Kim Davis, Mike Pence and Those Pesky Things Called Job Descriptions…

There really isn’t much more to be said about Kim Davis, the County Clerk who claims her religious beliefs should protect her against demands that she do her job. Let’s face it: when even a Fox News panel concludes that her lawyer is an idiot and her argument without legal merit,  her Christian martyr days are probably limited.

As multiple observers have pointed out, if Davis can refuse to do her job because of her religious beliefs, Quaker clerks can refuse to issue gun permits, Amish clerks can deny driver’s licenses…the list goes on. Davis’ defenders seem unable to distinguish between her right to personal religious liberty and a right to use government to deny such liberty to others.

But Davis isn’t the only religious zealot who doesn’t seem to grasp that pesky “job description” concept. Indiana Governor Mike Pence just announced his opposition to the Iran agreement.

Like Davis, Pence is entitled to his views. The problem is that–also like Davis– he doesn’t seem to understand what he’s being paid (with our tax dollars) to do.

Not only does the Governor’s job not include foreign policy, it does include multiple responsibilities which the Pence Administration has consistently ignored: maintenance and repair of the state’s infrastructure, protection of the environment and public health, and day-to-day administration of the state’s bureaucracy (which has experienced unprecedented managerial turnover), to name just a few.

It also includes attention to Indiana’s worsening economy–14.6 percent of Hoosiers now live in food insecure households, up from 14.1 percent in 2013.

Instead of attending to these admittedly prosaic elements of his job description, Pence has spent his time bullying the Superintendent of Public Instruction, establishing a “News Bureau,” hectoring Planned Parenthood, and defending RFRA.

Here’s the “take away” for both of these exemplars of zealotry: if you can’t–or won’t– do your job, you need to quit.


  1. He’s just trying to show how conservative he is by repeating the faux spews outrage of the day. I’m sure he hasn’t given up his idea to run for President eventually; but the field is really crowded on his side right now and he doesn’t have a chance. Poor fella.


  2. It has become obvious that referring to a specific political party as “the right” no longer describes their political leanings; it now means they believe they are “right” on any and all issues they choose to interject their authority into. Job description and oath of office be damned. We watch Pence dig himself deeper and deeper into the mire of genocide of his own political party in the state of Indiana. He is unaware of where his personal life ends and his life as an elected official begins…and continues as long as he is in office. We can resolve this problem next year; but will we? John Gregg has one major factor in his favor in the upcoming election – he ain’t Pence!

    Davis, on the other hand, is a religious nut case. Strutting into the sunlight when freed from jail; long locks flowing and arms raised to the heavens in supplication of God’s continuing healing light to join Huckabee and Joe – clad in biballs and a straw hat with a sun visor in the brim. Lord; help us all. Maybe He/She is already sending help in the form of the Westboro Baptist Church which intends to protest HER. Has anyone yet seen McConnell join her support system? If he is steering clear of her; maybe there is hope this will end soon or it will become only Kentucky’s problem and stop embarrassing the entire nation.

    I am watching the continuing and growing bids for the same help from “the right” (including Huckabee) to help the Muslim flight attendant who was suspended from her job for refusing to serve alcohol. She is employed in a job she chose in private business; serving alcohol on plane flights is a known part of that job and must have been part of her training.

    American; once known as the “land of milk and honey” to all who hoped to live free – has become the “Wonderland” Alice fell into through that looking glass.

  3. Amen sister. When will the bible folks go back to church and leave the rest of us along? Maybe when they screw up another national election for the Republican, that party will put them down and get back to business (of the COUNTRY).

  4. “Davis’ defenders seem unable to distinguish between her right to personal religious liberty and a right to use government to deny such liberty to others.”

    Except that the gays have no right to get a marriage license, and their mere desire to get married falls well beneath the fundamental rights with which their desire conflicts.

    Davis is right, FoxNews, a New York City enterprise, notwithstanding.

