If there’s any doubt about the frivolousness of Politico, the debate was set aside today. After a full five days had past since Andrew Card first made the criticism, Politico ran an Op-Ed by Douglas MacKinnon lamenting the “casual” White House dress code, titled, “An elegy for the era of French cuffs.”
While his point [that more pressing issues face the nation than Barack Obama’s attire] is certainly true, the question can still be asked: Is anything — or should anything be — sacred anymore? More important, as we continue to lessen or dismiss the significance of tradition, formality, respect and civility, are we negatively affecting perception, human interaction and even productivity? I maintain that we are.
The cognitive dissonance displayed here is so staggering, it’s actually impossible to make a joke that’s funnier than what’s on the page. What’s more, it’s hard to believe any self-respecting writer could, with any level of seriousness, write the above paragraph about French cuffs. But with bipartisanship all the buzz, MacKinnon carries forth.
Even some liberals are in agreement. On a recent casual Friday at the office, this Democratic friend was dressed in a dark suit, white French-cuff shirt and blue power tie. Though he is under 40, he told me that not only does he “hate” casual Fridays, but he also feels that as more and more law firms and businesses go to everyday casual, it has a detrimental effect on workplace pride and productivity.
Ok, I take back what I said about MacKinnon as a writer. I’m genuinely impressed someone could so completely encapuslate what it means to be a “douche” in just two sentences.
“If suits and ties don’t matter, where do you draw the line?” he asked. “If the Obama White House thinking is accurate, then it’s all about the talent level of the individual, and dress code should not matter at all. If that is the standard, why not come into the White House wearing tank tops, shorts and sandals? At the end of the day, it’s just threads and footwear, right? No difference between that and a suit as long as the work gets done.”
I feel sorry for whichever unsuspecting people hire this guy as a lawyer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a stupid argument in my life. I mean, if the point of eating is to fuel your body, why not just throw all your food and drink in a blender and consume all your meals with a straw? The answer would be because you’re not a fucking idiot who likes making stupid rhetorical arguments and it’s relatively obvious to most people when monomaniacally focusing on goals has trade offs.
I have a great deal of respect for Obama and the gifts and energy he brings to the Oval Office. I want him to move the country forward and help those less fortunate.
That said, I was honestly saddened when he did a recent interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer wearing only an open-collared dress shirt and dark slacks. Not only was the contrast with Lauer’s suit and tie obvious, but I felt it diminished the office of president of the United States.
Saddened? Saddened? I am honestly saddened everytime I walk to the Metro and discover that Politico hasn’t gone out of business.