Purely by happenstance, I had the good fortune the other night to come across a Frank Capra classic film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” It’s remarkable how relevant a 72 year old film can still be and how an immigrant, Mr. Capra, could have been more proudly patriotic than most directors before or since.
The 1939 black and white movie–way back when, films were called movies–was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning for best story. It’s still a helluva story and should be required viewing for politicians and for anyone interested in the inner workings of politics today.
Briefly, Mr. Jefferson Smith, a simple fella superbly acted by Jimmy Stewart, is the founder and head of the Boy Rangers chosen by corrupt party bosses back home to fill the seat of a deceased United States senator for one reason: He’s considered an easily-manipulated country bumpkin who will nicely serve their purposes as a stooge.
He soon discovers that fact when a project he proposes conflicts with a scheme to bilk the public and the bosses set out to discredit him with lies and distortions.
Those plot elements are secondary to the iconic features of the movie, when Smith is convinced not to allow the thieves to get their way and his extended filibuster on the floor of the Senate intended not to redeem himself as much as to restore the faith of America’s youth in the political process. Utimately, he succeeds in winning over both his fellow senators and the nation but not before the corrupt bosses pull out all stops to destroy him.
Today, we call those stops the mainstream media and the methods employed by Smith’s enemies are little different from the tactics used virtually every day in America’s MSM to discredit and destroy any and all opposition to entrenched power.
The capo di tutti capi, in Mafia terminology, confronting Jefferson Smith was Boss Jim Taylor. Today that person is represented by President Barack Hussein Obama, the capo di tutti capi who pulls all the same strings as did Taylor, and more.
Taylor ordered the newspapers and radio stations his machine controlled to launch a vicious campaign to convince the public that Smith was a neophyte reprobate guilty of malfeasance who should be expelled from office.
Much more sophisticated but no less corrupt than Boss Taylor is Boss Obama.
Instead of making calls to his minions, he and his DNC direct his minions via daily talking points on what to say, how to say it, and how best to undermine the reputations of anyone who dares stand in opposition to him using his mass media. Obama has an advantage not enjoyed by Taylor. The latter only had print media and radio to transmit his distorted message; Obama also has television, cable networks and now Twitter.
Another Taylor-Obama similarity is their use of enforcers, goon squads who disrupt and beat up Jefferson Smith’s Boy Rangers in Taylor’s case, SEIU goons who disrupt and assault anyone who takes issue with Obama in the president’s case.
In the jaded twenty-first century, there’s little chance of another Mr. Smith going to Washington and exposing the inherent evil in America’s capital by exposing himself or herself to character assassination. Any thinking individual would consider what has been done and is in process of being done to Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, et al. and do a re-think.
Even worse, the motivations of the current assassins aren’t financial gain which can be remedied by pay-offs. Their motivations are more akin to sedition for which there is no easy remedy.