  5. I have become so thoroughly disgusted with the extreme right and their idea that if they don’t like a law, then they have the right to refuse to abide by it.

    Their complete ignorance doesn’t even allow their pea brains to consider the fact that if they can get away with refusing to obey laws, then everyone else has the right to do the same.

    They are a waste of everyone’s time.

  6. See Gopper is a serious believer in the “Lifeboat Theory.” He and his fellow travelers make it. And tough luck for the rest of the world.

    Not a bad theory until everyone left in the the water decide to turn the lifeboat over. He needs to remember that the Jews of Germany in the 30’s were less than 1% of the population. They weren’t in a position to do much of anything. And they didn’t.

    Does anybody in their right mind think that his “Lifeboat Theory” will work in America with the minority population more than 40%?

  7. The American subjects of King George knew about aristocracy limiting their rights and took action. Gopper doesn’t know and wants to take action by going back to what they revolted from. Unlimited government by those entitled by wealth.

    The founders pointed out to the Crown Subjects then that the solution was a government prohibited from legislation in certain specific areas and democratically elected. A marvelous solution except for aristocratic wannabes like Gopper.

    So now America has to re fight the Revolution this time not against the Redcoats but the couch potatoes getting their instructions from the court jesters bought and paid for by the aristocratic wannabes through their virtual presence in all living rooms today.

    The Revolution is like the movie “Groundhog Day” with endless repitition of the same events – the maintenance of Constitutionally limited democratically elected government – except now it’s the one we all ready have.

    Oh well, Americans have to do the job again. Throw the redcoats out and resume living under our Constitution.

    We can end Groundhog Day on Election Day and we will.

  8. And just what did we expect to get with Pence in the first place? Were we looking for a statesman? A humanitarian? A diplomat?

    Or were we looking for hair to compensate for the Daniels deficiency?

    We get the government we vote for. Then we P & M for the one we didn’t. We import these yokels from the hinterlands and expect them to function in a major metropolis. Wouldn’t you feel out of place in Columbus Indiana in the 60s?

    You would if you were me!

    You will notice candidates from cities are shunned and marginalized by the powers that be. We get guys from Plains Georgia or Tampico Illinois and expect them to interact with the sharks, seasoned by years on the Hill? We get NAFTA and TARP and oceans of plastic and wonder why.

    Because we are not involved!!!

  9. I see that Gopper the Provocateur is back at it. If he truly believed the crap he put on this blog he would use his real name. Since he does not, none of us should take it seriously either.

  10. Having just read the Goober er Gooper’s comments, I would suggest the no one should even respond to such a mean spirited little person and then he /she/it might stop appearing in this venture of civility

  11. Pence is a self-proclaimed member of the Tea Party and sadly those people only care and support what they want and believe in, mostly things that aren’t good for the country. Foreign policy isn’t in his job description and I’m sure he hasn’t read the entire Iran deal, but his once again, just a follower.

  12. All brand advertising starts by implanting the presumption that users of the brand are socially advantaged. So not using the brand says socially awkward things about those users. Pretty effective way to influence choice.

    This is what has a grip on Gopper. By exposure to Fox News and NRA brand advertising his brain tells him that he’s in the in crowd of Americans. Very understandable but tragic for America. Good however for the arms industry and the GOP who can therefore count on favorable actions from him. Buying arms and voting Republican.

    He has, but probably will not take, one way out. Avoiding the brand advertising. Why should he? It makes him feel socially advantaged to be in the in crowd.

    The opium of the masses.

  13. The Muslim flight attendant comparison has confused some folks. She worked out an arrangement with another attendant to serve the alcohol while she would serve soft drinks – a reasonable accommodation of one’s religious beliefs while still meeting customer needs.

    Kim Davis – a government official who must implement the laws – might have made a similar accommodation and let her employees process marriage licenses for gay couples while she processed marriage licenses for straight couples. Unfortunately, Davis ordered her employees NOT to process licenses for gay couples. She has no more right to impose her religion on her employees who are also agents of the government than on taxpayers.

