Is A Declaration Of War A Real Thing? 'House Of Cards' Just Got Even Darker


President Underwood ended Season 4 of House of Cards in rather the worst dilemma he's found himself in yet; his past misdeeds have made it into the Washington Herald via tenacious former managing editor Tom Hammerschmidt. Governor Will Conway seemed to be outsmarting him again. Two young terrorists killed a man in cold blood and filmed it for all the world to see under his watch. And Freddy Hayes didn't want to make him ribs one last time. What's a man to do? Go to war. The Underwoods decided to embrace the chaos, but is a declaration of war from House of Cards a real thing in our world? Because if so, we should really keep an eye on a certain someone in the White House.Warning: Season 5, Episode 1 spoilers ahead!

When Frank Underwood hijacked a session of Congress (which was, coincidentally, in the middle of a debate about his recent unmaking by Hammerschmidt in the Herald), he ostensibly did so to make a formal declaration of war before the Congress. With much theatrics and shouting and cheering, of course, as well as a few phony crocodile tears on the recently beheaded victim of ICO sympathizers, Jim Miller, Underwood shouted that he "will not yield." But is this actually how a declaration of war works, guys? I mean, I do tend to look to HoC for all of my political education. And as it turns out, I'm right to do so.

According to the United States Senate website:

There have been 5 formal declarations of war, since the very first war against Great Britain, the War of 1812. While the president is the Commander-in-Chief, he (or she... it could still happen) must seek approval from Congress to go to war. There is a way around Congress, of course; it's called a "military action." There have been well over 100 military actions that can be approved by the president, as long as it isn't considered a full-fledged war, according to The Week.

In the case of President Underwood, he asked Congress to make a "formal declaration of war against ICO both here and abroad." Anything to avoid actually being held accountable for his actions, even if it means an all-out war.

Frank is back. I've missed him so.