If his actions end in some good, that seems purely accidental to me. The original SecState might have been fine; the current one might be bad. We don't know. And a federal education law really making a difference? Debatable.
Frank reminds me of the inquisitor in 1984 who tells Winston it is all about power and that's the be-all and end-all. To what end? He's not real pleased with getting a library named after himself. Clare is right - exercise of power for its own sake, and then you die.... It isn't like he's exercising power for some greater cause(s) he believes in.
Yet he's not a sociopath: he has feelings, loves his wife, loves his old friends. Interesting.
How typical of politicos do you think he is? My local reps and our old Congressman all seem like people with real concerns, not just all about power. Is West Wing more accurate, do you think, where power games play a part, but it's not all lying and plotting and using people?