nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,
nancylebov
nancylebov

Thinking about Kim Davis

For some reason, I've found the Kim Davis situation more funny than enraging. This is no doubt a result of a flaw in my character, but it's led in some interesting directions.

At first, I was just amused that the Republicans had found a workplace quality of life issue that they could support.

Then, it occurred to me that what Davis was doing was structurally more like a strike than anything else-- not doing her job, and not letting anyone else do it, either. These days, unions have been included in the structures of orderly behavior, but it wasn't always so.

There were also people who were angry that Kim Davis was being seen as a martyr. I think it's possible to be a martyr to a bad cause, and that while possibly losing a plum job isn't a horrible death, it isn't nothing either. While Davis is responsible for her own actions, I also blame the people who contributed to her believing that doing something mean and self-destructive made sense.

Davis presumably wouldn't have started refusing to issue marriage licenses if she didn't have a lot of people supporting her.

I don't have a feeling for how many people are in Davis' position of being able to refuse to do their work while being very hard to fire. Tenured professors? It wouldn't surprise me if there's an interesting back story about why Davis' county clerk job was so well-defended.

I was annoyed at the news coverage of "Kim Davis is spending another day in jail".... there are innocent people spending decades in jail, and that isn't getting day by day coverage.

Which gets to the "she should just do her job or leave" thing. Does "do your job or leave" make sense as an absolute principle?

It's certainly convenient in terms of civilization to have compliant employees, but on the other hand, while it makes sense as a personal choice to endure that sort of cost for the ritual aspects of religion (like not being willing to work on a particular day of the week), what about jobs that require actual evil? I don't think anyone, or at least anyone reading this piece, believes that Schindler should have just done his job or resigned.

Normally, like Schindler, people who object to their jobs to that extent do covert sabotage, and not being public has different effects than taking a stand.

There's a lot of evil in the US justice system. I can hope that there are people dragging their feet about sending ill-founded warrants to the police, but I'm not seeing public support for non-compliant public officials who refuse to enforce victimless crime laws or judges who block outrageous mandatory minimum sentences.

I wasn't expecting to end up here, but I'm wondering if what we need are more people who refuse to do their jobs for good reasons, and more support for those people.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1073277.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.
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