Bush League


After the extended JFK love-fest (hmm, unconscious pun there), it’s time to appease the other side.

On Tuesday Jeb Bush became the first republican to formally announce he is exploring a presidential run for 2016. Were he to win, he would be the third of a veritable Bush dynasty. His father may have been our preppiest prez, but beyond a certain taste for emblematic neckties, Bush looks just like any other politician.

His academic as well as life trajectories were certainly a bit different, however. Although he attended Phillips  Academy like his father and presidential brother (Jeb is pictured on the left around the time of his prep-school days), he did not go on to Yale as they did, but instead the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in Latin American Studies, became fluent in Spanish and ultimately married a Mexican national.

America is certainly becoming more Hispanic, and evidently our Bush politicians are, too. If he runs, expect the campaign to be mano a mano. — CC

94 Comments on "Bush League"

  1. Never trust a Bush.

    People assign the label “conservative” to them, but they are not. Bush I and Bush II betrayed their bases time and time again. By crossing the NRA, Bush I failed to get re-elected. Bush II got away with his serial betrayal because the left reflexively opposed everything he did, so his base reflexively defended him. About the only time that his base told him “no” was when he nominated the non-entity Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

    The Hispanicization/Mexification of America is not something that the American people ever agreed to; it was, and continues, to be foisted upon us. The election of Jeb Busherón would only further our descent down that path.

  2. Nice chaps, but not English, obviously. None the worse for that of course.

  3. OK Henry, but since politics is largely about choosing the lesser of two evils — like whether you’d prefer to die from heat or cold — who would you rather have win in 2016, Jeb Bush or Hilary Clinton?

  4. Bush III is probably the smartest, but he is doomed. Common Core and Immigration will kill him. If he gets the nomination, look for McCain/ Romney rerun, the right will stay home.

  5. Of course, all the Left-wing loons and liberal pundits want to see Jeb Bush on the Republican ticket in 2016. Why? They keep blubbering about how he’s “electable.” Really? So who would support him? Nobody that I can imagine. My dog would get more votes than him.

    He’s the wrong man, in the wrong country, at the wrong time with the wrong ideas. And what kind of a white man majors in Latino Studies during a massive illegal Mexican invasion of his own country? “Here come the gang-bangers, I guess I better learn Spanish!”

    And with what his disgraceful brother did to damage America and the Republican Party, Jeb should be ashamed to have the same last name (would any of Hitler’s relatives try running for office in Germany with his last name?)

    The fact that Jeb is in politics at all and even wants to run for President just shows what a clueless dolt he is, and the destruction he could rain down on us would be immeasurable.

  6. “And what kind of a white man majors in Latino Studies during a massive illegal Mexican invasion of his own county?” Groton 76, you are a racist punk and jack ass.

  7. For Mark @ 7:52 pm:

    I thought we were talking about Jeb Bush and his “qualifications(???)” for the Oval Office?

    Obviously, he’s got your vote.

    You sound like just another nauseating politically-correct, intolerant, anti-white racist liberal (yes, Michael Brown really didn’t attack and try to kill the white police officer — he had his hands up and was trying to surrender. Don’t shoot! Yeah, he was executed right in the middle of the day, in the middle of the street with eyewitnesses all around by a policeman who had never fired his pistol before in seven years on the job (see Sharpton, Rev.Al, MSNBC).

    Jeb Bush, amigo, is a blatant traitor and if you want to vote for him to give amnesty and green cards to people who are adding nothing to Western Civilization then you’re an even bigger pathetic dope than your post indicates.

  8. “Blatant traitor”? And I thought I was appeasing conservatives with this post!

  9. We’ve had a Bush, a Shrub, and heaven forbid, a Weed!

  10. I would prefer a more moderate Repubblican candidate in the old tradition of the GOP

  11. Groton,

    You are not a very good writer. Also, your understanding of politics could use some work.

    I look forward to your assumption of my political stance.

  12. …Hey, how about those clothes! Nice style. As for Hitler (5th post), he had style, too. Hugo Boss as designer for uniforms, and gave us the VW (I’ve had three of them). Globalizing discussion diffuses focus; topic-constrained exchange facilitates exploration. Whatever else one might think, the style pictured here, along with my favorite ivy model, JFK, are textbook classic. My lab needs to pee now, so ‘scuse me.

  13. Zach,

    I recently watched a PBS program on Low-land Gorillas and for some reason I kept thinking of you during the entire broadcast.

    Your political stance? I honestly don’t know, but, of course, anyone who disagrees with my viewpoint must be mentally deficient.

    Hilary/Jeb 2016!

  14. Christian,

    What a choice! I would vote for neither, of course.

    To paraphrase Howard Phillips: The Democrats will take us over the cliff at 90 miles an hour. The Republicans will stay within the speed limit, but they will still take us over the cliff.

    In short: the difference between Bush and Hilary is, like the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, one of degree, not kind.

  15. Read Kabaservice on the old GOP. Balanced budgets, strong defense but not zealous about intervention, and favorable toward the steady advancement of civil rights. Wisdom in (vested) suits.

    Problem: Americans like folksy charisma, and it was nowhere to be found among this lot.

    Enter Goldwater and his political and philosophical progeny, especially the deficit-embracing actor and California governor. Cowboy clothes to match cowboy cockiness.

    How can we be surprised that we are where we are? By and large we get what we deserve.

  16. Henry –

    The short memories and rationalizations are terrific. No, it wasn’t “the NRA” that hurt Bush I, it was the tax increases (that violated a specific and overt campaign pledge….never mind decades of GOP dogma). Re: Bush II, I’m not sure what sort of “betrayal” you mean, but for most of the country it was the lying and needless, costly, and catastrophic wars that hurt him. Not to mention the deep tax cuts, out of control spending, and further deregulation that plummeted the country into the worst recession of the last two generations.

