Sometime late last year, the leaders of the five power centers within the House Republican caucus started calling themselves the Five Families. “You know my reference,” Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (whom Kevin McCarthy admitted to Five Family meetings to secure her support for speaker) told Steve Bannon in a December 14 interview. “I would hope,” Bannon replied, “that those meetings turn out better than the Five Families’ meetings in The Godfather.”
They did not. In The Godfather there are five (Mafia) families: Corleone, Tattaglia, Barzini, Cuneo, and Stracci. These are fictionalized renderings of the real Five Families (Bonnano, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese, and Lucchese), five competing Italian American gangs that, starting in 1931, agreed to carve up New York City into distinct territories.
In The Godfather, the fictionalized Five Families “go to the mattresses,” i.e., to war. In the Republican Conference, dissident members went to war in early January against McCarthy, denying him the speakership on 14 ballots until he bought them off and won victory in the fifteenth. Now, as negotiations start to get serious over the debt limit, warfare among the Five GOP Families threatens to plunge the country into default and untold financial calamity. [Continue reading…]