This weekend millions of Americans are getting entertained by watching the fictional characterization of money, power and influence in Washington, D.C. in Netflix’s second season of House of Cards.
In the series, a power hungry politician Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, manipulates everyone around him to increase his political stature.
Rewarding friends and punishing enemies is part of Underwood’s playbook.
While House of Cards is a highly sensationalized version of national politics, it does remind us that power is the drug that fuels too many politicians and they will go to great lengths to hold on to their positions.
Just like the fictional character Frank Underwood, elected officials from either political party will intimidate and threaten those that dare oppose them.
In fact, FreedomWorks – a Tea Party affiliated group and the organization that I work for – is being targeted for daring to challenge the Republican establishment.
The New York Times story, “Chastened G.O.P. Tries to Foil Insurgents at Primary Level,” exposes some of the intimidating tactics that establishment Republicans are using to maintain power.
Tea Party groups and other conservatives who are challenging the traditional party leadership say the pushback this year is as hostile as it has ever been.
“I’ve been told by a number of donors to our ‘super PAC’ that they’ve received calls from senior Republican senators,” said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, which is supporting challengers to Republican incumbents across the country. The message from these donors was blunt: “I can’t give to you because I’ve been told I won’t have access to Republican leadership,” Mr. Kibbe said. “So they’re playing hardball.”
Few have fought rougher than Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, who is facing a primary challenger at home and Tea Party angst in Washington.
Under his direction, the National Republican Senatorial Committee cut ties with a prominent Republican advertising firm and pressed individual senators to do so as well because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans, the Senate Conservatives Fund. That group has accused the McConnell campaign of pressuring its bookkeeper into resigning because she feared that she would never get work from Republican candidates again.
Isolating FreedomWorks from its donors is a tactic that fictional character Underwood would appreciate.
Taking on power is certainly risky but challenging long time power brokers such as McConnell is a necessary step in order to get our country moving in the right direction.
The real fight for liberty is between the D.C. insiders and the hard working Americans that are seeking a representative government.
So, the Frank Underwood’s of D.C. whether it’s Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner or anybody else look out – we the people will demand Representatives that are pursuing our interests and not theirs – we will not be intimidated.