  14. And from a PR pov, the fact that Pence’s press conferences are so garbled gives strong support to the rumor that Gov Pence is the love child of Dan Quayle and George W Bush.

    I guess, given the drug-induced jibberish that constantly comes from the adicator queen Sarah “I Quit” Palin, maybe it was a magical 3some. *yes, sorry, that is really gross

    While the Repub front runner wants US citizens to speak only English, this would require Pence and Palin to remain silent. hmmmmm maybe Trump has something.

  15. What I can’t get over is Kim Davis’ salary of $80,000 a year. I’m going to assume she also has full benefits, like paid time off, health care and pension which are roughly equivalent to another $20,000. Plus, her son makes $30,000 as one of her deputies (one of five) and all this for a county of only 23,527. If I were one of the taxpayers of Rowan County, I’d be pretty steamed as to (a) why this job seemed to be passed from one generation to the next (she apparently inherited the job from her mother, who held it for 37 years, and her son will succeed her????) and why, in a state where the per capita income is just over $35,000 and household income is less than $42,000 a year, Kim Davis is paying herself so generously to not do her job? I would also want to know how much her tender conscience about other people’s private lives (apparently she found Jesus AFTER her three divorces) is costing the county. The Diane Rehm show also sank to a new low today–their first hour was about Kim Davis and her religious freedom and someone from NOM spoke up for her. What’s next–white people being represented by someone from the KKK about how persecuted white people are in the US?

  16. girl cousin: Like you, I was really surprised that a clerk made that much money in that small town. wow.

    When does your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job?

    Above are citations for two articles that I have found enlightening and helpful. The first elucidates the legal issues surrounding religious exceptions from employment in the US – the writer seems to conclude that Ms. Davis may indeed have some grounds for an exemption so long as undue hardship is not thereby visited on her employer (i.e., she cannot coerce her employees to also refuse to issue marriage licenses). There are additional details relating to elected office and Kentucky laws. Read it and see what you think. And, I hope that everyone of us will, from now on and forever, let this small person fade back into the woodwork and be invisible, where she does belong.

    The second citation is more difficult. It traces American conservatism’s present roots (and it’s extremism) from the Confederate States and their constitution and actions to the persistence of racism in our own daily lives, along with a host of political nightmares, many of which this blog addresses.

    Right now I am wrestling with the concept that the Confederacy may have won all except the actual fighting by the scary expedient that they just forced their beliefs and preferences on the rest of the country anyway, regardless of attempts by the ‘rule of law’ to go in other directions. These people created an alternate rule of law which has been driving the United States since before the actual Civil War. Again, read the piece and see what you think.

    Gopper, I hope that you also take the time to read and comment.

    Best wishes to all, as always!

  18. 1) Theresa makes an excellent point. One of the problems with internet chat rooms, blog responses, etc., is anonymity. Anonymity lends itself to a lack of accountability. When one signs or prints or types one’s name to a post, it is more difficult to make false claims or allegations as one, at the very least (here enters the element of self-respect) wants to be known (presumably) as reliable with facts. At most the person might worry about lawsuits for defamation.
    2) As for Governor Pence—and I do not have my copy of the Indiana Constitution handy (or on a nifty tab on this laptop by which I can access that venerable document), as I recall the governor of the State is the commander-in-chief of our State’s militia. I am confident his comments about the Iran agreement have nothing to do with his presidential aspirations, aspirated as they seem to have become. Rather, he acts only in his capacity as commander of those folks on the ramparts, who preserve freedom in Indiana and defend that freedom from those who would invade—principally from Michigan, I would suggest. Coach Isso has poached too many Indiana high school basketball players for his MSU program. If any matter would constitute grounds for battle (Foghorn Leghorn: “As you know, sir, this means war!”) it is the deterioration of our NCAA basketball hopes, not our bridges, highways, education systems, or other mundane things that move in oxcarts below the societal radar.

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