Suit Coats Good Idea For Wisconsin State Assembly
The Wisconsin State Journal reports the idea of requiring the wearing of a suit coat on the floor of the state assembly is being discussed among the political leadership. While Republican Speaker Vos supports the move, Minority Leader Peter Barca is not sold on the idea.
Let me say at the outset I think the dress code makes sense.
Over the past two years rancor and discord followed the actions of Governor Walker and his conservative legislative majorities. Many around the state, including this blog, lamented the policy choices of the GOP while at the same time recognizing the serious divides that undermined the working relationships within the legislature. Reasonable voices on both sides of the aisle last session were not able to rise above the fray to work on a whole series of issues. Measures that would have benefitted the state, such as a mining bill to venture capital, were not concluded often due to a most dysfunctional legislature.
The last session of the legislature made history, but not the kind we want to see again.
There needs to be a long series of moves and steps in the direction of maturity and sanity to again heal the divides under the dome. Controlling outbursts and maintaining civility on the floor of the assembly should be something we take for granted, but we know that is not always the case.
Looking professional with a suit jacket adds respect for the institution. While I very much opposed the policy choice of ending collective bargaining, I also felt the theatrics of the opposition during floor sessions was not the best way to deal with the issue at hand.
To sport colored tops at a rally is perfectly fine, but there should be a more dignified manner when taking to the floor of the assembly. As such, I think the attempt for decorum with the wearing of a jacket while on the floor is most reasonable, and fits into the hope of making for better working relationships within the body. It will not solve all the problems, but it surely will not make matters worse.
All this might seem very old-fashioned and dated to many of my readers. But as a man who has lived half-a-century I believe that clothes does at time make the man.
A very close friend of mine recalls the days when his parents dressed up to go out for a movie. His mom would wear a dress, and his dad wore a suit jacket. They did not live in New York, but were middle class folks in Stevens Point.
I grew up when everyone dressed for church, and no one attended a wedding in blue jeans. One would never go to an auction when I was a kid and find a mother of small children dressed in pink sweats with the large letters “PINK” emblazoned across her backside.
I grant you that times change, and attitudes change.
But at the end of the day I think Wisconsin wants our elected officials to look professional and act accordingly. With all that has happened over the past two years no one should laugh off any opportunity to turn the page, and make for more comity on the assembly floor.
With that stated lets slip on the suit coat.