As marvelously dark and entertaining as “House of Cards” may be, the show’s portrayal of how politics works in Washington is seriously outdated. Spacey’s character harks back to the era when bare-knuckled leaders like Lyndon
These days, the greatest fear among members of the House Republican caucus is that they will lose their safe seats to upstart challengers who are even more conservative than they are. That is, of course, what happened to McCarthy’s predecessor as majority leader,
It is now safest for a Republican politician to be seen bucking the system, defying leadership and posing as an outsider who hates the very idea of governing. Without earmarks, leaders have few ways to distribute rewards and line up support from reluctant junior members of the caucus. In fact, many in the tea party faction would refuse a share of the pork barrel for their constituents even if it were offered. They don't have much interest in bringing home the bacon or passing big legislation. They see their sole job as saying no to anything that has the scent of big government, even if it is backed by the establishment of their own party.
One former House member has compared managing the current House
McCarthy may be the right guy to wrangle the alligators. Rep.
McCarthy favors trips to the movies, morning bike rides, dinner invitations and sharing photos as methods of building goodwill. The soft style seems to be working for him, since his rise through the ranks has been swift.
Nevertheless, being a buddy and a good-time guy might not be enough. Some caucus members to the right of the solidly conservative McCarthy are talking as if he is on probation and are anticipating another leadership vote after the congressional election in November.