Andy Card has some serious nerve. When I heard he criticized Barack Obama for not wearing a suit coat in the Oval Office, I dismissed it without a second thought. Formal dress codes seem to me to be the product of little minds; anyone who thinks good work can’t be done in casual or business casual clothes needs to visit Silicon Valley. And anyone who thinks that a building or space can be disrespected by whatever clothes are worn within it needs to get over themselves.
But then I actually read Card’s comments. Get a load of this guy:
“The Oval Office symbolizes…the Constitution, the hopes and dreams, and I’m going to say democracy. And when you have a dress code in the Supreme Court and a dress code on the floor of the Senate, floor of the House, I think it’s appropriate to have an expectation that there will be a dress code that respects the office of the President.”
Oh, I see. By not wearing a jacket in the Oval Office, Barack Obama disrespects the Constitution. Extraordinary rendition, black sites, torture, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping and wholesale data collection on American citizens — none of these things gave Andy Card pause. For five years, he cheerfully served a president who used the Constitution like an inconvenience, but that joker Obama better put on a damn coat or our democratic system is suddenly in peril. I mean, how uppity can Obama get, right?
What unctuous crap. And by the way, here’s a photo collection of presidents, including Mr. Dress Code himself, George W. Bush, wearing shirtsleeves in the Oval Office.