At this point, there are two types of people: Those who have seen House of Cards Season 4, and those who haven’t. For those who seen it, that leaves two choices:
- “Don’t spoil me. I’ll click the “+” in the upper right hand side of the page and read something at random.” : Okay. Happy random reading!
- Spoil me.” : You must know my wife 🙂
And, here, “Don’t spoil me,”‘s – we posted a video of the Season 4 trailer to help keep you from seeing Season 4. Now, off with you.
Now, about those historical precedents
- The assassination attempt on President Underwood
- The gas crisis
- The deal with China and Russia
- The Underwood / Underwood ticket
- Frank & Claire…& Tom
- The story’s out about Frank
- The shivering, shocking end
1) – That moment in Episode 4, about 20 minutes in: The assassination attempt of President Francis Underwood by Lucas Goodwin
It’s happened before in US history. In fact, 15 of the last 17 US Presidents have been the subject of an assassination attempt (Way to duck and cover, LBJ & Ike). Four US Presidents throughout history have seen the worst of it:
- Abraham Lincoln
- James Garfield
- William McKinley
- John K. Kennedy
The 1981 Assassination of President Reagan is probably the closest to the event
Down to romantic feelings being the motivating cause.
Reagan was shot by John Hinkley. Hinkley was trying to impress Jodie Foster because, assuming, he thought her portrayal of Iris in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver was her in real life.
Underwood was shot by former editor Lucas Goodwin. Goodwin had traced Zoe Barnes’ subway mishap down believing it was Frank who caused it (remember the Season 2 opener?) and became obsessed. His attempt and subsequent death allowed him to successfully martyr his cause.
Each also had a staff member killed
For Reagan, it was assistant James Brady. Yup, of the “Brady Bill,” fame. He died from the wounds…33 years later.
For Frank, well, RIP Secret Serviceman Meechum. You left your handprint on the wall of the White House, literally.
2) – The gas price crisis mid-season
Gas prices reaching near $7? In this time of fracking and newfound glut of oil in the market?
Well, I’m guessing at the time of the writing, it was still touch-and-go as to whether or not the oil prices were actually going to drop and, with it, gas prices. If the writers had waited 6 weeks, who knows?
The precedence: Gas rationing of the 1970s (1973 & 1979)
OIl prices skyrocketed 400% – from $3 to $12 (the good ole days). Economic reasons, too deep to mention for the scope of the article but to point out that they forced the US having to do Odd / Even rationing: those with licence plates ending in an odd number got to buy gas on odd number days, and vice versa for evens on even-numbered days.
Also, on 9/11 there were lines and gas gouging.
On my drive home from the boat that day I saw a gas station cranking prices to over $4 a gallon on their sign.
3) – US & China bailing out Russia?
This is the one that’s toughest to swallow. You can find instances where China, Russia, and the US work together. Anytime North Korea acts up, there becomes a frenemy discussion on how to deal with them. And through history, there has been times when we’ve worked together.
I don’t think we’ve had that much glasnot in a long, long time.
Ask Raymond Tusk.
4) – Underwood / Underwood ticket
Well, no, there hasn’t been a married couple on a ticket ever, unless Montdale and Ferraro were knocking boots common-law style behind the scenes and nobody knew.
And while Hillary Clinton would be the obvious parallel, there were actually other cases in history where, after the fact, it was discovered that the wife was doing most of the sitting president’s work.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a true “partner”
World War II. Polio is ravaging FDR just as the troops were making progress in Europe. Rumor has that everything was done to keep up the appearance for a man who spent more than the last decade being the symbol who helped navigate the country out of The Great Depression, and whose symbol was still needed while the tide was still turning in teh war.
The sicker FDR got, the more Eleanor subbed in – in theory. It must have been a slap in the face to find out that his mistress was by his side when he died in Warm Springs, GA.
Maybe. Keep reading.
I’ve visited Warm Springs and saw his deathbed. Amazing place. Those springs looked enchanting. They said the springs helped him find relief from portfolios.
Edith Wilson’s surrogacy
After President Woodrow Wilson’s stroke in 1920, it was rumored that Edith Wilson did more than help him sign his documents. Her surrogacy included several of his remedial day-to-day activities.