  17. PindotsandGrenadine | December 19, 2014 at 9:55 am |

    Individual style is gone from politics. That covers clothing and ideals, for me at least. I figured Jeb would toss his hat in the ring sooner or later.

    Hitler comparisons are hyperbolic and don’t relate to the topic of this web site. Let’s move on.

  18. S.E. – pure mythology. Read George Nash or Russell Kirk – the conservative movement had been bubbbling in random intellectual circles for twenty years.

  19. I’ve read both.

    Whether the libertarian, neo-con, or other strain of the virus in question, what was (and is still) needed was folksy, gosh-ain’t-he-swell? likability. Because the roots are anti-statist, anti-intellectual populism, this–whether natural or rehearsed–isn’t tough to find among adherents or would-be leaders.

    The cult of personality. Hayek, Richard Weaver, and Kirk–mere words on a page without folksy popularizers. Oh, how the American Right loves folksy. Tragic.

  20. AEV,

    Yes, there’s the tax promise, and the breaking thereof. That could have undone him, of course. I don’t recall the details, but it goes something like this: there was some important gun legislation that Bush I took the wrong position on, which angered the NRA. He told them, in effect, whattaya gonna do about it, knowing full well that the Democrats were far worse on gun control than he. He thought he had the pro-gun groups regardless of what he did.

    In the event, the NRA failed to endorse him, and he lost. Lesson learned? In that Republican politicians since then are pretty much universally pro-gun, I’d say yes.

    If Bush II’s “lying” and the wars hurt him, then why was he re-elected?

    Incidentally, don’t expect me to defend them further. Remember my motto: Never trust a Bush!

  21. Bush II was reelected mostly because of a very weak Democratic challenger (and an ignorant, gullible electorate). The wars and spending hurt the country – and continue to – more than they hurt him……which is too bad indeed.

  22. I can’t believe it—AEV & I agree on something! The wars and spending hurt the country, and they continue to do so.

    Funny how all the anti-“war” protesters evaporated when Obama took office, isn’t it? They were out there protesting the wars, protesting Gitmo—and they vanished when Bush II left office, even though the wars have not ended and Gitmo remains open.

    Is it possible they weren’t against war as much as they were against Bush? Nah, that’s crazy talk!

    An ignorant, gullible electorate is exactly what the left wants, and they have achieved that by being in charge of education for the past several decades.

  23. “Being in charge of education”? No Child Left Behind, a Bush boondoggle, was the largest expansion of the federal government into education in decades. Common Core was essentially born out of the National Governor’s Association, a group that has had more Republican than Democrat members for over a decade. 44 states, a majority with GOP Governors and legislatures have adopted the standards. Your short and selective memory is something else…..

    The anti-war protests subsided for many reasons. For one, Obama tried to shut down Gitmo – Congress wouldn’t allow it. Two, he ended combat operations in Afghanistan and laid out a clear timeline for Iraq (it’s debatable if these were good ideas, but it appeased many protesters). And three, most protests have a natural arc – after 7 yrs of protests under two Bush terms, many efforts simply ran out of steam……not surprising in our new era of endless war.

  24. I’m talking about the curriculum. Also, Bush is, in Mark Richardson’s formulation, a right-liberal. In fact, most “conservatives” are, too. Liberalism is the reigning ideology of almost everyone in Western society today. Witness how the center has moved progressively leftwards over the past several decades, and how the “right” has moved right along with it. For example: how the “right” responded to the acceptance of open homosexuals in the military, a radical move that would have been fought tooth and nail by the “right” as recently as the Clinton administration.

    See Lawrence Auster’s “View From the Right” for a fulller explanation of right-liberal versus left-liberal; I don’t have time for more now.

  25. “An ignorant, gullible electorate is exactly what the left wants.”

    Amendment. An ignorant, gullible electorate is what both parties want.

    Both parties rely heavily upon the steady flow of money, and the donors rely heavily upon the loyalty of the members of Congress. An imperfect circle. It’s undoing us. A matter of time.

    If the federal government is a bloated, slothful, all-consuming Leviathan (and of course it is), then so are the board members of corporations who hope for an ill-informed consumer. That aspirin the E.R. doc gave you? There’s a reason it cost $30. Price inflatation has to do with the rates at which insurance companies will reimburse the hospital.

    This is reciprocal. Medicare privatization, a priority for the modern day GOP, will benefit their biggest donors–insurance companies. Never mind that it’s outrageously inefficient.

    We can go on and on. The point is that for the lofty chatter offered by modern day “conservative intellectuals” (Federalist Society and CATO geeks, that’s your cue to use the key phrases you’ve been taught; you know, “freedom from” and “right to”) who think they’re echoing Burke and Smith, they’re failing at calling attention to the corporate-state relationship that would have prompted Calvin Coolidge’s gag reflex.

  26. Henry –

    You sound like a dinosaur. There is nothing “radical” about Republicans ‘accepting’ that homosexuals may serve openly in the military. They’ve been serving faithfully, honorably, and competently in our military (and all others’) since its formation. Pretending that’s not the case, and forcing them to deny and keep secret their sexual orientation, is foolish, counter-productive, shameful, and embarrassing. If you see the absence of a GOP “fight” on this issue to be an unfortunate shift towards liberalism, than it can be no wonder why the GOP struggles to win the popular vote.

  27. I actually come to the Ivy Style blog as an escape from the blowhard-ism that seems to surround us all these days. But I suppose people cannot control themselves when they see a picture of a politician, even on a style blog. Oh well.

