U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) believes there is far more to Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman‘s style sense than less careful observers have noticed. Higgins asserts that Fetterman is sending coded “communist” messages to his constituents, the so-called “Marxists” who, like him, don’t wear suits to work — and instead wear “workers clothes.”
(NOTE: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer relaxed the Senate dress code this month, evidently as a nod to Fetterman’s sartorial preferences, a relaxation that swiftly became another furious debate in the culture wars. Fetterman’s sarcastic response to the criticism: “If those j—-s in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine, then I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week.”)
Higgins doesn’t use the words proletariat or revolt, but his comment brings to mind the old political wisdom that there are two kinds of workers who vote — those who shower before work and those who shower after work. “Workers” are largely in the second group.
Refusing to accept that Fetterman “can’t” wear customary business attire on the job, Higgins writes of the Senator: “This lurch is a communist and he’s demonstrating his allegiance to Marxist principles by wearing ‘workers clothes.'”
Are we supposed to believe that this guy can’t dress himself yet he can perform as a Senator?— Rep. Clay Higgins (@RepClayHiggins) September 23, 2023
Let me say that I don’t buy it. This lurch is a communist and he’s demonstrating his allegiance to Marxist principles by wearing “workers clothes”. pic.twitter.com/qDEhT5tlih
The identification with working class people is something Fetterman is sure to deem a compliment, even as he rejects the idea that it means he’s a communist.
Workers and their rights are fueling an especially large discussion in America at the moment, with the United Auto Workers on strike and expecting President Biden to join them on the picket line this week. The Screen Actors Guild is also striking, showing two disparate industries whose workers have similar concerns about their potential displacement by Artificial Intelligence and about profit distribution that heavily favors management and the investor class. (The Hollywood writers strike, begun earlier, is said to have reached a settlement yesterday.)
Biden and Fetterman are both on record professing their unwavering belief in capitalism, not communism — and also their belief that workers are the lifeblood, not the leeches, of successful industry. If “workers clothes” is the uniform for solidarity with working class Americans, expect Fetterman to keep on dressing down. It’s notable that the Senator’s wife, who looks nothing like a Soviet housefrau, dresses up brightly enough for the both of them.