The resignation of U.S. Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., is being questioned by some observers who say she is being held to a higher standard than male members of Congress accused of wrongdoing.

It is not dodging the issue to point out the answer to that is no. Hill resigned her position. She was not removed from it or even disciplined by the House of Representatives.

Hill resigned after her sexual relationship with a campaign aide, another woman, was revealed by the British press. Explicit photographs showing Hill and the woman were published. Hill said she stepped down because she was “fearful of what might come next.” Noting she is involved in an unpleasant divorce, she blamed her husband for revealing the relationship.

“Some of her behavior, if a man did it, we would say it was wrong and inappropriate. But she is being held to a different standard,” Kelly Dittmar, of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, told The Associated Press.

Whether Hill is discriminated against by the public — particularly her constituents — because she is a woman is one thing. Congress has no control over that.

It is fair to ask how she would have been treated had she remained in the House. It is known that an ethics investigation had been launched into her behavior, including allegations she broke House rules by being involved with a male aide. Hill denies that.

But, upon her resignation, the ethics probe was dropped.

From time to time — seemingly on a regular basis — other members of Congress are accused of misbehavior ranging from misuse of campaign funds to sexual improprieties. Another Californian, Republican U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, is accused now of mixing the two by using campaign money to cover romantic flings with congressional aides and lobbyists.

An investigation into that ought to be pursued vigorously and swiftly. If Hunter is guilty as accused, he should be removed from Congress.

Would Hill have been discriminated against had she remained in Congress? We will never know. What we do need to know, if we Americans are to have any faith in government, is that any lawmaker accused of wrongdoing — regardless of that person’s gender, party affiliation, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation or political connections — will be held accountable.

The sad truth is that the state of our politics and culture today requires us to wonder about that.

(5) comments

billnonymous

Congress made diddling your staff members illegal for a reason. She diddled her staff's members, so she should be forced out. But, she's a Democrat after all so she feels entitled to "pull a Hillary" and blame everyone else on God's green (and getting greener every day thanks to excess CO2!) earth for her predicament. The bottom line is she has no one to blame but herself.

Donald

Ms. Hill might consider starting a #MeThree movement ………. Sorry. Couldn't help myself. :-)

sbsheridan

This incident poses so many questions about our society today. First, what was Rep. Hill thinking when she put herself in such compromising circumstances? Did she not accept some responsibility to her constituents to act in ways becoming of her position? Second, what standards do any of us live by if we think it appropriate to parade such behavior through the media? Third, what has our government become, if the only people left in office are those who are willing to stand up to bullying, make light of serious indiscretions, and/or lie about their actions? Just something to think about ...

newshound

She certainly wasn't thinking at all. Man or woman, what is done (legally) in private should stay private no matter how disgusting. Public servants need to be held to high standards but people who do these "revenge actions" are scummy and lack sense.

billnonymous

What was she thinking? She was thinking “my desire for a female staff member and to cheat on my husband is greater than my desire to abide by House rules.”

What standards do any of us live by if we think it appropriate to parade such behavior through the media? The standards where we accept that if we are stupid enough to allow naked pictures of ourselves to be taken, that it’s just a matter of time before they end up on the Internet.

As for your last question, stop falling for her “woe is me” “bull manure”. She knew the rules, she chose to break them, she suffers the consequences. When you seek to put yourself into a public position, you better have a higher set of morals than this easy cheater.

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