Your Guide To the Five GOP Families
And how these factions in the House Republican conference threaten to screw up the debt-limit negotiations.
We live in an age where Republicans like to compare themselves to mobsters. The House Republican Conference is divided into five power bases that call themselves the Five Families, in homage to The Godfather and, presumably, the real-life Five (Mafia) Families that divvied up New York City in 1931. The Freedom Caucus is the antitype to the Colombo Family, whose most erratic member, “Crazy Joe” Gallo, met his maker at Umberto’s Clam House in 1972 (above; those wise guys always know the best places to eat). The Republican Study Group is the antitype to the Genovese Family, in that both are the oldest and largest families, and is almost as nuts as the Freedom Caucus. The Republican Main Street Caucus and the Republican Governance Group are too boring to map on to any Mob family, either real or Godfather-invented. They’re both moderates, which in today’s climate means not so much that they avoid extremism as that they tend to do as they’re told. The fifth family is the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, or rather its 29-member Republican rump; the vast majority in this caucus are Democrats, because Republicans aren’t all that interested in solving problems.
My latest is about these five groups and what their various demands are for raising the debt ceiling. I also explain how the GOP fixation on The Godfather as a manual for living has its roots in the Hudson Valley in 1959. Click here to read more.
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