    If anyone cares, I recently received not one, but two, pairs of khakis from our boys at the new Duck Head. If anyone is curious and/or tired of calling one another Nazis, I’d be happy to share my opinion on quality, fit, customer service, etc.

  28. Paul: yes! Rise? Dressy? Tell us all!

  29. @Paul

    I think we offer pretty equal doses of escapism from the world and engagement with it.

  30. First, let me say that I’m one of those late 80s/early 90s guys for whom the Duck Head brand could not be more iconic. My purchase was, admittedly, partly motivated by nostalgia. But, like some people search for the “perfect” pair of jeans, I’m on an eternal quest for khakis that fit like I remember Duck Heads fitting and feeling way-back-when. And I have to say that I liked the “made in America” factor of the new effort.

    Rise: I’d call it medium. They fit true-to-size at the waist, and are very comfortable through the crotch, both sitting and standing. My wife noticed, however, that unlike my favorite ratty-old khakis, these new Duck Heads do not have a saggy bottom, and in fact make my “non-existent derriere look good” (her words).

    Dressy: With an ironing, I have worn them to church and to work on casual Fridays with an oxford and blue blazer. Having said that, nobody would call them “dress pants”. They’re on the more-casual side.

    Cost: with shipping, these bad boys were $140. I was willing to pull the trigger, again, because of the made-in-America ethic, which these days is no small thing.

    Customer Service: excellent – tucked inside the very cool shipping packet (antique-y looking burlap type bag) is a hand-written note of thanks for purchasing an American-made product. Also, a 20% voucher off of a purchase in the near future. A few days after they arrived, another identical pair landed on my doorstep. I called them, and spoke with someone, and said, “I’m not Warren Buffet or anything, but I’m pretty sure that double-shipping your product for a single charge is a quick way to go out of business, and a whole lot of us out here want you guys to survive.” They rewarded my honesty by letting me keep the second pair at-cost. I think I’m going to use my 20% card on one of their gingham shirts.

    Overall: very satisfied, and will buy again, as well as try some of their other products. Expensive (for khakis), but for a reason.

  31. Vern Trotter | December 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm |


    Very good comments the past few days! I have noticed the Operation Wall Street cretins are returning, potty trained and supporting the fake Indian, Liz Warren with her “new car smell.” Nobody will buy the car, though.


    Are the Duck Heads the skinny pants or traditional fit. I find the Bill’s Khakis to be the best out there for some time now.

  32. @Vern:

    Duck Heads don’t offer a choice of fits. The only choice (other than from 3 colors) is khaki or corduroy.

    Before the resurrection of Duck Heads (again, a nostalgic/sentimental factor for me), I almost tried Bill’s. But more than once I’d been told that they were cut “for dads”: basically, everything but the pleats.

    Although I notice that Bill’s now offers a “slim fit” (no thanks, regardless of mfgr.) and “hybrid fit”. So I guess they’re listening or evolving or something.

  33. To Groton 76- By the way maggot, I AM a POLICE OFFICER. Like Zach said, your politics in additional to your ignorant mind and miserable life could use some work.

  34. Bags' Groove | December 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm |

    @ Paul

    “I actually come to the Ivy Style blog as an escape……..”
    I’m right with you, baby! Oh yeah! What the hell’s going on here? Look at all the political claptrap above…..and despair!
    Ivy-style is one of my precious few escapes from the ghastly world we’re being force-fed by our political masters.
    Now, having calmed my mind, I shall retreat, once more, to my lifelong pursuit of satori…………………………….

  35. To Bags Groove- You’re right. This website is intended to be an escape from this ghastly world. By the way, my dad was a professional trumpet player and played with Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton, as well as the Funk Brothers. He knew Milt Jackson well as my dad and Milt (Bags) were from Detroit. Peace to you man, and have a Merry Christmas.

  36. Waitaminute, I’m the editor: Aren’t I the one who gets to decide what the website is intended to be?

    I’ve been at this blogging stuff for 10 years, and although there are a thousand posts here, and have learned you’re always judged by the past two or three.

    I won’t wish you Merry Christmas yet because, thank god, several upcoming Christmas posts will give us a break from the politics. I hope it’s OK to acknowledge what’s going on in the world if it’s Christmas.

    I might even show some clothing. Stay tuned.

  37. Bags' Groove | December 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm |

    @ Mark

    To you too, my man. That’s some dad to be proud of. As you may guess, I worship all those guys.
    Love and joy come to you…

  38. Mark:

    So you’re a POLICE OFFICER, eh?

    Great. Impressive. Now in which country — Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, or El Salvador?

    Hey, after you get that Green Card you can run out and cast a ballot for your Spanish speaking hero, the “electable” Jeb Bush in 2016.


  39. To Groton 76- Look let’s bury the hatchet. I regret engaging in such a gutter based diatribe. I also feel our borders are out of control and U.S. immigration policies have been lax. Like Bags Groove said, this website is suppose to be an escape from all the madness and craziness in this world. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  40. To Christian- OK man. Take it easy. I do enjoy your website. Keep up the good work.

  41. I have a question
    Which of possibles Republican candidates is more close to the old tradition of Dewey,Eisenhower and Bush Sr GOP?

  42. Inflamed passions, still? I didn’t think clothes had this much power except when removed. Long live Karl Lagerfeld!

  43. Mark:

    The comments here were supposed to be all about Jeb Bush and what we thought of HIM.

    Likewise, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  44. Groton 76:

    Things got blown a little out of proportion. Thanks for acknowledging my extension of the olive branch.

  45. There’s a middle ground between only talking about clothes and having a political street fight. It’s called civil, intelligent discourse.

