Kim Davis is a Republican now, to the surprise of no one

Kim Davis is a Republican now, announcing earlier today that the Democratic Party no longer represents her, and that she and her family have switched affiliations.

As she told Reuters, in advance of her appearance at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, “My husband and I had talked about it for quite a while and we came to the conclusion that the Democratic Party left us a long time ago, so why were we hanging on?”

Great question.

Throughout this entire showdown with the government over whether she can massively resist the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, Davis’s partisan affiliation never mattered. This would be true anywhere, but it’s especially true in Kentucky, which is one of the least-polarized states in the country (Democrats outnumber Republicans in partisan registration by quite a bit, yet the state is reliably red in presidential elections). Partisan affiliations don’t affect her job as county clerk in the slightest, and her refusal to do her job wasn’t made any less bad because she was elected with a D next to her name.

She's free!

She’s free!

And yet, Republican Davis apologists often found her partisan affiliation irresistible, going out of their way to remind everyone that although they agreed with her on her issue of choice, and Davis’s defenders were almost exclusively Republicans, they weren’t on the same team. If that sounds like a tacit concession of the moral high ground, that’s because it is: Keep in mind, these are the same Republican apologists who defend the Confederate flag by pointing out that Jefferson Davis was a Democrat, so the train of thought is familiar — though no less irrelevant. Both arguments are complete non-sequiturs that ignore the partisan realignment that began with the New Deal and is only now in its later stages of completion.

But now Republicans don’t have to do that dance anymore. They opened their arms to Davis’s rank bigotry and lawlessness in the name of Christian supremacy, and Davis was happy to join them. She’s right; they represent her to a T.

Kim Davis’s partisan affiliation only matters because her defenders made it matter. Now that she’s a Republican, I’m sure it will stop mattering.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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