Human resources fascists have brainwashed America's office drones into wearing wool jackets and pants, even though our country--unlike Great Britain, from where we get this oppressive sartorial tradition--has this thing called "summer," and, occasionally, "100 degree heat index," and so on. But at least these oppressed white-collar workers are confined to air-conditioned cubicles. The true victims of this itchy tyranny are the police who patrol outdoors, keeping our nation's capital--and the very buildings that symbolize our break from our colonial oppressors--safe. They have been forced to give up wearing shorts because they "do not look good" on cops "carrying large automatic rifles," Roll Call's Daniel Newhauser reports.
Newhauser explains that in the middle of a record heat wave, Capitol Police management has decided that officers working at the Capitol must wear long pants--even though written policy has allowed police to wear shorts since 2002. (Police are pictured exercising that right in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown, above.) The reason, union leaders say, is aesthetic. "When the weather starts getting too bad, if the management doesn't work with the officers, they start getting sick from the heat," Capitol Police union chairman Jim Konczos told Newhauser. "The argument management gives us is they give these guys good breaks. But believe me, you go and stand up there on the Upper West Terrace ... I don't care how long you go in the air conditioning, you're basically melting when you go inside."
If there is one group of people that should be allowed to break free of the Vanity Before Comfort paradigm, it should be the brave men and women who protect this shining city on a sweltering hill.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.