  46. Christian:

    You’re right. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  47. Bags Groove:

    Thanks again for helping to keep the passion thermomter below the boiling point.

  48. Christian:

    Who do you think was the best-dressed U.S. president off all time?

  49. Ahmet Ertegun, president of Atlantic Records?

  50. Ha Ha. I think Esquire had a list a few years ago that read like this:

    1. John Kennedy
    2. Bill Clinton
    3. George Bush
    4. Richard Nixon

  51. I don’t think Ronald Reagan was on their list.

  52. I’m not surprised their memory doesn’t go back very far.

    Does any president have a legacy of being well dressed? I don’t recall anyone showing up in menswear history books, even the presidents of the ’20s and ’30s.

    Kennedy is always mentioned because of his youth, good looks, charisma, and tragic death. He also looked cool and nonchalant off duty. But I’d hardly say he looked as sharp as Astaire and Grant, who were almost twice his age at the time.

  53. I agree. None of the presidents compare with Astaire and Grant. But when I see some pictures of Nixon, his suits were always well-tailored and he wore nice ties, particularly in the 1950s. Also, I did a Google search for photos of Ahmet Ertegun. He was a sharp cat.

  54. AEV,

    You disqualify yourself from serious response and discussion by your name-calling (“you sound like a dinosaur”). In fact, name-calling is #1 on this list of intellectually-dishonest debate tactics.

    If you retract your slur and show where either my facts or my logic are wrong, I’ll engage you again. Until then, your comments are unworthy of consideration.

  55. As for political attire, there’s probably a constellation of factors for why politicians are not on anyone’s best-dressed list. Once upon a time, they wanted to be judged on the content of their platforms, and probably didn’t care that much about personal appearance. After all, it’s often said that one of the biggest reasons why Nixon lost to Kennedy is that Kennedy looked better on TV, so I’m guessing that up to then, visuals were not a significant factor.

    Since that time and the growth of looks-based politics, politicians have striven for a neutral, anonymous look: archetypically, a white shirt, navy blue suit, & solid tie (often dark red to match the colors of the flag). The suit & tie make them look professional; the blandness makes them look non-threatening. Neither Joe the Plumber nor Quentin the Dandy find anything objectionable, and neither is threatened (however that might be interpreted) as they might be by a snazzily dressed politician.

    Just my 2¢.

    P.S. to Mr. Trotter: Thank you very much! Praise from you is high praise indeed.

    P.P.S. to everyone else: sorry for stinking up the blog with politics, but you’ll notice that CC encourages me (by asking questions), and does not remove my comments. This means that some political content is acceptable to our editor. I’d like to think that he has some regard for my thoughts, but—and I do not mean this to cast aspersions on CC—he might be pleased with the additional traffic that controversy (such as I provoke) provides.

  56. Vern Trotter | December 20, 2014 at 2:15 am |

    My choice for best dressed US president has always been FDR with his bespoke suits, especially the summer suits which he wore when air conditioning was rare, to say the least. A collar pin and John Lobb shoes were staples. Even, the day before his death, in a custom made cape over his suit, he looked naturally elite.

    Of course, I confess to being 180 degrees from him politically. So we can mix style with politics here.

  57. @Henry

    I don’t think “sound like a dinosaur” was meant as an insult to your posture, skin tone or vocal timbre, but a metaphoric assessment of your stage in the process of political evolution.

  58. @ Henry

    Thanks for the link to the list of illegitimate debating tactics, name-calling at the top of the list. I recall a similar list from a logic class and I agree that rational debate is devoutly to be wished.

    But you need to be even-handed. You thank Mr. Trotter for high praise, yet below is only one example of Mr. Trotter’s modest, buttoned-down, and sack-suited rhetorical style:

    “I have noticed the Operation Wall Street cretins are returning, potty trained and supporting the fake Indian, Liz Warren with her ‘new car smell.'”

    Are you sure you aren’t compromising your principles of debate?

  59. “I see some pictures of Nixon, his suits were always well-tailored and he wore nice ties”

    Nixon was very well dressed (less that in the famous TV debate with JFK).
    During his Presidency his suits were impeccables.

    Reagan indeed had a remarkable personal style: two buttons suits with padded shoulders very well tailored.
    Was the last President to show patterns on his suits.

    Truman for his times was elegant (hats apart).

    JFK was as Cary Grant; maybe not ever remarkable suits,but a look insuperable (strangely was never best dressed as in Dallas,november 22 http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/viewtopic.php?id=18220 ).

    I don’t like the fad to put the American flag pin on the buttonhole: FDR,Truman,Ike,JFK they did not (the first was LBJ?)

  60. The best dressed President of all time?

    Hands down — the former haberdasher and clothes horse from the Heartland, Harry S. Truman.

    That’s right Truman, not FDR or Kennedy.

    Truman owned 96 pairs of shoes, move over Imelda, yes, this guy had 96 pairs.

    Harry loved spectators and double-breasted suits and wore them with surprising dash and boldness.

    Please check out this world champion dresser:


  61. Christian, yes, but for what reason must we “evolve” along the progressive (i.e., leftist) line? It would be one thing to call me “reactionary” or “old-fashioned” or the like; those are more descriptive. However, “dinosaur” is an insult, a put-down.

    RJG, yes, I agree, some of Mr. Trotter’s words are, shall we say, inappropriate. However, they were directed not at another commenter here, but at another group and another person. For the record, Liz Warren is a fake Indian, and “new-car smell” is a particularly evocative turn of phrase.

  62. Well, he could have called you far worse.

    Embrace it. Own it. Talk the talk and walk the walk. Walk The Dinosaur:


  63. @ Henry

    Although not on the list you referenced, I believe your defense of Trotter’s name-calling is termed “special pleading.” Inappropriate, you say, but it was directed at someone else, not to someone on this list.

