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:
The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war. Congress has declared war on 11 occasions, including its first declaration of war with Great Britain in 1812. Congress approved its last formal declaration of war during World War II. Since that time it has agreed to resolutions authorizing the use of military force and continues to shape U.S. military policy through appropriations and oversight.
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.