Three of a Kind

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Three of a Kind

Pol­i­tics is down­stream of cul­ture. –Andrew Breitbart

Between net­work tele­vi­sion and Net­flix, I have been watch­ing three sep­a­rate series that all take place in and around the White House: “Des­ig­nated Sur­vivor,” “Madame Sec­re­tary,” and “House of Cards.” House of Cards is fun (although there are plenty of dis­turb­ing scenes made for fast-​forward) because it makes no pre­tense that any­one in pol­i­tics is moti­vated by any­thing other than naked self-​interest and the pur­suit of power. To be hon­est, I’m a bit sur­prised that it aired dur­ing the Obama admin­is­tra­tion, and with the Under­woods being democ­rats, too.

Madame Sec­re­tary was clearly devel­oped to pro­mote Hillary for pres­i­dent. If you real­ize that going in, you can laugh at the typ­i­cal tropes like “Global Cli­mate Change is the sin­gle biggest threat to our national secu­rity,” the non-​gender-​conforming pol­icy advi­sor, and even the fan­tas­ti­cal “Iran Deal” that could only be nego­ti­ated in a tele­vi­sion show. Given the fail­ure of this show to drag Clin­ton over the fin­ish line result­ing in (I love say­ing this) Pres­i­dent Trump, the next goal of the show will be to show every­one how awe­some it will be when we have a woman president.

Des­ig­nated Sur­vivor is per­haps the most sub­tle of the three. It stars Kiefer Suther­land (for­merly Jack Bauer in “24”) as Tom Kirk­man, the for­mer HUD Sec­re­tary who gets thrust into the pres­i­dency after a ter­ror­ist attack dur­ing the State of the Union. Of course, the orig­i­nal Mus­lim sus­pect turned out to be a decoy and the real mas­ter­mind was actu­ally an evil cap­i­tal­ist. Suther­land por­trays the pres­i­dent as a non-​partisan straight shooter, but it’s clear that he and his staff are any­thing but. In a recent episode, they were try­ing to nom­i­nate a “pro­gres­sive icon” to the Supreme Court. Every­one was excited about how much “good” he could do on the Court which, of course, is not the job of a Supreme Court Jus­tice. Inter­est­ingly, in a nod to the #metoo move­ment, the nom­i­na­tion was derailed due to a past sex­ual harass­ment claim that was ini­tially only deemed a prob­lem because “the Repub­li­cans con­trol the Judi­ciary Com­mit­tee.” I guess they were admit­ting that Democ­rats would have over­looked such things just to get a pro­gres­sive on the court.

All three are enter­tain­ing, but keep your anten­nae up and be on the look­out for pro­pa­ganda. And try not to get con­fused by the dif­fer­ent Oval Office decorations.

And don’t for­get to hit DaTipJar!

Politics is downstream of culture.          -Andrew Breitbart

Between network television and Netflix, I have been watching three separate series that all take place in and around the White House: “Designated Survivor,” “Madame Secretary,” and “House of Cards.” House of Cards is fun (although there are plenty of disturbing scenes made for fast-forward) because it makes no pretense that anyone in politics is motivated by anything other than naked self-interest and the pursuit of power. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that it aired during the Obama administration, and with the Underwoods being democrats, too.

Madame Secretary was clearly developed to promote Hillary for president. If you realize that going in, you can laugh at the typical tropes like “Global Climate Change is the single biggest threat to our national security,” the non-gender-conforming policy advisor, and even the fantastical “Iran Deal” that could only be negotiated in a television show. Given the failure of this show to drag Clinton over the finish line resulting in (I love saying this) President Trump, the next goal of the show will be to show everyone how awesome it will be when we have a woman president.

Designated Survivor is perhaps the most subtle of the three. It stars Kiefer Sutherland (formerly Jack Bauer in “24”) as Tom Kirkman, the former HUD Secretary who gets thrust into the presidency after a terrorist attack during the State of the Union. Of course, the original Muslim suspect turned out to be a decoy and the real mastermind was actually an evil capitalist. Sutherland portrays the president as a non-partisan straight shooter, but it’s clear that he and his staff are anything but. In a recent episode, they were trying to nominate a “progressive icon” to the Supreme Court. Everyone was excited about how much “good” he could do on the Court which, of course, is not the job of a Supreme Court Justice. Interestingly, in a nod to the #metoo movement, the nomination was derailed due to a past sexual harassment claim that was initially only deemed a problem because “the Republicans control the Judiciary Committee.” I guess they were admitting that Democrats would have overlooked such things just to get a progressive on the court.

All three are entertaining, but keep your antennae up and be on the lookout for propaganda. And try not to get confused by the different Oval Office decorations.

And don’t forget to hit DaTipJar!