    What was that line from Marlowe’s *Jew of Malta*? Someone was accused of fornication, “but that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead.”

  64. Carmelo and Groton 76:

    What did you think of Reagan wearing brown suits? Also I noticed Nixon wore cuffed trousers with no break which is something that is popular today except few men are wearing cuffs now. I personally think the right shade of brown can really set a suit off, though I prefer brown mostly in sport coats.

  65. MARK:

    Winston Churchill once remarked: “Gentlemen don’t wear brown.”

    Of course, he was referring to his adversary in Berlin who favored this color.

    I have a dark brown chalkstripe wool suit from Brooks Brothers Special Order, and have received many compliments over the years — not just from my wife and daughters. I wear it with awning stripe blue/white shirts and pale green Armani ties. Snazzy if I may say.

    I think certain shades of brown are great but the accessories are a bit trickier.

  66. Groton 76:

    I had an olive brown pinstripe wool suit back in the late 70s. My go to shoes for that suit were cognac tasseled loafers from Florsheim. I usually wore it with a pin dot dark brown tie and pale yellow shirt. I would have to agree with you- accessories with brown can be tricky. I didn’t try to mix and match anything else with that particular suit.

  67. Brown suits, not tan, are special cases as not many look good in them.

  68. Tweed suits in shades of brown, olive, tan, etc., can be very beautiful. J. Press carried them back in the early 70s. My father acquired several and I thought they looked quite good. A brown pinstriped suit, however, even with a soft finish, is something which always looks odd to me.

    I agree that Harry Truman was our best dressed president. Note, too, that his DB suits had soft or natural shoulders. At least they appear that way to me.

  69. “What did you think of Reagan wearing brown suits”?

    Brown suit is not a fault.
    Sometime Reagan dressed a brown brick suit,and well was a bit flashly,but the cut was irreproachable
    (the cut of Reagan’suit remember to me mid 50s era).
    Ronald Reagan was the last President that dressed for his pleasure not for wear a correct buisness uniform.

    Harry Truman was a dapper.

    And between not elected candidates to Presidency?
    For me the most elegant was Thomas Dewey.

  70. A.E.W.
    Tweeds suits are different, but hard finished or plain flannel browns and rust can look odd on most. Not everyone is Gregory Peck

  71. RJG,

    Mr. Trotter wasn’t making an argument as much as an observation. Besides, I’m going off his record here, not that one comment, as the basis for feeling flattered by his compliments.

    CC, I will give AEV points for being less noxious than he could have been (e.g., the “maggot” comment made by someone else above). Doesn’t change the fact that the epithet dinosaur is used to discredit someone holding a traditional position without an actual argument against that position. He assumes the superiority of progressivism without demonstrating it.

    Progressivism has given us so much: an uneducated but well-indoctrinated populace; social welfare programs that not only exacerbate the problems they are supposed to solve but also are running the country to financial ruin; a disrespect for the rule of law such that we now have people from the president on down sympathizing with criminals; a lawless president who rules by fiat; porous borders; and so, so much more.

    I will be amazed if America survives longer than I do. I fully expect a financial disaster to lead to anarchy and the inevitable successor to a democracy: tyranny. Thanks, progressives, for destroying the republic and turning it into a democracy so that we can have that tyranny!

  72. Now, back to the important topic of this thread: how to coordinate with a brown suit.

    I have a soft heather brown pinstripe suit that I find works best with a solid pink shirt, a brownish-burgundy foulard tie, and either dark brown suede wingtips or reddish-brown wingtips. I think a green tie could work too, but not with a pink shirt.

  73. Charlottesville | December 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

    Glad to see the topic has returned to clothes. Carmelo — Good call (and good memory) regarding Tom Dewey. Before my time, and yours I imagine, but he did look sharp for the era, often wearing what look in photographs like stripped repp ties. Personally, as to Presidential dress, I am partial to the senior Mr. Bush. There is a framed newspaper cutting in the changing room of J. Press in Washington documenting his response to being teased by, if I recall correctly, someone in the press corps as a “Brooks Brothers Republican.” He denied it and, showing the label in his suit, he said, “J. Press.” JFK looked good, of course, partly due to being tall, handsome and young, and partly due to living in an era when a man could be both fashionable and well dressed. Now, with some exceptions, it seems that people with the money to dress as they wish choose the former at the expense of the latter. Oscar night shows this tendency at its worst, with a third or more of the men wearing anything from a four-in-hand tie with a dinner suit to what can only be described as costume, sequins, novelty neckwear and all. Politicians these days generally choose the safe and bland of John Molloy rather than either Bush’s classics or Truman’s exuberance. The other, and worse, extreme is dressing for “comfort,” defined apparently as “elasticized and made of fleece.” Today I’m wearing a tie with a pinned club collar and feel thoroughly comfortable. My wife and I just returned from a weekend at an old-school resort (The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia) and every year it seems like there are fewer and fewer ties being worn, and black tie for dinner has long been absent (except, occasionally, for myself and few other middle aged and older patrons). My in-laws reported seeing white-tie diners there in the 70s or early 80s, but I have never seen it in the roughly 35 years I have been going. Too bad, but I suppose there were those who mourned the frock coat and shoe buttons when something resembling our notion of modern dress drove them from the scene. Do you think today’s teens will be longing for the formality of yoga pants and hoodies 40 years from now?

  74. Henry —

    According to your logic, “dinosaur” is merely an observation.

