Why the Senate Needs Seersucker Thursday
Dana Milbank links the death of bipartisanship to the death of fun
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2012 12:15 PM CDT
Senators get together for "Seersucker Thursday", on Capitol Hill, June 23, 2011, in a summertime tradition started by Trent Lott.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Last Thursday, something tragic happened: The Senate cancelled Seersucker Thursday. Senate leaders thought the tradition, begun by Trent Lott in the '90s, of wearing the light pajama-esque suits and perhaps hitting up the dairy lobby's ice cream truck, would send the wrong message given the weighty issues of the day. "I agree that seersucker is not weighty," Dana Milbank of the Washington Post agrees. "When I wear my seersucker suit … perfect strangers have at times greeted me as 'Professor' or 'Poindexter.'"

But that, Lott tells Milbank, is exactly why the Senate needs it. "You can't get serious things done because you don't have events where you can enjoy each other's company," the ex-senator says. As a staffer in the '60s, his job was "to light cigars and mix the cheap bourbon" at bipartisan poker games. He says Seersucker Thursday was an attempt to bring back that camaraderie. "It's harder to give somebody a real hard time when you were out with them … the night before." Click for Milbank's full column.