DESPITE PROFUSE PLEAS from friends and family, your humble blogger hasn’t seen House of Cards. According to Roll Call, that amounts to repeated missed opportunities to catch a glimpse of Cassidy & Associates’ G St. facade. According to The Economist, it means passing up scenes of politicians:
…lying, leaking secrets to lobbyists, framing rivals, indulging in fistfights (one in front of wide-eyed children) and snorting cocaine, as well as sleeping with prostitutes, their own staff and a story-hungry reporter.
While the Cassidy building’s existence is undisputed, it’s dubious whether any lawmakers are snorting coke. So what’s the veracity of the show?
It’s pretty accurate…
“Honestly, the egos and the quest and thirst for power is very prevalent in Washington…just the drive, you know, the drive to the next position or the drive for the position of power” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)
“The accuracy of the props—from congressional doorplates to visitors’ badges—is much discussed, and praised.” – The Economist
“…after the first couple of shows, [Underwood’s] office starts looking like my office. I have this big map, right, sitting in there. I look over on the wall, he’s got that whip sitting up there….Then in the ninth episode, he’s trying to pass this bill, and he says, ‘I’m going to tell you one thing: You vote your district, you vote your conscience. Just don’t surprise me.’ [I said that.]” Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
“It’s like evil ‘West Wing.’ And some of the shadier parts are so realistic.” – GOP strategist Amy Thoma
“In real life, says a Democratic campaign aide, members of Congress are too nannied by staff to stride about hatching plots, one-on-one. In the real Washington, says a Republican staffer, leadership coups take longer to ferment….Other errors fall under the heading of flattery: the clothes are too elegant for DC, and the ratio of sexual trysts to committee meetings is strikingly high.” – The Economist
“The notion of any of our leadership team having sex with a reporter makes me laugh out loud. And besides, everyone knows there is no decent barbecue in Washington.” – Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
“[The characters] do mix fundraising and legislation far more than people would do…offering x dollars to anyone who would support this bill. That would never occur in real life.” – Thoma
“If I were to make one criticism of the show, it’s [that] a South Carolina congressman’s barbecue of choice appears to be fairly sticky ribs, when true South Carolina barbecue uses a mustard-based sauce and even when it’s not that, it’s a more North Carolina vinegar mop.” – Mike Bober, Meat Week founder and Capital Spice blogger