  75. No RJG, the difference is that AEV & I were arguing with each other, while Mr. Trotter was disparaging a third party. I don’t condone name-calling as a debate tactic, but sometimes, a well-phrased put-down is le mot juste.

    While calling the Operation Wall Street types “cretins” is just an insult, calling them “potty trained” refers to what happened when they occupied parks—illegally, we might add—and the difference in their behavior now.

    And again, it’s not this one comment that makes or breaks it; it is the totality of his commenting.

  76. Henry –

    My retort was 99% focused on highlighting and responding to the bigotry and baselessness of your “logic” (if your comments included any “facts”, I missed them).

    People with antique thinking never like to be told as much….so, I’m not surprised you’ve spent lots of energy feigning offense to being called a dinosaur. If you don’t want to be considered a dinosaur, stop wishing (pretending) we lived in 1941.

  77. Seriously, Christian: can you do something, editorially, to put these political boors to pasture? Or, better yet, the knacker’s yard?

  78. It’s pretty easy to look away, I think. It has always come up, and will continue to come up.

  79. I mentioned a couple days ago in the blog about Nixon wearing cuffed trousers and no break with his suits. Today men (especially younger men) are wearing trousers with no break but very seldom do you see cuffs. Are cuffs something to be considered proper and timeless with suits, or will cuffless trousers be a trend for years to come? I personally think cuffed trousers add a touch of class with suits, though wearing a break or no break could depend on whether you prefer pleated or flat-front trousers.

  80. AEV, you’re critical of the Bushes, and I am critical of the Bushes, so that makes me a bigot.

    Oh, wait. You must mean that because I am not aboard the homosexual bandwagon, that I think that sodomy is both hygienically and morally repulsive—an assessment that was held near-universally until about two minutes ago—I’m a “bigot.”

    Never mind the fact that no homosexual union can produce what heterosexual unions produce naturally: families. Never mind that the family is the basis of society, and that your side, the “progressives,” have supported every single family-destroying, and therefore society-destroying, measure ever proposed. Never mind that the arguments of the pro-homosexual side leave them with absolutely no leg to stand on to oppose polygamy or incest. Never mind that homosexuals harassed the APA to de-list homosexuality as a mental disorder, and that the APA held a vote to determine whether or not homosexuality is a mental disorder (when was the last time a scientific body voted to determine whether or not something was a disease?), and that the vote passed with less than a majority (look it up). Never mind that homosexual behavior is associated with several other self-destructive behaviors, such as drug & alcohol abuse, voluntary exposure to various venereal diseases (including AIDS when there was no treatment), and suicide. Never mind that there are reasoned arguments against homosexuality, and particularly against homosexuals in the military (again, look them up). Never mind that, pace current thinking, people with unwanted homosexual desires can learn to control them and leave that world behind. Never mind that when one identical twin is homosexual, in only something like 30% of the cases is the other twin homosexual, thus shattering the myth of “innateness.” Never mind that I, personally, have compassion for people with disordered sexual urges, and pray for their release from their enthrallment to those urges.

    Nope, I’m just a bigot, with no rational reason to oppose the homosexual agenda.

    Yep, you sure have me pinned, AEV.

    Why don’t you stick to something you know, like criticizing Fred Castleberry?

  81. Paul, please accept my apologies for stinking up the place. As CC says, just skip over the comments you don’t care to read. I passed on the whole Muffy Aldrich mess a few posts back, so it’s easy enough to do.

  82. Henry –

    “Sodomy” is not uniquely homosexual at all (outside of the minds of bigots). Additionally, while some states have retained “sodomy laws”, almost no state has enforced them for decades (a far cry from “2 minutes”)….and the few that that have tend to use them to target and shame only homosexuals (even though 90% of heterosexuals engage in the same sexual practices). I won’t bother refuting your pseudo-science (similar brands of which have been used by bigots to denounce everything from women’s and minority voting rights to desegregated schools to inter-racial marriage) because doing so suggests it holds an ounce of credibility. It doesn’t.

    You had just enough rope to hang yourself. Your last comment is sad, embarrassing, and represents much of what’s wrong with the conservative wing of the GOP. What you rationalize as “traditional” (“Ivy”, even?) is nothing more than bigotry and prejudice wrapped up in bowties and 3/2 rolls. Period.

  83. Although I pointed out several actual facts that refute AEV’s continued historic inaccuracies in the prior comment string he hijacked with political silliness, he seems to keep going.

    It is an emperical fact that the country was in a recession when GW Bush took office. That is right, the recession started when Clinton was in office. A little thing called 9/11, did not help matters only 8 months after he Bush office.

    The “deregulation” that harmed our country was passed by Clinton, not Bush. Clinton passed, and took great credit for, Gramm Leach Bliley that overturned Glass Steagall and allowed banks to gamble in the mortgage backed securities world.

    Worse, when the head of the CFTC tried to regulate mortgage backed securities as swap transactions (which they are), Clinton and Treasury Secty. Larry Summers told her to stand down. Summers and Greenspan/Bernanke testified to claim there was no risk in the mortgage backed securites. They are regulated now after the melt down.

    When GW Bush tried to examine and reign in the hemorraging debt of Fannie Mae before the crisis, the Democrats went wild. Incidentally, Fannie was run into the ground by a Carter White House official (Raines) and was loudly supported by Barney Frank on the Hill. That is what tanked the economy.

    As to the wars, I was not terribly in favor of going into Iraq, but Obama has done potentially worse harm by not seeing ISIS coming and projecting weakness around the world (Ukraine, Bengazi), etc.

