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The House of Cards Vision of Infidelity: More Fact than Fiction

Cheating on one's spouse is not a phenomenon specific to Washington, D.C.—it occurs from sea to shining sea—but the sinful game has higher stakes in the District, where unfaithfulness seems both concentrated and magnified.

by
Becky Graebner

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May 15, 2013 - 2:00 pm
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Editor’s Note: Click here for Part 1 in Becky Graebner’s dissection of how Netflix’s House of Cards series compares with real life in the political jungle of Washington D.C. And drop by PJ Lifestyle each Wednesday for new installments in the series.

The topic of infidelity isn’t exactly funny—or a subject that many T.V. producers and writers can write into their plots without making the audience completely hate the characters engaged.  House of Cards’ writing involving the marriage and unfaithfulness of Frank and Claire is subtly genius and creepy–because the audience doesn’t necessarily come to completely dislike them for their moral derailment.  This might mean that the writing is so genius that the audience is tricked into not judging the cheating characters, or it might simply shed some light on the moral condition of D.C. and greater society.  I think it is a little bit of both.

When people gain power, they start to feel untouchable.  And when they think they are untouchable, they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.  They are also more likely to become a target for those who also seek fame, power, and wealth.  Celebrities and politicians frequently fall prey to a false sense of indestructibility, as well as to power-hungry gremlins…and some are led astray from their marriages.

Infidelity is not a phenomenon specific to Washington, D.C.—it occurs from sea to shining sea–but the sinful game has higher stakes in the District.  Due to the nature of the cheating players’ jobs, their environment, and media coverage, unfaithfulness seems to be both concentrated and magnified in D.C.  History is full of famous “D.C. wanderings.” It’s pathetic that I have so many to choose from.  Let’s start at the top…

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Top Rated Comments   
Consider the IRS and Benghazi scandals. You have blatant violation of rights, death and a wrongful imprisonment. The hardcore progressives are OK with a all o fit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes. Progressives love to tout the numbers of (estimated) psychopaths in the corporate world, but you have to wonder - what about government? Why just have power over your employees when you can force entire populations to follow your agenda?

A lot of politicians are the stereotypical alpha-male that believes they are entitled to whatever pleasures they want. There are certain women who find power and wealth attractive as well. Like the old saying: Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. Even Kissenger was a player.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Power attracts psychopaths like moths to a flame. Studies suggest that they are four times more common in the heights of the corporate world than the general population. How much more common must they be in politics where there is more power, more aggrandizement and attention, less accountability, and far easier to hoodwink people?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (7)
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It's vital to practice personal morality in all forms, including sexual integrity, because one thing leads to another. In the case of Frank and Claire, adultery was the gateway sin. Adulterers lie and betray trust when they cheat on their spouses. The paramours are betrayed as well, because they're led to believe that the adulterer feels true love when actually, it's all about using the other person's body for self-gratification. In the case of elected officials, the habit of adultery hones skill in lying and betrayal, so it's easier to lie to voters and betray them, too. The next steps include financial corruption and abuse of power. Cynical careerism becomes the norm, as people find sophisticated ways to feather their own nests. The hypocritical facade is maintained with skill, while actual behavioral norms drift away from the private and public virtue which is the precondition for a representative republic. The Founders understood this well. As Our Lord put it in Matthew 27-28, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." If we're foolish enough to convince ourselves that sexual integrity is somehow unimportant -- "It's just sex!"-- we should be lower our expectations for honesty and competence in throughout our society, including in government.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Henry Kissinger reportedly said: "Power is the great aphrodisiac."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" I’m sure the majority of this country never imagines their perfect president, congressman, governor, or general could ever be capable of unfaithfulness. "

Not really. Most people realize that the veneer of perfection is not very deep.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reaping the Wind

"

What did the sexual revolution sow? What is being reaped? John Witte (From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (Family, Religion, and Culture)) summarizes with these chilling words:

“The wild oats sown in the course of the American sexual revolution have brought forth such a great forest of tangled structural, moral, and intellectual thorns that we seem almost powerless to cut it down. We seem to be living out the grim prophecy that Friedrich Nietzsche offered a century ago: that in the course of the twentieth century, ‘the family will be slowly ground into a random collection of individuals, haphazardly bound together ‘in the common pursuit of selfish ends’ – and in the common rejection of thestructures and strictures of family, church, state, and civil society.”
Peter Leithart at first things
Our leaders must become our role models of holy. However, God is the husband of the saints and father to the children sinners in need of mercy and forgiveness through repentance
Leaders who behalf like rebel children must be cast out of leadership roles
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Power attracts psychopaths like moths to a flame. Studies suggest that they are four times more common in the heights of the corporate world than the general population. How much more common must they be in politics where there is more power, more aggrandizement and attention, less accountability, and far easier to hoodwink people?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes. Progressives love to tout the numbers of (estimated) psychopaths in the corporate world, but you have to wonder - what about government? Why just have power over your employees when you can force entire populations to follow your agenda?

A lot of politicians are the stereotypical alpha-male that believes they are entitled to whatever pleasures they want. There are certain women who find power and wealth attractive as well. Like the old saying: Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. Even Kissenger was a player.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Consider the IRS and Benghazi scandals. You have blatant violation of rights, death and a wrongful imprisonment. The hardcore progressives are OK with a all o fit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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