Freshman Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), a rising star in the Democratic Party, on Sunday announced her intent to resign from Congress after the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into her alleged affair with multiple Congressional staffers. Over the last few days, pictures have surfaced of Hill naked, smoking a bong and spending time with her staffers. Text messages also indicated Hill and her husband had an on-going relationship with one of her staffers, a clear violation of House Ethics.
During a segment on MSNBC, Daily Beast columnist Margaret Carlson made the argument that there's a double standard in Washington, D.C., that women and Democrats are held to different standards.
"I think there’s a double double standard on the Hill, which is, one is that women are treated more strictly than a man. And Democrats are following the strictures of the Ethics Committee and others on sexual misconduct more strongly than Republicans are," Carlson said.
“I think it’s more Democrats than Republicans," Andrea Mitchell replied.
“More Democrats," Carlson agreed. "I mean, our President gets away with so much more than Katie Hill. And here we have a really, really abusive husband calling her to account. Nancy Pelosi is doing the right thing, but it’s still something of a tragedy. And I’m sure that she also feels, as Al Franken did at the time, which is if you’re losing the support of the leadership, the best thing you can do is get out of the way. It’s a sacrifice for her but she did it.”
People are upset with Hill because she supported the very bill that made sexual relationships with subordinates a violation of House Ethics. She can't even follow the rules that she herself helped establish. It's the very walking contradiction that people don't like about Washington: rules apply to everyone but the ones who make them.
It doesn't matter who brought up what took place. What matters is that she was doing wrong. She didn't resign to protect her constituents. She resigned because she knew something worse was going to come out, either through leaks to the media or the Committee investigation.