Let’s go to the mattresses. This time they mean war. The Godfathers that be are taking care of unfinished business. It’s all in their final scenes. While the new baby in the family is being baptized — that would be Wes Clark — their hit men are at large at select locales snuffing out hated threats to their power. The White House they shoot up with Fredo Joe Wilson and his moll. In California they go after the guy we know as Arnold but whom they call “that pimp Barzini.” Then they accuse him of selling Hitler to children. Finally, they attempt a Moe Green on the Rush man, hoping to drive him out of the olive oil business altogether. Anyone who survives gets free plane tickets to Las Vegas, where Bill Bennett won’t be at the airport to greet them.
There’s no messing with the New Age Corleones. Some suspect their real goal is to destroy the fellow they see as the Tom Hagen of the Bush Operation, Karl Rove. Others think that in going after Bennett early they’d eliminated a rival Clemenza. Most troubling to them remains the sad demise of volatile Sonny, who was done in by tax collectors for the welfare state during an honest stop at a toll booth. They’ve never been able to concede that under their rule Sonny did not carry health insurance. Did the long suffering mother who never got to say good-bye to Michael or Sonny and whose longevity kept Fredo from swimming with the fishes ever get to enjoy free prescription drugs?
For the sake of political science let’s not wallow in the tragic past. Notice how our Godfathers still have friends in the news business. In Los Angeles, for instance, the editors at the Times who dumped a chorus line on Arnold immediately denied any connection to the Davis family. So why were they recently seen kissing Davis’s hand in a “vote no” anti-recall editorial? Speaking of hand smoochers, it was disgusting enough to see page one pictures of French groper Jacques Chirac harassing Mrs. Laura Bush. But what was that that Ted Koppel was doing to his guest Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, the most famous lefty diplomat since Leon Trotsky in his heyday at Brest-Litovsk. Koppel gave Wilson the softest treatment anyone’s received since the last time Cleopatra bathed in milk. A night later, adrenaline racing, Koppel was calling for the dismantling and silencing of Rush’s EIB Network. Remember a few years ago when Koppel had to fight off Letterman in a recall election? Another lost opportunity.
Truth be told, we like Joe Wilson, whose ambassadorship in Gabon we admired from afar. Some of us were there with him at UCSB in the early 1970s, when riots were the rule and a Bank of America was torched. We’re still checking surveillance camera records to confirm he was indeed one of the flame throwers during that liberating time. We’re fairly confident he became a card-carrying subscriber of The Nation magazine around then, and that he’s never surrendered the political lexicon he acquired from the university’s denim-shirted bejeaned professoriat. (E.g. Bush policy he equates with an effort to impose a “Pax Americana” on “a vanquished population.”)
Moreover, Wilson became fluent in French long before it became fashionable to do so, acquiring a deeper understanding of cultural nuance in the process. Thus when he said he wanted to see Karl Rove “frog-marched” we immediately knew he was evoking the military marching French forces perform down the Champs Elysees on Bastille Day. When he declared it his “personal mission to destroy” both “neoconservatives and religious conservatives” we knew he was acting within venerable tradition of French anti-clericalism. So far as we know, he opposes the death penalty for we have yet to hear him invoke the guillotine as the desired solution to Bush criminality.
There is now the matter of his most recent wife, the reportedly stunning intelligence operative who has devoted three decades of her 40 years on this good earth to patriotic service. She has a name, Valerie Plame, she has children, she goes undercover, she contemplates a Hollywood future, and woe to anyone who mentions her links to the Central Intelligence Agency. It could be this blond has more power than Hillary Clinton and Sharon Stone combined.
That’s all fine and good, but Ms. Plame has let us down. She did her job when she got Joe Wilson to notice her and marry her. But shouldn’t she then have turned him in? Failure to do so suggests one of two things: She and Joe are the second coming of the Rosenbergs. Or she’s our Enemy of the Week.