House of Cards, the Netflix series about a lethally unscrupulous Washington politician, is a wonderful show, but it does sometimes stretch the limits of credulity. I have no trouble believing that a Democratic congressman would push a reporter in front of a train, but the idea that anyone in the press would try to expose him for it is flatout ridiculous.After all, Barack Obama has been pushing reporters under the bus for six years and nobodys said a word. Ah well. If the show gives leftist politicos nightmares about being held accountable for their actions by American journalists they can simply keep repeating, "it's only a movie, it's only a movie." House of Cards does pose a more realistic threat to leftists, however their 40 year monopoly on artistic political statements and their tacit blacklist of anyone who tries to make opposing statements list of anyone who tries to make opposing statements may finally be coming to an end. House of Cards is not, as left wing activist Randy Shaw wrote in a blithering and inattentive piece on Huffington Post, a "Republican fantasy world," but it is not pure leftist cant,either. And that in itself makes it something of a New Thing on the show business landscape. Let's set aside the bigger issues for a moment and consider one small scene in the third episode of the second season. Reporter Janine Skorsky brought to vivid life by the perfectly cast Constance Zimmer has left the Washington rat race to teach journalism at an unnamed college in Ithaca, New York. We find her lecturing the class on how a media manipulated narrative can outweigh the facts.
Most Hollywood fictions can be relied upon to rewrite conservative truth into left wing fantasy. In real life, the staunch Cold Warrior president John F. Kennedy is assassinated by a Communist for the sake of Communism. At the movies, Oliver Stone turns Kennedy into a peacenik killed by a vast right wing conspiracy. In real life, a married Democratic president faces credible charges of philandering and mistreatment of women. Onscreen, Michael Douglas magically transforms him into an unmarried man of integrity excoriated by the puritanical right for falling deeply in love with an accomplished woman his own age. In real life, leftists in the news media attempt to discredit a Republican president by creating a nonsensical scandal out of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle. At the multiplex, the scandal becomes deadly real and Vice President Dick Cheney who had nothing to do with any of it is somehow behind it all. House of Cards has its origins in a British novel written by Michael Dobbs , a former chief of staff at Conservative Party headquarters in the United Kingdom. But the novel's evildoing parliamentary whip is himself a Tory, seeking power in the aftermath of the Thatcher years. I don't know the politics of Andrew Davies, who scripted the much acclaimed BBC television series, but the people involved in the Netflix remake whose politics I can identify including the great lead actor Kevin Spacey are all reliably liberal. But then, Hollywood conservatives know it's wise to keep their mouths shut. Nonetheless, in the American version, Spacey's murderous power seeking congressional whip is a Democrat. This in itself borders on the miraculous. But the actual political maneuvers that move the story forward are ideologically muddy and unrealistic. Democrats seek serious entitlement reform, but Republicans are reluctant to go along. Really? Democrats circumvent teachers' unions to reform education. Dream on A Republican politician stands on principle okay, it's Hollywood, but there's only so much a fellow can believe.
We've all become so accustomed to this leftward rejiggering of history that watching Netflix's TV series House of Cards can be a weird and confusing experience. On the one hand, by dramatizing the rise of a corrupt ,soulless Democratic pol willing to break any law, betray any principle, and literally throw his opponents under trains to acquire power and by showing a Republican opposition too bumbling and cowardly to oppose his ruthless machinations the series hews so close to the facts that it can hardly be called fiction at all.But when it comes to portraying the actual nuts and bolts of day to day policy making, the show sometimes seems to take place in an unidentifiable political Wonderland. This is devastating to left wing philosophy, because the central flaw of leftism is not its ceaseless cynicism about business, individualism, religion, or the common man it's that its cynicism evaporates into unicorn and rainbow stupidity when it comes to government. Insurance companies are too greedy to handle health care, but not the government. Individuals are too reckless to own guns, but not the government. Religion is too corrupt to preach morals, but not the government. The people are too foolish to know their own good, but not our old friend Uncle Government. It's no wonder some conservatives think leftists are all evil tyrants. It's easier than believing they could really be such knuckleheads.
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...