Hillary Clinton and Tom Coburn: “The Family” Connection

“Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking again,” says Don Corleone to Sonny in the Godfather.
Well, it’s a good thing the so-called Family (or Fellowship) isn’t an actual participant in the mob scene – because there surely would be blood spilt this day!
Someone has been talking, and not only have they been talking, but they’ve let an interloper – a writer no less – into their tight knit supposedly power-hungry group to put all of their shady codes and secret handshakes into print.
However, despite its recent surge of press – it isn’t new…not really.  You see, this same group was used as a counterpoint in the primaries leading up to the 2008 election.  Remember?
According to the Nation’s review of the book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (http://www.amazon.com/Family-Secret-Fundamentalism-Heart-American/dp/0060560053/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247980133&sr=8-1) quite a few of our prominent leaders have been members of “The Family” including our very own Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080331/ehrenreich).  While I don’t really find the group any more strange than I found the kooky Reverend Jeremiah Wright, what I do find a little oddball is the secrecy.
Certainly, behind many powerful individuals lie powerful groups nudging them to the top – and, if that’s a secret, the whole world (not only the nation) has been sipping the Kool-Aid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And, well, that doesn’t surprise me either.  Frankly, as much as most of us would prefer “separation of church and state” to be adhered to….meh.  It probably is, but on its face alone.  The good news is – despite reports to the contrary – we as a nation are getting better at this.
What I really think is behind all of this is something David Brooks recently said on the teevee amidst fits of giggles:(http://thinkprogress.org/2009/07/10/brooks-republican-senator-thigh/)
“You know, all three of us spend a lot of time covering politicians and I don’t know about you guys, but in my view, they’re all emotional freaks of one sort or another.”
Now THIS, my dear readers, I am inclined to believe!  Many a politician is a power-hungry, egotistical, “emotional freak.”  It’s no wonder they need little support groups.  Just look at the standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ textbook definition of Narcissistic personality disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder:
Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love (megalomania)
Believes they are “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, people (or institutions) who are also “special” or of high status
Requires excessive admiration
Has a sense of entitlement
Is interpersonally exploitative
Lacks empathy
Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Well, I tend to think the above describes more than one or two of our politicians currently holding office – don’t you?
So – back to “The Family.”  It seems that on “C-Street http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062504480.html” Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn may have taken on the role of the Don in this Family, as not only is it rumored that Coburn and his cronies encouraged Senator John Ensign to pen a break up note to his mistress, but that Coburn himself ordered Ensign to “pay up” in order to be rid of the scandal: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/07/sen_coburn_to_sen_ensign_pay_up.php
The group, including Coburn, a well-known conservative, confronted Ensign and suggested that the Hamptons needed to be given financial assistance — in the millions of dollars — to pay off their $1 million-plus mortgage and move them to a new life away from Ensign.
What would have happened had Ensign refused…..?

“Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking again,” says Don Corleone to Sonny in the Godfather.

Well, it’s a good thing the so-called Family (or Fellowship) isn’t an actual participant in the mob scene – because there surely would be blood spilt this day!

Someone has been talking, and not only have they been talking, but they’ve let an interloper – a writer no less – into their tight knit supposedly power-hungry group to put all of their shady codes and secret handshakes into print.

However, despite its recent surge of press – it isn’t new…not really.  You see, this same group was used as a counterpoint in the primaries leading up to the 2008 election.  Remember?

According to the Nation’s review of the book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power quite a few of our prominent leaders have been members of “The Family” including our very own Secretary of State Hillary Clinton .  While I don’t really find the group any more strange than I found the kooky Reverend Jeremiah Wright, what I do find a little oddball is the secrecy.

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Certainly, behind many powerful individuals lie powerful groups nudging them to the top – and, if that’s a secret, the whole world (not only the nation) has been sipping the Kool-Aid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And, well, that doesn’t surprise me either.  Frankly, as much as most of us would prefer “separation of church and state” to be adhered to….meh.  It probably is, but on its face alone.  The good news is – despite reports to the contrary – we as a nation are getting better at this.

What I really think is behind all of this is something David Brooks recently said on the teevee amidst fits of giggles:

“You know, all three of us spend a lot of time covering politicians and I don’t know about you guys, but in my view, they’re all emotional freaks of one sort or another.”

Now THIS, my dear readers, I am inclined to believe!  Many a politician is a power-hungry, egotistical, “emotional freak.”  It’s no wonder they need little support groups.  Just look at the standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ textbook definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love (megalomania)
  • Believes they are “special” and can only be understood by, or should associate with, people (or institutions) who are also “special” or of high status
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a sense of entitlement
  • Is interpersonally exploitative
  • Lacks empathy
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Well, I tend to think the above describes more than one or two of our politicians currently holding office – don’t you?

So – back to “The Family.”  It seems that on “C-Street ” Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn may have taken on the role of the Don in this Family, as not only is it rumored that Coburn and his cronies encouraged Senator John Ensign to pen a break up note to his mistress, but that Coburn himself ordered Ensign to “pay up” in order to be rid of the scandal:

The group, including Coburn, a well-known conservative, confronted Ensign and suggested that the Hamptons needed to be given financial assistance — in the millions of dollars — to pay off their $1 million-plus mortgage and move them to a new life away from Ensign.

What would have happened had Ensign refused…..?

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2 Comments

  1. Possibly the cleanest, clearest prose never written.

  2. I don’t know. Seems a bit cluttered now.


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