Dana Milbank realizes what we've lost and sheds a tear, after running into Trent Lott while buying socks in a D.C. department store:
... Lott created Seersucker Thursday in the '90s, encouraging senators of both parties to mark the beginning of summer by wearing the pajama-like cotton, popular in the South.Yes, this again: people can't get along in D.C. not because the right has a radical program to repeal the 20th century and a habit of using every means at its disposal to enact that agenda through legislative hostage-taking, but because Tip and the Gipper don't drink and tell Irish stories after a long, hard day.
As many as 30 senators once donned the striped fabric -- from Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski to California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, from Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar to Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum....
Seersucker Thursday would have been on June 21, but on the evening before, the Senate cloakroom's staff notified members that the custom was being discontinued. Lott's former colleagues thought it would be politically unwise to be seen doing something frivolous when there's so much conflict over major issues.
... those who canceled Seersucker Thursday have got it exactly backward: Our leaders can't agree on important things because they're missing this kind of social lubricant....
But are the parties really irrevocably split? Not entirely:
Now that the politically potent National Rifle Association is keeping score, some Democrats may join House Republicans if there's a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in a dispute over documents related to a botched gun-tracking operation.Forget seersucker -- if the NRA wanted all members of Congress to wear their underwear on the outside for one day, you'd better believe the entire GOP delegation would go skivvies-forward -- as would a small but significant portion of the Democratic delegation.
The chief Democratic House head counter, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, declined to tell reporters how many defections he expected, but acknowledged that some in his party would consider heeding the NRA's call for a "yes" vote.
The gun owners association injected itself last week into the stalemate over Justice Department documents demanded by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The NRA said it supports the contempt resolution and will keep a record of how members vote....
"Social lubricant"? That's not how D.C. is going to come together. It's going to come together only in an atmosphere of total victory for the right. On guns, the city is basically already there. On everything else, well, the right is committed to a long war.