September 10th, 2008

Sarah Palin vs. the Librarian

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/politics/2008/view.bg?articleid=1117009

So strictly speaking, the librarian was not asked to censor books; she was presented with a hypothetical situation and asked what her reaction might be.  And again, strictly speaking, only an inferential connection can be made between this question and her subsequent dismissal, and were I to insist on this connection I would be rightly accused of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Nevertheless, I can't be the only person in this country who finds the idea of a city librarian being dismissed for her lack of support for the mayor a little ridiculous.  Lack of support?  What does that mean?  She clearly wasn't insubordinate or incompetent, or she would have been fired for those reasons.  Did she not cheer loudly enough when the mayor gave a speech?  Was she not sufficiently sympathetic when the mayor was having a bad day?  Since when does being a city employee entail wholehearted support of the city executives' policies and priorities?

If the woman was doing her job, Sarah Palin had no business dismissing her.  If the actual reason for the dismissal was her refusal to violate principles that any librarian learns while getting an MLS, then Sarah Palin attempted a wrongful firing.  And the idea that a mayor has the right to summarily get rid of employees that don't pass an ideology test is repulsive. 

All of which is to say that this situation stinks pretty much any way I look at it.
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