#DoYourJob Revisited

Remember Kim Davis? The woman who refused the Supreme Court’s order to legally wed same-sex couples in Kentucky? She received a lot of flack at the time, not all undeserved. But much of it was under the hashtag/meme #DoYourJob.

This week the House Democrats broke the law. They sat down on the floor of the House and refused calls to order until Speaker Paul Ryan allowed a vote on key gun control. The protocol in such a situation, in case you were wondering, is for the Speaker to warn them and then have them arrested by the Sargent at Arms. The issue for Speaker Ryan is that arresting key Democrats, rule of law or no, would cause a firestorm. Instead he just called a vote to go on vacation a week early. (Congress: where arresting lawbreakers looks worse than taking an extra week of vacation.)

Liberals (this one included) have greeted this very favorably. People have pointed out that as far as hills to die on go, the terror watch list really is not the best one, but on the other hand standing up to the gun lobby is a nice change of pace. The point is that liberals are not exactly lining up over the idea that House Democrats should just fall in line with the status quo.

Look, I think like with a lot of memes, there is a charitable reading to all of this. For many, #DoYourJob was shorthand for “we won this fight, we agree with the status quo now, we have the mandate, now fall in line”. For some, though, it was about rule of law—which I found galling even at the time. LGBT people have been on the receiving end of unjust laws for a long time, and we rightly celebrated officials who risked property and liberty to push for those changes.

It is hard not to a see a certain hypocrisy in those who felt Kim Davis should specifically bow to the rule of law but the Senate Dems are heroes.


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