By Courtney E. Smith
Warning: spoilers ahead. If you have not yet watched Season 3 of House of Cards, you might want to turn back now.
In a campaign speech, Franklin D. Roosevelt foreshadowed the New Deal when he said, “Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” It’s one of many ideas FDR injected into the DNA of America that Frank Underwood, the fictional president in House of Cards, is keen to strip away when he takes the Oval Office in the series’ third season.
The latest season, revealed by Netflix on Feb. 27, has faced some interesting critiques, as it takes on real policy issues, in which CNN Money calls his economic plan “crazy;” the real FEMA felt compelled to tweet an explanation of the Stafford Act, which Underwood appropriates in a plot point to fund his America Works program (the one CNN thinks is crazy); and Vox declared it both the best and worst season of the who so far.
Complaints about the show boil down to this: Frank Underwood is not able to push anyone off the train tracks now that he’s President. For the first two seasons he was plotting, scheming and clawing his way up the ladder of power with some of the most shocking, despicable acts imaginable. And now that he has the ultimate power position, President of the United States of America, he’s weaker than ever.