House of Cards

Season 1; Episode4 “Chapter 4”
Summary: Frank shakes down the congressional leadership. Peter Russo
must choose between politics and family.
American Government Basics: Congress
Speaker of the House: Highest ranking
Congressperson
Majority Leader: Highest ranking member of the
majority party
Minority Leader: Highest ranking member of the
minority
Whip: Congressperson in charge of getting votes for
their party‘s bills
Committee Chairpersons:
 Consider bills, oversee agencies, etc.
o Agriculture
o Armed Services
o Ethics
o Foreign Affairs
Vocabulary:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Poker Chip: something to gamble with
“He’s acting a hell of lot like a politician.”: to a great degree
Give a shit: care; “I don’t give a shit.”
Burn bridges: make enemies; suffer negative consequences; have negative
effects
5. Make your case: argue that you are right
6. “The president can fuck himself.” __________________________
7. “Spinning our wheels”: to waste effort without making any effects
8. Strings: quid pro quo; no strings attached
9. Spur of the moment: spontaneously
10.
Slippery slope: A safe decision that can lead to a dangerous
situations
11.
Look at the bigger picture: avoid looking at just the details, but
see more generally
12.
Water under the bridge: something that doesn’t matter
anymore
13.
Play ball: work with
14.
Base: military headquarters; army base, naval base, air force
base
15.
Hearing (n.): an open political meeting or discussion to decide on
a course of action
16.
Hypocrisy: saying one thing, but doing another
17.
Be on board with: agree with

18.
A cherry on top: added bonus
19.
“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”:
__________________________________
Language Usage:
1. At the beginning if his conversation with the Majority Leader, Frank says, “Let’s
see if he stays with the herd, or joins the pack.” What does Frank when he says of
the House Majority Leader, “Looks like he opted for the herd.”? What is the
significance of wolves and sheep? What do you call a group of wolves and a pack
of sheep? (11:00-12:51)
a. In Frank’s analogy, who is the wolf and who is the sheep?
2. After Freddy’s story, why does Frank say, “I believe it’s the fridge’s job to swerve
out of mine.” (31:00-33:10)

20.

Smoker: large grill for making barbeque ribs and other grilled food

Comprehension Questions:

1. Who is Remy Dalton, and what is the significance of Sancorp?
2. What is the political relationship between the Speaker of the House
and the House Majority Leader?
3. What is the significance of ‘base closings’ in this episode? What
happens to Congressman Russo?
4. What is Zoe Barnes’ dilemma in this episode? What decision does she
make?

House of Cards Characters: Write down the name, and if possible, the
jobs of each person below.

_______________ ______________ _________________ ___________________
________________