National Seersucker Day has returned to Capitol Hill, an annual celebration of the slightly bumpy, lightweight cotton fabric that’s popular for spring and summer wear. Roll Call calls it “Hot Suit Summer”—I call it a shallow “bipartisan” stunt between a party that struggles to exert power and a party that is more interested in fomenting fear of Critical Race Theory than improving people’s lives. Frankly, we’re both right!
From Roll Call:
“America wants to be something different than gloomy, wearing a mask with barbed wire around the Capitol,” [Sen. Bill] Cassidy [R-La] said. “Just like people are now beginning to fly and vacation, now is the time to step out a little bit.”
That’s why he plans to stride into work Thursday morning once again wearing his light blue-striped suit, enjoying its slack-tension weave. Seersucker keeps air flowing near the skin. It also marks the beginning of summer on the Hill, temporarily transforming the legislative branch into a cross between a Jazz Age lawn party, the Kentucky Derby and the olden days of Washington.
Before air conditioning, senators used to rely on lighter-colored cotton and linen garments to get them through the sweltering months. Former Mississippi GOP Sen. Trent Lott revived the tradition in the 1990s, and Cassidy took over in 2014 when he was a member of the House.
It’s not only for Southern Senators, however. The Senators who participated in this year’s gathering are as geographically diverse as they are ideologically different: Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Republican Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California were all among those who partook in the tradition.
Without covid-19 social distancing practices in place, this year’s festivities meant that Senators and their staffers got a chance to mix and mingle worry-free and take some stylish photos.
Well, some were more stylish than others. For example: Who told Klobuchar and Jacky Rosen to wear black pants with a baby blue seersucker blazer? Come on now!
It made for a cute little “bipartisan” photo-op, much like the one that took place earlier this week at Kamala Harris’s home—and, hey, Senators like to have fun too. Who didn’t love Pajama Day in school? This is like the Capitol Hill Pajama Day.
It’s heartening to know that the parties can’t come together to do anything substantive, but they won’t hesitate to bond over light summer fabrics. It’s almost enough to make you forget the Republicans involved in this stunt didn’t support the latest $2 trillion covid-relief package, won’t pass voting rights bill HR1, are dragging their feet on long overdue infrastructure spending, blocked a probe looking into the Capitol Hill insurrection, blocked a bill that would narrow the gender wage gap... and that’s just within the last few months.
Maybe they’ll finally get their shit together and build a stronger social safety net for us if we tell them they can wear coordinated outfits when they do it.