Why Peggy Noonan Is Dead Right In Diagnosing House of Cards' Decadence

A great Peggy Noonan blog post today hits the mark, “Our Decadent Elites“:  

Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines? Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them? “House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity. Or maybe they’re just stupid. But it’s all vaguely decadent, no? Or maybe not vaguely. America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars. Suggesting this perception is valid is helpful in what way?

Read the whole thing. April and I are six episodes in to the second season and I’ve grown bored with it. Real life is so much more interesting. Some of my tweets in protest:   

“Decadent” really is the correct word to describe the show and what it symbolizes: the cultural twilight of Baby Boomer Liberalism.

Last year I began analyzing Camille Paglia’s books and cultural criticism. More than 20 years ago she predicted what we’re seeing now. Here’s an excerpt from page 3 of Sexual Personae:

“Romanticism always turns into decadence. Nature is a hard taskmaster. It is the hammer and the anvil, crushing individuality. Perfect freedom would be to die by earth, air, water, and fire.”