There are now two stories alleging quite disturbing abuse by Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar towards her Capitol Hill staff. While most members of Congress are millionaires, staff are generally poorly paid, and interns are mostly unpaid. They work long hours and that’s at least part of the reason many sell out and become lobbyists afterwards. Treating these staff poorly is a poor commentary on someone’s character.
What’s interesting about Klobuchar’s alleged private treatment of her staff is how it stands in contrast with how she portrayed herself as a neighborly and compassionate senator in her 2015 memoir, which is titled The Senator Next Door:
One way this story may play out is through the lens of gender stereotypes, as some have already suggested stories about Klobuchar may have a gender lens. Yet we often pathologize men as aggressive and brutal and women as passive or kind. But people are individuals, and our stereotypes are often false. We should try and hold lawmakers of any gender equally accountable for making sure their staff are treated well.