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Real Life Lessons We Learned From Watching Fictional House of Cards


Check out the previous installments in Becky Graebner’s dissection of House of Cards. Spoiler Warning!

May 8: 3 Washington D.C. Stereotypes House of Cards Hits Too Close for Comfort

May 15: The House of Cards Vision of Infidelity: More Fact than Fiction

May 22: Seduce Your Way to the Top? Meet The Anne Boleyns of Washington, D.C.

May 29: Why We Love to Hate Politicians

June 5: Can ‘Evil’ Sometimes Be Good?

June 12: House of Cards, Part 6: A Cast of Master Obfuscators

June 19: 4 Reasons Why House of Cards is Such a Hit


The show House of Cards isn’t over yet—but my writing filibuster for season one, that has delayed the realization that there is not yet a season two, is nearing an end.

There is an entirely new season being written, shot, and acted as we speak.  I like to think that Kevin Spacey is delivering a monologue at this very moment in Baltimore (they film most of the show in Charm City because it is less expensive).  But, for now, all we have is season one—and we will have to be content watching Frank lie to Peter Russo over and over again until season two arrives.

How does one “wrap up” a filibuster on House of Cards? On the venerable Frank Underwood?  Book readings and spontaneous speaking aside, in some real-life filibusters on The Hill, our officials use their floor time to get right to the point.  Some spurn a day-long Harry Potter book reading in order to lay out the problems or their fears regarding Proposal X.  Some use the time to stand on their soapbox and outline what they think is wrong with the present—and further describe their vision and hope for the future.  Others illustrate how far we have come by explaining past challenges and our “lessons learned”—showing us how much farther we could go.