Of course she does.
Democratic Rep. Katie Hill of California has resigned. from the House of Representatives. Ethics Alarms examined Rep. Hill’s plight in the recent post, Just What We Needed: The Naked Congresswoman Principle. It concluded,
“The Naked Teacher Principle, Naked Congresswoman Variation, rules. The fact that these photos became public undermines trust in Hill’s judgement, competence, and trustworthiness, if not her physical fitness. It doesn’t matter how or why they got online. The person ultimately responsible is Hill. If you want to have a career based on respect and trust, don’t pose for naked pictures, sex photos, or pictures that make you look like you’re employed by an escort service. That shouldn’t be so hard.”
The lesson of the Naked Teacher Principle and most (though not all!) of its variations held true for Hill: once there are photos out there of a professional holding a position requiring dignity and trust behaving like or looking like a porn star, a drunken frat date, Kim Kardashian or a Sports illustrated swimsuit model, that professional’s ability to do her (or his) job has been seriously wounded, perhaps mortally. It would have been nice, and admirable, if Hill acknowledged this fact of life, the workplace and politics, but as you can see from her resignation letter below, she did not:
Hill appears to be taking no responsibility for her fate at all. This was a “rising star” in the Democratic Party firmament? Yechh.
Who allowed those photographs to be taken, Katie? When you hold a elected public position of trust in the House of Representatives, you are always responsible when your private conduct becomes public and it clashes with the public’s reasonable expectations of their elected leaders. This is why, for as long as you represent the U.S. government and its institutions, you have to control yourself, your passions, and your eccentricities as part of your duty to your office. You cannot dress up in blackface, or appear in a Nazi uniform, or as a dominatrix, or barking like a dog while a dwarf rides you like a pony, even in private, unless you are prepared to accept the inevitable consequences if your moments of indulgence become public, embarrassing your party, state, legislative body and nation. Thus, if you do such things, legal though they are, making certain that you are not being captured on film or digital images is a no-brainer, and allowing oneself to be so captured strongly suggests the presence of no brain, or at least no trustworthy model.
Yup, your estranged husband behaved miserably, hatefully and illegally. It doesn’t matter. He’s not a House member. Yes, you have every reason to be furious and feel betrayed. That doesn’t matter either. It is your duty, and part of your job as an elected leader, to protect your image and dignity. You didn’t. Admit it, apologize, and find something else to do.
Moreover, Hill’s resignation was primarily triggered by the fact that she had a sexual relationship with a campaign worker (and allegedly another staff member, though she denies it), a violation of House rules, and also possible sexual harassment. She doesn’t mention this in her letter at all, other than alluding to it (I assume) by defaulting to the cowardly and oblique “mistakes made” (by whom, Rep. Hill?) cliché and the even more clichéd, “I’m not perfect and never pretended to be.”
And it’s all a man’s fault. That’s her message: her husband did her in, just as other women are routinely harmed by other men, the bastards, thus deflecting to bigotry and misandry to duck her own accountability.
Hill’s resignation letter alone is sufficient to prove that she lacks the character to be a member of Congress.