5.28.2014

Could Seersucker Balance the Budget?




Y'all, I wuz researchin'  Seersucker havin' jes' been asked about it, and I recalled my recent visit to Natchez whar' I had seen more than a few gentlemen in this quintessential Southern summer staple. An' looky heah-- what a fun read on the history of sartorial senators an' balancing the budget.  Lemme know what ya think, an' also, does any of y'all wear seersucker?  Ya' knows that Aunty be partial to cotton batiste, so of course Seersucker is beloved as well. Anyhoo, this be a blog post from a Southern lawyer, which I done pasted below and you can find it heah: 
ImagesCAHPTCKZ
       
http://www.billhaltom.com/blog/the-seersucker-solution/


  When it comes to politics,America has become one big dysfunctional family.  Democrats hate Republicans, Republicans hate
Democrats, and now, Republicans even hate Republicans. 
          The so-called "Tea Party Republicans" are now violating President Ronald Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment":  Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican.
           The Tea Party crowd is determined to cleanse the Grand Old Party of liberal Republicans, even though liberal Republicans went the way of the dinosaur years ago.  In fact, "liberal Republican" is now an
oxymoron like "jumbo shrimp" or "student athlete."
          A generation ago, Republican President Ronald Regan and Democrat House Speaker Tip O'Neill were best of friends.  The fought each other politically, but then got together like a couple of old Irishmen for drinks and jokes, and figured out a way to work together.
          But these days in Washington, Democrats and Republicans get along like the Hatfields and the McCoys. 
           Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have a personality conflict.  They hate each other. 
           A number of Republican Congressmen are trying to impeach President Obama even though he hasn't had an affair with an intern. 
           The federal government is scheduled to run out of money again in October, even though it actually ran out of money about fifty years ago, but keeps printing it.  But apparently, on some date this October,
the federal government will declare that it is actually out of money so that the Treasury Secretary can go to the Bank of China and get another loan, which will hopefully come with a new toaster. 
          There is a very real threat that come October, the President and Congress will not be able to agree on how to raise the federal debt ceiling and get another loan from the Bank of China, and the federal government might actually shut down like it did for a few days back
in the 1990s. 
          Polls show that the American people want the President and Congress, Democrats and the Republicans and the Tea Partiers to all quit bickering and sit down and try to work together for the good of the country. But in Washington these days, the word "compromise" has become synonymous with "treason." 
          But fear not, my fellow Americans.  I have a solution.  I call it the "Seersucker Solution."  We need to bring back Seersucker Thursday to the United States Senate. 
          Seersucker is the greatest fashion invention of all time.  In 1907, Joseph Haspel, a New Orleans clothier, designed a light-weight suit in blue and white striped cotton fabric.  Haspel named the fabric
"seersucker" from Persian words meaning "milk and sugar." 
          Haspel began selling his seersucker suits to New Orleans "bidnessmen," and in the 1920s, seersucker suits went national as Brooks Brothers started selling its own line of the summer suits throughout the country. 
          In the years before air conditioning, the seersucker suit was the only practical wear for politicians in Washington, as seersucker became a fashion staple for southern Senators. 
          In the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird," Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck, wore a three-piece seersucker suit in a hot Alabama courtroom and inspired thousands of lawyers - myself included - to don seersucker even in air-conditioned courthouses.
          And then, in 1996, seersucker suits literally brought Republicans and Democrats together in the United States Senate. 
          Mississippi Senator Trent Lott decided the time had come to revive the Senate's sartorial tradition.  As the Senate Majority Leader, he announced that the third Thursday in June of each year would be "Seersucker Thursday."  He urged his colleagues to prove that "the
Senate isn't just a bunch of dowdy folks wearing dark suits and a red or blue tie."
          He was joined in this bipartisan fashion call by Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein of California.  Feinstein urged her fellow female members of the Senate to join the bipartisan fashion statement.  "I watch the men preening in the Senate," she
said, "and I figure we should give them a little bit of a horse race." 
          Senator Feinstein gave eleven of her female Senate colleagues seersucker dress suits. 
          And then, in the spirit of bipartisan camaraderie, Democrat and Republican Senators gathered together on the floor of the United States Senate, wearing the genteel summer-weight puckered cotton.  It was a marvelous sight. 
          Just one year before the advent of Seersucker Thursday, the federal government had shut down after a big fight between President Clinton, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Democrat and Republican members of the Senate and House. 
          But a year later, as Republican and Democratic members of the Senate posed side-by-side on Seersucker Thursday, the federal government began to function again.  In a few years, the federal budget had miraculously been balanced, and we were paying off the national debt.
          Coincidence?  I think not.  It was a bipartisan seersucker solution to America's problems. 
          Seersucker Thursday continued for several years.  And then, sadly, the seersucker bond was broken.  The Washington Post reported it was cancelled because "Senator 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." 
          And so now, members of the Senate have quit doing something "frivolous," like standing side-by-side in light cotton suits and powdered white bucks, smiling and laughing, and treating each other with respect. 
          They are back to dark suits, and serious, hateful expressions.  And consequently, the whole country is going to hell in a worsted wool hand basket.
          And so, my fellow Americans, I say it is time to bring back Seersucker Thursday.  And while we're at it, let's declare today,
the last Friday in August, the annual National Seersucker Day.  It is the last working day before Labor Day, the date each year when the fashion police make us put our seersucker suits back in the cedar closet until next Memorial Day. 
          We Americans need to come together one day each year for a sartorial seersucker celebration.
          Milk and sugar indeed!  It is the seersucker solution to what ails America.


