last week and the move was quickly dubbed the “Fetterman Rule” over Sen. John Fetterman’s penchant for wearing hoodies and baggy shorts.

It’s unclear whether Schumer really did have second thoughts about the change or he just didn’t want to face the embarrassment of coming out on the losing side of a 99-1 vote. But he had clearly gotten an earful over this in the days following the announcement. Virtually nobody else supported the idea, and it’s not difficult to imagine that nearly the entire body found Fetterman’s antics to be an embarrassment.

But as I said, we at least had a few chuckles over the response. Almost immediately after the code was dropped, 70-year-old Susan Collins joked that she would wear a bikini to work. (At least I hope she was joking.) An image supposedly showing Senator Rand Paul wearing a bathrobe in front of the Capitol Building was making the rounds, but that turned out to be a fake AI photo. It was an impressive fake, though, and I thought it was real the first time I saw it.

Advertisement

So will any lessons be learned from this episode, particularly by Chuck Schumer? He obviously felt as if he held the power to set the rules as he saw fit to make things convenient for his party. He quickly learned the hard way that that wasn’t the case. In his role as Majority Leader, Schumer is not a chief executive of any sort. He is more what would traditionally be considered “first among equals.” It’s a ceremonial role in any event. The phrase “majority leader” doesn’t even appear in the constitution. (The Speaker of the House is included, but it’s only mentioned once.)

Even Fetterman hasn’t fully retreated. When he told his colleagues that he would be wearing business attire when speaking on the floor or presiding over the chamber, that was apparently just a compromise. He still intends to call out his votes from the cloakroom in other circumstances. So we can apparently look forward to the return of the hoodie and bike shorts in the near future.

But we should be able to ask why that is. What is so special about Fetterman? He has now demonstrated that he owns at least one business suit and is either capable of dressing himself or has someone willing to help him with it. What’s preventing him from doing that on a regular basis? We heard several speeches from members supporting the return of the dress code who spoke of “reverence for the institution” and “the most basic expressions of that respect.” I take it none of that sank in for John Fetterman. He clearly has no respect for the institution that he asked to become a part of and, frankly, not a lot of respect for himself.

Advertisement

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos

Advertisement
Advertisement
John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
Advertisement
Advertisement