Frank Capra’s classic 1939 movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was pure populism and pure (but well-intended) fiction showing how democracy should work.
The protagonist, naive Sen. Jefferson Smith, finally comes of age in the cynical profession in which he toils, when he alone conducts a filibuster to stop a bill in the Senate that’s tainted with graft.
Like Jimmy Stewart’s Smith would say in the movie, it’s “a lot of hooey.”
If “Mr. Smith” were to be made today in the acid rain that is the political atmosphere, Jefferson Smith would be the villain —- and not that corrupt business tycoon who runs Smith’s state with more than a degree of fascism.
Smith would be the victim of radical right wing-nut media bashing him as a tax and spend liberal who is against free enterprise because he doesn’t want the Boss Tweeds to succeed in business. Worse, Smith would even be hinted at as being a pedophine because —- as in the original movie — his pet project is to start “a national boys’ camp.”
A more likely revisionist take on the Smith character would actually be more realistic in today’s Washington. He would be a Republican/Tea Bagger and he would indeed filibuster in the Senate —- against extending unemployment benefits for the millions of jobless who are out of work out of no fault of their own, but because of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
One such candidate who believes the unemployed are all “lazy” and “spoiled” is the idiot GOP hopeful from Nevada, Sharron Angle, who is looking to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry “Droopy” Reid. This nitwit, another sanctimonious spawn of Sarah, even compared herself to Thomas Jefferson, in the context that they were both often misquoted. Angle, who has about as much in common with Jefferson as an onion does with rocket science, will probably win if the way the country is being bamboozled by the fear mongers is any indication. It would be poetic justice if she lost and was forced to collect unemployment. Retribution is a dinner best served to the cold-hearted.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Fox News reported that a poll shows that only 15 percent of Americans thought that if the Founding Fathers could come back they would be proud of how the country is now. That leaves 85 percent that either don’t think the founding fathers would be proud or had no opinion one way or the other.
Sounds like a Fox News poll, regurgitated by Matt Sludge —- and some of that 85% are addicted to the “Hope America fails” so-called news network with the calling card of inciting fear and anger to the masses.
Theavid Foxholehas no one specific age group, but they’re so angry because the country isn’t the way they want it to be that they all come off like the old man down the street who yells at kids for riding their bicycles too fast or who play on his lawn.
The founding fathers wouldn’t be proud of the way the country is now, huh? They wouldn’t feel pride about the diversity, the tolerance, the courage, the ingenuity, or the hard-working, religious. educated and family-oriented?
Well, for those 85%, here’s what your disappointed founding fathers might be saying if they did come back:
1. “What happened to all the slaves?”
2. “A black man is what?!”
3. “Women are allowed to speak in public, make policy and run businesses? And they can vote? Have you been snorting that snuff Ben Franklin brought back from Europe?”
4. “Men don’t look manly —- none of them wear powdered wigs?”
5. I just returned from the Louisiana shore —- looks like the damn British finally got some payback.”
6. “Whew! Thankfully they never did discover Washington’s plan to cross the Deleware on the backs of chubby women of easy virtue.”
7. “It’s nice to see that John McCain is still serving in Congress.”
8. “Sorry, I can’t make it to see how the Supreme Court confirmation hearings are conducted, I’m booked for a personal appearance at the big Fourth of July sale on mattresses at Sit ‘N’ Sleep.”
9. “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get it: What was so Civil about a War and so Great about a Depression?”
10. “Wait till Washington sees that monument to him —- we’ll never hear the end of his I told you not to put “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence.”