  84. AEV, you had two facts intermingled in your invectives: sodomy is not unique to homosexuals, and the sodomy laws were poorly, and perhaps selectively, enforced before their repeal. Be that as it may, you redirected the discussion away from the topic—homosexuality—to another, related one—sodomy. Changing the topic is #2 on the list of intellectually dishonest debate tactics I linked above. Are you going to go through the list, one by one? (If you are, #3 is “questioning the motives of the opponent.”)

    On what basis do you claim that 90% of heterosexuals engage in sodomy? It might be true; I just want to see that substantiated.

    There is no science behind the delisting of homosexuality as a mental disorder—none. That is the fact. It was politics, pure and simple. While studies have shown possible genetic factors, homosexuality remains a behavior, not an inherent characteristic, such as race, sex, or eye color. Those are more facts.

    Please show the pseudo-science in those facts. If you can’t—and you can’t—then the pseudo-science charge is bogus.

    Also, whether or not similar arguments were used in different cases is irrelevant. Racism is not the same as not getting on board the homosexual bandwagon, not least because homosexuals are a self-selected group, unlike the constellation of inborn factors we identify as race. Discriminating against a group for their behavior is not the same as discriminating against a group for an inborn trait, which homosexuality is not.

    Please try to have a logical case before you make your next post.


    As you can see, AEV has imbibed fully of the political correctness Kool-Aid. There’s probably no hope for him, but it still is good to counter his posts.

  85. Addendum: People like AEV always resort to the “bigot” and “racist” labels because they don’t have actual arguments to refute their opponents. They also use it because they know that everyone knows that bigotry and racism are wrong; this then taints the person or group so smeared and, by extension, their arguments.This obviates the need for a logical refutation (see reason one above).

  86. A.E.W. Mason | December 23, 2014 at 2:42 am |

    I wonder whether somewhere, just thinking here, there’s a blog, say, devoted to, oh I don’t know, military policy during the Cold War, and posted is, say, a picture of some defense secretary from the period, and in the middle of the discussion about Cold War air policy a commenter mentions the poor cut of the secretary’s suit which brings a rejoinder comment that only a sartorial cretin would say that, which is followed by a comment about Eisenhower’s shirt collars and then before you know it all these Cold War policy addicts are spitting bile at each other over suit coats and shirt collars and — you get the idea. I mean, well, I’m kinda just wondering if this phenomenon works in reverse.

  87. A.E.W. Mason | December 23, 2014 at 2:53 am |

    On reflection, of course, my question may be stupid, and, in fact these posts really are an entreaty to explore state sodomy statutes, who is a bigot, and what think tanks are peopled by useless morons. I find blogs on economics, counterintuitively, contain the most virulent exchanges, with Ph.D.’s referring to each other by reference to various body parts and bodily functions.

  88. AEW:

    On the subject of a Cold War secretary’s suit….


    Vey nice lapel roll.

  89. Christian: shoot me an email when the children stop crying & throwing things at each other. Until then, adieu!

  90. I agree, the excess and the virulence is off-putting. But discussions of clothes seem not able to stay away very long from discussions of other cultural values. For instance, the extent to which ivy-style clothes do, or do not, coincide with social and political positions is a perennial topic here.

    I hope Henry won’t mind if I offer him as an example. Take his position on same-sex matters. Join it to climate-change denial and creationism, and you have a viable candidate for governor of Texas. But if he wore his soft heather brown pinstripe suit (with solid pink shirt and brownish-burgundy foulard tie) on the campaign trail, he would lose all credibility and even perhaps be thought to have an incurable disease himself.

  91. @Anonymous –

    I didn’t bother replying to you because you were so woefully incorrect I didn’t want to rub it in. No, the economy was not in recession (by any reasonable or accepted definition) when Bush took office. The three previous quarters, leading into his first quarter as President, saw modest 1-2% growth. Most – if not all – bipartisan groups, including the NBER, officially mark the recession starting in March of 2001. Now, to be sure, large economies don’t turn on a dime and it’s clear the economy was slowing in 2000 – but, it’s what Bush did – and didn’t do – while in office for 8 years that was really scary. Huge tax decreases (which had nothing to do with 9/11) combined with out of control spending (only some of which can be linked to 9/11) made a bad situation exponentially worse.

    My references to “deregulation” were made as a nod to core GOP philosophies about regulation. Yes, (partially) repealing Glass-Steagall was a terrible idea (though the repeal was largely championed by Senator Gramm (R) – and Leach, and Bliley were also Republicans). No doubt about it. But, I don’t know many political scientists who would point to this single Act and claim that it’s passage suggests Democrats are the party of deregulation. Do you? If yes, you may want to help revise the GOP’s long-standing national platform.

    @Henry. You’re kidding, right? You raised sodomy in reference to homosexuality. You. Not me. In your second sentence. Please do preach to me about logic some more – it’s very becoming. There are a range of statistics regarding heterosexual engagement in oral/anal sex. The exact percentage isn’t the point. The point, again, is that sodomy isn’t uniquely homosexual (as you suggested).

    Your refutation of pseudo-science with more pseudo-science is a novel approach. Newsflash: few clinicians and/or psychologists still believe that homosexuality is a ‘choice’. Neither the AMA or the APA (or the American Academy of Pediatrics) support your theory and both actively deny that it’s true. I’m sure you view these large, diverse and long standing organizations as liberal fronts full of gay, liberal, feminist, environmentalist, atheist marionettes, but they aren’t.

    And, finally, your continued tactic of claiming I’m not actually offering facts and reasoned thinking to refute your antique bigotry is stale and grossly inaccurate. I am – you just don’t like being called out and clearly lack the self-awareness to know when you’re wrong. You’re not a victim of name-calling – you’re a victim of your own prejudices and bigotry.

