Every year, Washingtonians dress in news-cycle-inspired Halloween costumes like Binders Full of Women, Sean Spicer in the Bushes, Swole Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer. For many, this year’s midterm elections are no excuse for not bringing your A-game. Take R Street Institute digital media manager Shoshana Weissmann, who back in 2015 crafted a Joe Biden-getting-handsy-with-Stephanie Carter costume that’s seen lot of recent web traction:
I'm very happy with the outcome of my Stephanie Carter/Joe Biden costume pic.twitter.com/ps8cQ3Gt8s
— Shoshana Weissmann, Regulatory Reform Muse (@senatorshoshana) October 25, 2015
Weissmann tells Washingtonian that she saw one person dressed as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at a shindig she attended this year; several other young conservatives in the District tell me that Weissmann is not alone. All spoke on condition of anonymity, for fear that there could be personal or professional repercussions for their costumes. One young conservative in his mid-20s tells me he was in fact dressed as Kavanaugh, complete with a 1982 Beach Week shirt and judge’s robe, in the office today. He adds that he’s seen many other Kavanaughs and that he saw another one of his peers in a “Senator Pocahontas Warren” costume with a “Ranking Member, Senate Cultural Appropriations Committee” nametag. Another millennial who works in conservative PR tells me she saw many a Beach Week Brett over the past few days, including a dog dressed up as Kavanaugh with beer and its owner as the infamous June 1982 party calendar. “I know a lot of people who have done Kavanaugh with beer,” she adds.
One young conservative who’s thrown “Young Trump Town” get-togethers in Navy Yard tells me he’s gotten wind of yet another Georgetown Prep graduate costume, otherwise known as “Bro Kavanaugh.” Other popular ensembles? NPC heads, the Pro-Trump internet’s new favorite insult that was recently banned by Twitter, “Fake News” (with headlines from the Washington Post, NBC News, the New York Times, and MSNBC taped to one’s person), and the Devil’s Triangle. Another prominent young conservative tells me he’ll be dressing up as the Kavanaugh “drinking game” for a party this evening: “a devil costume with the triangle percussion instrument.”
Why are these costumes so popular among the young right? One source put it this way: “It’s a way to sort of troll the left over what was the maddest political grandstand that was totally unsuccessful on the part of Democrats…. Reminding the left of their failure is sort of an unofficial pastime of conservatives, I guess.” The source adds that recent efforts by the left to, in their words, “criminalize Halloween,” has kickstarted “more adventurous costume-donning by conservatives.” And, he posits, it’s a reliable source of good-old-fashioned conservative jollies: “It’s a way for happy conservative warriors to ‘own the libs’ while having a bit of fun.”
Another tells me getting that laugh from their group of peers with a “controversial yet relevant” statement is worth the potential blowback.
“There’s a very satisfying feeling on Halloween when you tell a group of people what you’re dressed as and get the ‘Ohhhhh, that’s great!’ back.”
Not everyone’s working on their costume: “Idk if you’re aware but there’s a bit of an election,” a former Trump administration official turned campaign staffer who’s working outside the Beltway tells me via text, adding a winking emoji.