As for the caucuses
It’s plausible. These situations are called Brokered Conventions. They don’t happen often because conventional wisdom typically dictates that brokered conventions look bad for the party, typically leading to disaster on election day.
The last candidate to win after a brokered convention was Franklin D. Roosevelt.
He went on to win three more elections after it, so it’s not always bad. But that’s why conventions are set up that way: in case anything crazy happens to a candidate between the time of state primaries and the time of the convention. It gives the party a chance to confirm their nomination.
5) – Frank & Claire…& Tom
Speaking of Eleanor, now that Frank is living with a new liver and restricted travel, as well as pending health consequences. As good first women, Eleanor & Edith have not only set the precedence for Frank & Claire’s expounded, “partnership,” Eleanor helped take it a step further, laying down the groundwork so Claire can add Tom to her life.
Folks in power having both wives and mistresses knowing about each other goes back to the Old Testament. In some cases, your kingdom was only as good as your concubines.
In the case of the Roosevelts, it was rumored that both FDR and Eleanor each had women on the side, and neither member were that upset about the other’s others – unless the press was around.
It was the 1940s for the Roosevelts, afterall.
Frank allowing Claire to have an open relationship with Tom as Frank’s health deteriorates is almost the presidential thing to do.
I guess that’s a step up from the Lannisters.
6) – The Story’s out about Frank
We continue our trip through the 1970s political era with an introduction to Watergate, the scandal where Nixon’s administration broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Well, that and the bugging of opponents, abuse of power to harass folks to do their bidding…no one was killed – that was legally contributed to the situation, but the scale in which Watergate worked was so much bigger. It was all done to ensure that Nixon would get elected.
Nixon was in the clear, until he took an interview with British pop journalist David Frost.
By the way: there’s a great movie about it: Frost / Nixon. The interviews in the movie are virtually line-by-line exactly as the actual recorded live interviews from 1974.
Don’t be surprised if something like this happens in season 5
Nixon wasn’t even impeached
Pardon and lived in relative infamy. And got a library.
Apparently you need a blue stained dress to get impeached
And you’ll still get acquitted, no matter how much you lie about it. Then your political wife can run for president 8 & 16 years after you finish your two terms. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
As for Frank’s story: he’s battling a disgraced former president, an editor who just got his job back, and two ex-staffers, one who’s about to lose her congressional seat?
Yeah. Frank’s on good ground. Even if he can’t shake it fast enough with three weeks to go to win the election, he’ll retire to pasture – where he might be his most dangerous.
Though, something tells me how the Underwood trio is choosing to react to it is going to redefine the audacity of holy shit…
“But, but? The murders…”
- Grover Cleveland served as executioner while Sheriff of Erie County, New York.
- A holy host of presidents served in war.
- Then there’s the Clinton Kill List, if you believe it.
That’s if we’re talking direct, hands on killing. As for wars, plots…oh my.
7) – The shivering, shocking beheading at the end
It was about 15 years ago, and the first post-9/11 beheading of a US citizen took place by extremists. A friend of mine emailed me and said he got the video of it if I wanted to see it. I said, “yes,” because I felt it was the American thing to do, not to let a fellow American go down alone.
I guess I’m I still glad. The victim deserved to a moment of homage so he could know – either in this life or the next – that he’d be avenged.
But, wow, the shivering.
9/11. San Bernardino Shooting. Ex-pats leaving to join radical causes…
And as for The Underwoods using fear as a motivator?
Well, the smartass in me would say, ever seen Donald Trump? but he’s latest in in a long time of fear mongers. Dictators, militants, any party typically losing in the polls before the elections use fear to some degree to propagate change and keep folks distracted.
Tale as old as time.
“That’s right. We don’t submit to terror. We make the terror.” – Frank
Seriously, does it gets any more tantalizing yet scarier than seeing Claire looking into the camera along with Frank? No. I don’t think so, either.
I couldn’t be any more excited for season 5
The Underwoods with their back against the walls, working together and letting their words being written by Tom? It’ll be a melee.
What did I miss?
I’ll be going over House of Cards Season 4 slower when I go back and watch it a second time this week. The first time through, I just wanted to know the details.