  92. Charlottesville | December 23, 2014 at 10:56 am |

    For a minute there, I really did hold out hope that the topic had returned to ivy clothing. Oh, well. Hope one and all have a merry Christmas, or if not so inclined, a pleasant year-end. Cheers!

  93. Wally "Biff" Scott | December 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm |

    Charlottesville, I’m with you. Merry Christmas Season to all!

  94. My apologies, but I cannot let AEV’s misrepresentations stand unchallenged.

    To recap: in a discussion in which we agreed that the Bushes are awful, but differed on how much responsibility they bear for the awfulness enacted during their administrations, I cited the nearly non-existent Republican opposition to the move to allow open homosexuals to serve in the military as an example of how far left the mainstream “conservatives” have become.

    AEV then said this: “You sound like a dinosaur. There is nothing “radical” about Republicans ‘accepting’ that homosexuals may serve openly in the military.”

    AEV’s position is a distortion of reality; this was a revolutionary change. Allowing homosexuals to serve in the military is part of the left’s ongoing program to destroy all traditional institutions and values.

    AEV also misrepresented the issue by saying that homosexuals have always served in the military. While this is probably true, they were not allowed to serve as homosexuals, which is the issue. This is destructive because, as was noted by the few who opposed this move, allowing open homosexuals in the military will harm unit cohesion—the cohesion that is the basis of military effectiveness. (Links to many discussions about this issue here.)

    Note also AEV’s illegitimate debate tactic: name-calling.

    The next time AEV posted, he referred to my alleged bigotry. Now, referring to an opponent’s bigotry is legitimate, but only if there is bigotry present. Had I used slurs (as AEV does), then perhaps his charge would be valid, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, AEV equates not being pro-homosexual with bigotry; however, not being pro-homosexual is not a form of bigotry, so his criticism is invalid.

    Calling your opponent a “bigot” and leaving it at that is a typical liberal tactic. By smearing your opponent and imputing irrational motives to him, you “prove” that there is no need to refute him (the accusations of “hate” and “racism” are variations on the same theme). It’s a nice little escape hatch that liberals use frequently to absolve themselves from having to deal with actual issues and arguments—just as AEV has done here.

    I called AEV out for his insults; he repeated them by calling my thinking “antique.” It appears that according to AEV, no traditional ways of thinking are acceptable, and we must all be “modern,” “progressive” thinkers—but he presented no evidence whatsoever to defend this assertion. In fact, he has presented little evidence or data, but plenty of invective and assertions.

    AEV is correct that I mentioned sodomy before he did, but I mentioned it as an aside; he used it to redirect the discussion away from the topic at hand.

    I listed numerous facts about homosexuality that show it is disordered behavior, and also that its delisting as a mental illness was a political, not a scientific move; AEV called it all “pseudo-science” and loftily sniffed that it was beneath him to respond to it. In other words, I’m wrong because AEV says so. Below, there are many links and quotes to support what I presented above.

    Before presenting germane quotes and links, I will address one more point. AEV observed, correctly, that no major medical or psychological organization supports the idea that homosexuality is a mental illness. Why is this? It is because the APA delisted homosexuality as a mental illness; other organizations deferred to the mental health professionals and followed suit. However, the delisting was due to political pressure, not science (see below). We should also note that we live in an age in which the ideology underlying Political Correctness, in its various incarnations, trumps science and reason on a regular basis. So the fact that no major medical organization treats homosexual behavior as a mental disorder is not evidence against its being one, as there was never any study that showed it was not.

    Now for the data.

    In this article, former APA president Dr. Nicholas Cummings, who introduced the motion to delist homosexuality as a mental illness, said that “political correctness and homosexual ideology rule the organization, and that leaving the homosexual “lifestyle” is indeed a possibility, a position contrary to that of the APA” (quote from the article, not directly from Dr. Cummings; emphasis added). He supported further research to show that homosexuality was not an illness; that research was never done. He has also treated many homosexuals who wanted to reorient, and was successful with about 2400 of them.

    Here is a link to You Were Not Born That Way, a book that complies peer-reviewed journal articles that expose the “gay gene” fallacy. From the intro: “This book is a compilation of Peer reviewed journal articles and other works that clearly explain how discovery of a gay gene was a lie to the public”

    Chapter 7 of The Born Gay Hoax details how homosexual activists harassed the APA to delist homosexuality as a mental illness. Barbara Gittings, a prominent homosexual activist, is quoted at the beginning of the chapter: “It was never a medical decision—and that’s why I think the action came so fast…It was a political move.” As it turns out, just 32.7% of the membership of the APA voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Enrique Rueda, a chronicler of the homosexual movement, wrote that “This vote was not the result of scientific analysis after years of painstaking research. Neither was it a purely objective choice following the accumulation of incontrovertible data. The very fact that the vote was taken reveals the nature of the process involved, since the existence of an orthodoxy in itself, contradicts the essence of science.”

    So the pseudo-science is with those who claim innateness and that there was anything scientific behind the delisting.

    Here is a list of statistics on homosexuals compiled by an M.D.; here is another list of links to CDC statistics on STDs among homosexuals. Both of these lists support the claims I made above about higher rates of self-destructive and other harmful behaviors among homosexuals.

    Once again, my point in posting all this is to show that AEV’s assertions are without basis, that he has made no argument disproving anything I have said, and that contrary to popular belief, homosexual behavior remains a choice. I repeat that I have compassion for all who suffer from any sort of disordered behavior, including homosexuals, and that I have no animus against them, except insofar as they engage in morally indefensible actions, such as the members and supporters of NAMBLA—the North American Man/Boy Love Association—a mainstream homosexual organization that advocates child molestation.

    My apologies again for the length of this post, as well as the non-clothing content.

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