 




10 comments:

Aunty Belle said...

Jes' wondered if Aunty done ever wrote about Atticus Finch, who surely wore Seersucker. Found one such post:
http://abporkrinds.blogspot.com/2012/08/broke-hungry_3.html

Pam said...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=709467299092669&set=pcb.709467335759332&type=1&theater

Will orange and white seersucker do? Appeared in the OK State Senate on last day of session. Check my friend Malia's FB page.

I agree totally with all you say and witnessed it first hand on the state level. Certain groups would rather lose than compromise and they don't want who they vote for to compromise either. Me, I'd rather see someone who can make a deal and grease the wheel for the next deal.

fishy said...

Maybe .
One great thing about Seersucker is it was just about the first "no iron" fabric. Not only is it cooler, it does not wrinkle in even the most punishing circumstances. It would be a HUGE improvement if Congress could behave as well as Seersucker and look good while doing so.

No way will they ever look as good as Atticus.

foam said...

Now I want a seersucker suit
.. and a balanced budget..

Doom said...

Both sides would have to believe in a balanced budget, and there would have to be a president who would sign (or a lot of them in agreement). I am positive, as things stand, a balanced budget is about as possible as texting trout.

By the way, I ought to get my fishing license and give that a try. Love trout, more the texting kind as I think I get to keep their waterproof gear? Never mind.

Susan said...

We as a people are polarized so why shouldn't the senators and congressmen who "represent" us be the same? Aunty, we've chatted about this and Chicory and I have covered lots of ground on this topic.

As long as we divide our political representation into two parties that pretend to be different, but only have different forms of money behind them, we won't get anywhere.

I'm annoyed by this division, as it has gone so mainstream that people now won't be friendly to me because I deserted the progressive cause after the bailout and really began to see things differently, and I will tell liberals to their face that they are blind, naive and ignorant, but the last two are curable. It is amazing what happens when you wake up and everyone else is asleep.

I'll give a recent example and then I will stop eating up your page. A friend of mine in Chicago who is a confessed "liberal" and had a very hard time with my moving toward what many called "conservativism" because I needed a label, now sees that the mayor, Rahm Emannual is a total pig who sold out Chicago to his corporate buddies. I saw her in April and we finally got to talk some common ground as I explained to her that she isn't disloyal for hating a bad politician; she is waking up, so give up the liberal label and start wearing the "I think, therefore I am" label. It was one of the best talks I've had with her, and our friendship is back on track. But others who call her friend are mad because a Democrat shouldn't attack another Democrat; liberals must stick together and the like. If he is a criminal, then call him that and get past your "political" label. (And he is a criminal.)

I'll stop as this issue is dear to my heart, and I just want to grab a bunch of us and secede--really, I'm that sick of it all.

Aunty Belle said...

PamOKC, ya betcha orange will do, an' do right smartly.

