Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis announced on Friday that she and her husband had officially switched to the Republican Party. Davis argued that the Democratic Party no longer represents her. Davis has engaged in a contentious political battle with Kentucky Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, who she claims is violating her religious freedom, by requiring her to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.
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?
While the narrative that the Democratic Party left her will probably be used by the GOP to paint Davis as a victim of liberal “political correctness” or some other imaginary evil, the truth is Davis can’t stand the Democratic Party valuing tolerance and respect for diversity.
Davis left the Democratic Party because it is no longer the haven for Southern bigots. The days of George Wallace, Lester Maddox and Orval Faubus speaking for the Democrats have passed, and now Davis must turn to the GOP where her intolerance is welcomed with open arms.
Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz after all, came to Kentucky to worship Kim Davis as a modern day Christian martyr. The two obsequious politicians wanted to share the stage with Kim Davis, and bask in the glow of her self-righteous bigotry. They will be happy to welcome her into the Republican Party, because she is such a good fit for the narrow-minded prejudices of the modern Republican Party. While those same prejudices are still present in the Democratic Party as well, they are no longer welcomed by the party’s political leadership.
Kim Davis leaving the Democratic Party should come as no surprise to anyone. Her homophobic bigotry still can carve out a niche in the GOP. If she plays up her phony martyrdom enough she may even get a speaking gig at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Or perhaps like Pat Caddell and Dick Morris, she’ll become a “Fox News Democrat” who can spew right-wing talking points, while allowing the network to hold her up as someone with special insight on the shortcomings of the Democratic Party she once belonged to. Regardless of what Davis decides to do after leaving the Democratic Party, Democrats are probably mostly in agreement that it was time for her to leave. Good luck and good riddance.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.