Into the looking glass
Lawmakers who are giddy about the Netflix political drama ‘House of Cards’ and want to sidle up to it in order to bask in its glory have no idea how stupid they are. They aren’t watching TV – they’re looking into a mirror.
Those of us among the great unwashed who watch the show — we binge-watched Season 2 in less than three days — are reminded by it of how much we loathe the slithering, venomous creatures who inhabit Washington, D.C., and we take away from it the strong sense that we haven’t seen the half of what really goes on.
HofC characters up and down the line are venal, corrupt, petty, lustful, patently immoral, power-hungry and without regard for anything or anyone but themselves. And those are the successful ones! The others are weak, whiny, vapid, shallow and vice-ridden. In other words, a dead-on portrayal of what passes for our national leadership.
What’s bizarre? They don’t get it – they don’t get that they are what they see, and they don’t get that what we see of them we hate and want gone.
Peggy Noonan hit this nail on the head in a recent Wall Street Journal column where she asked what becomes of a country where these people are the elites, and what becomes of the elites themselves? My answer is to look to France of the late 18th Century. Review the years leading up to 1789 and the years afterward. Where do you think we got the term “heads will roll”?
There’s also a book out called ‘This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital,‘ by Mark Leibovich that adds plenty of fuel to the fire. It recounts in excruciatingly sleazy detail the inner workings and relationships of those in our modern national government and the hangers-on and sycophants who cover it. Who hates who and why – if you cross the Clintons, you’re dead, figuratively and, in the case of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, literally.
One reviewer said that those who hate Washington, D.C. and its insiders now will hate them even more after reading ‘This Town,’ a fact to which I can personally attest. It’s as if being there for more than a couple of weeks infects you with a disease that turns you into a lizard of the oiliest sort, no matter if you’re in office, on staff, oozing about the halls of Congress as an influencer or a journalist covering it all.
Where once I thought the nation’s capitol was the place to be, I’ve now gone 180 seeing it as the place from which to flee before it’s razed to the ground. One of my children contemplating an advanced degree has been accepted to a school in the District — apparently, one never calls it D.C. unless one is gauche — and I’ve advised that young scholar, who will set the world on fire some day, to avoid the place as if it were the worst of today’s Kiev, Caracas or Tehran.
Should God want to mulligan the whole Sodom and Gomorrah thing and destroy a wicked city, I wouldn’t want to be within 100 miles of Washington, D.C.
So, the idiots in Congress who think it’s cute and clever to invite their constituents and the American people in general to think of them within the construct of HofC, be reminded (SPOILER ALERT) that you too have a Raymond Tusk in your background laundering campaign funds, and it’s wise that you avoid subways and wooded areas in Maryland altogether because you ain’t that tough.
Scott St. Clair is a journalist, rhetorical pugilist, agent provocateur, aider and abbetor of Liberty Lovers and a former competitive Highland piper. He says what he thinks, means what he says and doesn’t suffer fools. He’s also a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. His opinions are entirely his own, and you shouldn’t expect them to mirror yours.