Anyone who has been on more than one date with a woman can tell you that when asked the question “do you like my outfit”, there is one answer and one answer only:
“You look great.”
Then you shut up.
So it probably struck folks as odd when the narrative that came out of Jefferson City through the liberal elitists in the urban Missouri media to the liberal elitists in the even bigger cities on the east coast was that, “the first order of business from white, heterosexual, Christian men in the Missouri House was to tell women what they can and can’t wear.”
Well, I don’t know the proper term they would use at CNN, but in Missourah plan speak: its bullshit.
Right off the top, you have to tip your hat to the house democrats.
Great politics to seize on something that real Missourians could understand and take advantage of a very willing and eager liberal press corps to run with their narrative.
It is not their fault the media strives to help them. They have headwinds at every turn and they owe it to their constituents to take advantage of anything and everything they have at their disposal.
To be honest, the house democrats are getting better, and have been for a while now. Rep. Quade is talented, and Reps. Proudie, Aune, and Ingle did a very good job on the floor. That three-seat pickup is indicative of that improvement.
Further, it is not Crystal Quade’s job to help house republicans avoid poor messaging. In fact, her job is the exact opposite.
If you are a republican tempted to get sanctimonious by democrats and the media, but I repeat myself, skillfully engineering a fake debate for publicity then stick around for when you have your debate on the half dozen trans athletes in the state.
Now, if you’re a new legislator from a professional background like Rep. Hausman or Rep. McMullen, you might be wondering what the hell is going on here.
Well, you have to look back to last session.
Your colleagues who served before you elected a weird, socially awkward, paranoid, middling idiot as Speaker.
He would complain about certain female members’ wardrobes, frankly, the ones I know of were republicans and pester them about what they wore.
Of course, he wouldn’t do it himself he would ask the staff to do it because he was a bully and a coward.
Moreover, if you’re Wendy or Aaron you may also have wondered why some people in the capitol have chuckled while talking about the house.
Well, your colleagues literally had a bankrupt Uber driver be Speaker before you got here. If you don’t take yourselves seriously why would anyone else?
But, back to the dress code.
The dress code wasn’t the “first thing that was taken up by house republicans”. The selection of a Speaker was. (Something that 18 years ago democrat Bekki Cook was too corrupt to even pull off without open brazen bribery of a suburban republican.)
Then it’s customary to pass the rules that will govern the next two years of proceedings, and those rules spawned the fake debate on a dress code.
Now look it’s just common sense that professional workplaces have dress codes.
Before you think dress codes are some draconian republican concept, even wokest of workplaces have dress codes.
I’ve never been, but both Whole Foods (which in case you didn’t know is where city morons buy overpriced groceries that we have told them are “organic”) and Starbucks (which I’ve never understood what they actually do for money) have dress codes.
It ain’t just blue vests at Wal-Mart or suffering the indignity of having to wear a jacket in the Missouri House of Representatives.
Further, it was the women of the republican caucus that pushed for the rule changes. Not the men. They were plainly told if you are a man to not go near a microphone during the debate.
I know that complicates the narrative, but republican women (or a republican in the media) can tell you how pissed the urban media gets when you’re supposed to fit in a certain oppressed box and don’t go along.
I’ll give you a white trash observation from my #SteinOfKnoweldge on the three real rules of the house now that we are twenty years into term limits.
Rule #1: Shut up and do what the speaker tells you to do.
Rule #2: Get 82 votes, and then you can hold things up.
Rule #3: There is no real Rule #3.
With that in mind, I think there is a real solution to the fake dress code crisis of ’23.
Common sense would say that any professional workplace has to have a dress code. Common sense would also dictate that any dress code should be enforced very very sparingly.
Now, luckily for the state this session the house has selected a Speaker who is a professional who doesn’t work from his car and does have some actual common sense in Rep. Dean Plocher.
As is the case with most problems just involving a reasonable adult with some common sense is typically the best cure for the problem.
Maybe the best-unwritten rule would be that if the Speaker himself believes a woman isn’t appropriately dressed for work then he should be a man and go address it with the lady, either in person or in writing. Don’t ask the house staff to do it, if he thinks there is a problem worth handling, then he should handle it himself.
Now I’ll bet you that if the house elects responsible mature adults to the Speakership, then someone is going to have to be pretty inappropriate in order for him to want to address it.
Luckily for the members of the house, if this speaker were to decide to dole out too much fashion advice to the ladies of the house, his wife would beat his ass.
Just like that, fake problem solved.
However, solving problems real or fake won’t get a republican on CNN.
If you have a few minutes catch last week’s show it was a good one, we had four of the new Senators Nick Schroer, Jill Carter, Tracy McCreery, and Curtis Trent on.
You will get a really good sense of the newest Senator Jill Carter. The word I kept thinking while she was talking was pragmatic.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.