Throughout the film's first hour, McKay plants the seeds for conservatism’s rise. Cheney meets Roger Ailes as a young congressional staffer; Antonin Scalia before he became a Supreme Court justice; and even a drunken George W. Bush (a hilarious Sam Rockwell) crashing a Christmas party. These men, including Cheney, are often degraded by other characters in the film, and not as highly regarded as any of the other Presidents who are depicted – but their withdrawn public personas allow them to accumulate power behind the scenes....

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