NY Times Puts Protective Cloak Around Slob Sen. Fetterman (D), Hits 'Hard-Right'

September 21st, 2023 6:18 PM

New York Times congressional correspondent Annie Karni thought she had a good “gotcha” in response to Republican criticism of the Senate’s new relaxed dress code, imposed by Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), in response to a fellow Democrat’s insistence in showing up on the Senate floor dressed like a slob in defiance of Senate rules.

In Wednesday’s “For Some Senators, New Relaxed Dress Code Is Just Uncomfortable,” Karni changed the subject from the disheveled appearance of Democratic Senator John Fetterman by implying that Republicans were the true demeanors of Senate tradition. Not until the fifth paragraph was Fetterman -- the reason for the dress code change -- even mentioned. Karni briefly noted Fetterman’s hospitalization for depression, but the issue of Fetterman’s stroke was omitted entirely.

Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio has accused President Biden of trying to inundate the heartland with fentanyl to “punish people who didn’t vote for him.” He has eagerly promoted the false claim that former President Donald J. Trump won the 2020 election....

But on Tuesday, Mr. Vance spoke about a different gripe altogether: the relaxing of the Senate dress code, which he said would demean America’s governmental institutions.

Get it? Republicans are the real problem.

The recent decision by Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, to relax the Senate’s informal dress code and allow members to enter the chamber in casual attire, or even gym clothes, has set off waves of consternation and cries of dismay in the stuffy upper chamber....


“Oh my god!” Mr. Fetterman said sarcastically on Tuesday of the hand-wringing about what would become of the nation’s Capitol if he were to preside over the Senate in a hoodie….

Online, Mr. Fetterman has been having fun pointing out instances in which the Republicans who have criticized him for his sartorial choices have not comported themselves with great dignity or decorum, even while wearing business slacks or dresses.

And conveniently, so did Karni:

The dress code drama, however inconsequential it may seem during a week when Congress is inching steadily closer to a government shutdown, did ignite a real discussion about what it means to show respect for the body in which one serves -- especially at a moment when hard-right members who feel they have been sent to Washington to dismantle the government and disrupt its hallowed institutions are wielding their influence.

To many, gym shorts may be a sign of disrespect. But many of the best-dressed members in Congress have not always acted in ways that convey respect for democratic institutions.

Representative Jeff Van Drew, the former New Jersey Democrat who switched parties in 2019 and pledged his “undying support” to Mr. Trump, shows up to work most days with a four-point pocket square. In 2021, he voted to overturn the presidential election results.

Spectator (UK) writer Stephen Miller broke through the media’s wall of protection around Fetterman in “The Senate dress code is not the issue.”

…. Much like how an entire kindergarten class must accommodate one problem child who refuses to do his work unless his own special conditions are met, we are being misled once again under the guise of a dress code....The issue is the ongoing deception by John Fetterman, his family, his office and the media who will go to the lengths of bullying their own colleagues should they dare report on the accurate nature of Fetterman’s abilities….