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In the spot previously occupied by Robert Bartley’s weekly column, this past Monday the Journal published Daniel Henninger’s column on understanding the Democratic Party via “The Godfather”: “Godfather II: Gore makes Dean an offer.”
Henninger’s column is funny and useful for those of us trying to understand the state of play in the party. Henninger proposes his “Godfather” analogy and writes: “If you are willing to think in these terms, much of what is going on in the Democratic Party begins to be understandable. It has power, and it bestows benefits. President Bush is not someone waging a war on global terror, but is simply a man who is a threat to them, and the system through which they bestow benefits and therefore survive.
“I think of Bill Clinton as the Don Corleone of the Democratic Party. In the organization, there is no one above him. Terry McAuliffe is his Tom Hagen, who talks to the outside world. I leave it to others to fill out the rest of the cast.
“The events inside the Democratic Party leadership now are very serious, unlike the past 10 months. When Al Gore took Howard Dean’s hand into his own in Harlem (an insult to Bill Clinton and Al Sharpton), everyone in the party knew that the party’s organizational structure, controlled by the Clintons, was being challenged. Mr. Gore will either win this struggle for control, or retire to Vegas to run a talk show.”
Henninger agrees with Deacon (and Rocket Man) on the point made by Deacon below regarding Wesley Clark: “Bill Clinton showed weakness by allowing his stature to be associated with Wesley Clark, an outsider, who turned out to be a weak candidate. The old order can miscalculate, and collapse.”
DEACON adds: Great post, Trunk. I fear that Hillary is Michael Corleone, to Bill’s Vito, and will settle all of the family’s business in 2008.
UPDATE: One of our readers, a major Godfather fan, wonders whether, in light of my prediction, “by January 20, 2013, Hillary will have sacrificed every principle that underlay the current Liberal Democratic faith in order to maintain Liberal Democratic power? Will she ask Bill, ‘can you lose your base in the Democratic party, while trying to protect the political and patronage power of your base?’, with Bill replying ‘Hillary, I don’t understand, how can you lose your base? You can never lose your base.’ Will she stare into space at the boathouse in Martha’s Vineyard, wondering at all she has lost (perhaps re-election?), while the cold, gray waves lap against the dock just outside the bay window?”

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