3/30/16

Tradition . . .

Amid the chaos and turmoil of the recent death of conservative-leaning legal giant (and eloquent bastard) Antonin Scalia there was something small and quiet that I adore - tradition.

While there is no question his death took on the decidedly "political" tone of DC (and that is both regrettable and expected) there was also something else very "DC" about his death . . . the actual logistics of handling it.

There were coordinated statements, the President addressing the nation on a Saturday evening, the media scrambling, colleagues and opponents opining about his "larger than life" self, etc. That is the "tradition" of death in DC. Then there is the other tradition - the pomp and circumstance. I don't care who you are, what you do and don't believe (politically) and what you do or don't feel about Scalia the man - the thought of his former clerks (almost every, single one of them) in black suits in parallel lines standing silently in front of the Supreme Court awaiting their former mentor's coffin is a sight to behold. There is such formality and randomness in this tradition. The thousands of dollars in airfare, the Brooks Brothers suits, the shoe shining, the reunion of Chet and Skippy and Pennington IV (aka Pence) at the hotel bar are one thing. The interruption of life is another thing. But - there they are - tradition.

Of course this was a total of ten or fifteen minutes in what has stretched on to be weeks of the final great DC tradition . . . fighting over everything and being awfully transparent about the mourning of a man not mattering as much as the mourning for a conservative justice in an otherwise well-split court.