Fishy, I'se a fan of seersucker. Mebbe if pollyticians kept cool, they haids would make better decisions.

Foamy! me me too. a balanced budget may keep the Chinese offa our necks fer a decade.

Doom, good sir, do trout wear seersucker? we need a balanced budget! but methinks youse correct! an' not all on the Potomac wish to see such progress.

Susan, eat up as much of the page as ya' need to make yore point. I is so proud to learn how ya' reunited wif' yore friend. I want to believe there be Democrats who truly do love the country and will come to realize that they ain't left the democrat ideals, but that the democrat pollyticians left people. Rahm is evil. Yore friend saw it. I say, the more of his ilk to swagger out front whar' all can see, the sooner democrat voters will see the truth. Sorry to say, this be true of many Republican pollyticians too. As fer succession, of course.Makes the same sense today as it made in 1861.


Now, please, folks, doan gunk up the comments with claims of the Union an' the horror of slavery, an' all that revisionist history. Looky, people who take the trouble to edoocate themselves on the War Between the States know that t'were an economic war, an' slavery warn't nuthin' but the PR fig leaf fer invading the South.

Fer anybody wif' the urge to argue wif' AB on this, be forewarned: actual history ain't favorable to yore position. None other than the great Cotton Mather, preacher-man of northern fame and heroism, justified slavery and deemed it the fit and just punishment of the heathen African. In "Rules for the Society of Negroes" (1693) Mather taught the slaves that God himself, not their masters, had enslaved them.

Slavery wuz made legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 1640s. Nearly every Yankee family of great wealth or fame wuz involved in slave trading. From 1644 to 1808 New York, Boston and Philadelphia and Providence and Newport Rhode Island families made massive fortunes trading slaves, and building the ships for the trade, or distill ing Rum to trade for slaves. In the 1600s they could not compete with the Dutch West Indies corp or the English Royal African Company, both dominated the west African trade, so the wily Yankees built their stakes on Madagascar slaving.

Aunty Belle said...


By mid 1700s, Bostonians were selling slaves to plantation owners of Virginia. The Brown brothers, of Brown oh-so-liberal-University, were steeped in slaving. John Brown was the first Rhode Islander to be prosecuted under the federal slave act, and had to forfeit his slave ships.

By 1776 slave trading was the net that undergirded the entire northern economy-- shipping required rope makers, sailors, fishermen ( to feed the crews and slaves) sail makers, coopers, tanners....merchants and agents, even newspapers whose ads for the slave trade made publishers pockets jingle...this titanic slave - made wealth is the investment capital that went into manufacturing, setting up the northern industrial complex and the railroads....

At the close of the Colonial age, the average northern slave owning family had themselves two slaves as a symbol of prestige. Few northern agricultural operations used slaves as the land wuz unproductive half the cold or frozen year, an' feeding unproductive mouths be a trial, ya' see....so most slaves in the north wuz urban slaves.


None of this is to say that all Americans, Yankee or Southern be favorable to slavery, 'cause they sure were not. Why, Lafayette done wrote in 1782 about Virginians who wuz so "grieved at having slaves, and are constantly talking about abolishing slavery and of seeking other means of exploiting their lands." Residents of Virginia in 1787, made themselves a big petition fer the abolition of slavery. Natcherly, their elected officials ignored them, an' why do that surprise us?

No no, every state hated the institution, an' most decent political thinkers, by 1800s, wrote or spoke to the truth that such an institution could not stand. It wuz neither morally or economically sustainable.

Sweet readers, please note Aunty ain't no way, no how favorable to that hideous practice, slavery. What Aunty done tried to do heah is revisit the truth of our shared US history on the matter. An' that be that the Yankees could not let the South secede because the South paid 90% of the federal taxes in 1860. Why , the first noble heroic words from Lincoln when Ft. Sumter wuz fired upon wuz, "What will happen to my tariffs????" Folks, now, confess it-- Lincoln warn't about no unity much less emancipation. It be About $$ first, an' that's what he meant by "union." If we's unified, we can take yore $$. Well, my gracious, do that sound familiar today??

chickory said...

Great report on the puckery summer suit. I just ordered one for myself. Now i should run for office. Great post aunty.

Aunty Belle said...

Know youse a purty picture in yore seersucker suit, sweet pea.