Gene Healy Says the Evil 'House of Cards' Characters Are Too Competent To Be Believable


"House of Cards" is hardly a flattering portrait of the political animal—so why are D.C.'s political animals so crazy about the show? As Ezra Klein notes, the show's vision of D.C. power brokers "efficiently and ruthlessly carrying out complicated plans" is at odds with the "fractious and bumbling" reality. The people actually running the show can't set up a functional healthcare website or prevent a 29-year-old contractor from walking off with the NSA's "family jewels." Schemes with a lot of moving parts are generally beyond their capability. That may be why D.C. pols enjoy the show so much. It's a Beltway power fantasy, an embodiment of Washington's id. "I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient," President Obama has said of the show: "It's like Kevin Spacey, man, this guy's getting a lot of stuff done." Gene Healy see what he means, though he'd feel more comfortable if he hadn't added that last bit.