I took Metro North into Grand Central a few years back after working from my house for a year.
By the time I got to Vanderbilt Avenue, I already had the giggles. It seemed that every young professional man in midtown Manhattan was suddenly wearing a neon blue skinny suit with no tie and cherry brown shoes. I don’t know why, but I found the scene hilarious, particularly the length of the jackets that quit mid-derrière. Had The Beatles re-invaded?
By the time I got to Madison Avenue, I was laughing so shamefully that I had to call a sister on my cellphone so I wouldn’t look like a complete lunatic tee-heeing himself silly in demoded attire. I had lived in Manhattan for 40 years, and after just 12 months away, this!
I had a similar reaction Saturday while watching coverage of the palsied "Justice for J6" rally outside the Capitol in Washington, an event that should hardly tickle anyone’s funny bone. But those navy blue suits and bright red ties worn by the organizers. I. Just. Can’t. One of the speakers wore a skinny tie version. Stop it!
If this sounds cruel, I apologize. I’m simply registering my reaction. That whole Donald Trump look all at once appears ridiculous now, in the most passe kind of way, and that has to be a good development.
The "Justice for J6" rally, in case you didn’t hear about it, was organized by a former Trump campaign adviser named Matt Braynard (blue suit, red tie). The point was to further the "Big Lie" about the election Trump lost and to support those arrested at the Jan. 6 insurrection, whom Braynard and his ilk call "political prisoners." Police officers and reporters easily outnumbered the demonstrators, whose numbers included no elected officials, just a couple of wing-nut candidates. After way too much hype, the event was a bust.
Trump didn’t expressly endorse the rally — indeed, he predicted it might fizzle — but still, one wonders whether his magic hold on the GOP is beginning to wear as thin as his trademark attire and bizarre insistence that 2020 was stolen. There are signs of it.
Only a handful of GOP leaders continue to parrot Trump’s election canard, and not one of them wants to talk about it. Trump-endorsed primary candidates are no longer shoo-ins and his efforts to create social media alternatives have fallen flat.
Early Trump acolyte Chris Christie gave an address at the Reagan Library this month: "We need to face the realities of the 2020 election and learn, not hide from them," the yellow-tied former New Jersey governor told the conservative audience. "We need to renounce the conspiracy theorists and the truth deniers. The ones who know better and the ones who are just plain nuts."
Republicans with greater courage, like Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, to name two, have been saying the same for months. But what was fascinating about Christie’s words is that they were calculated. Christie continues to hold political aspirations, and he’s clearly sensing that a post-Trump era is on the horizon.
If you poll Republicans today, Trump will come out on top as the favored 2024 candidate. But little by little, I’d say, he’s going out of style. No fad lasts forever.
Not even skinny suits.
Opinions expressed by columnist William F. B. O'Reilly, a consultant to Republicans, are his own.