Monday, April 6, 2009

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 2009

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorite movies. So I was pleasantly surprised to run across a diary this weekend on Daily Kos that used some of the video from the movie.  The author, MinistryOfTruth, has graciously allowed me to reprint the diary on my blog, which you will  find below. 

My thanks again to MinistryOfTruth. I hope everyone enjoys  your diary and the video clips as much as I did.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 2009

by MinistryOfTruth  
Sun Apr 05, 2009 at 02:59:41 PM EDT

There is No Compromise With the Truth

Watching the paper boys fighting to get their message out against the Taylor machine reminded me of all of us here in the blogosphere, typing away our hearts, all the while knowing that we fight what might be a lost cause against a power far greater than our own.  


And that Government of The People by The People and For The People shall not perish from the Earth.   

Those who do not learn their history are forever doomed to repeat it.



 If you have never seen this beautiful movie before, here is the link to the full film on YouTube Video   

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is an American 1939 comedy/drama film starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, about one man's effect on American politics. It was directed by Frank Capra – his last film for Columbia Pictures, the studio where he made his name[1] – and written by Sidney Buchman, based on Lewis R. Foster's unpublished story.[2] Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was controversial when it was released, but also successful at the box office, and made Stewart a major movie star.[1] Aside from Stewart and Arthur, the film features a bevy of well-known supporting actors, among them Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell and Beulah Bondi. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning for Best Screenplay.[3] 

In 1989, the Library of Congress added Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to the United States National Film Registry, for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

In a film that covers so much of the political ground that we still face today, the number of issues brought up by Mr. Smith goes to Washington and what has actually taken place in the last year is astounding. To whit, the following instances have occurred both in real life, and in the story of Mr. Smith goes to Washington. 

-Appointment of a Senator by a Governor  
-Powerful lobbying machines with illegal ties to Congress  
-Filibustering ( or the threat of )  
-Senate scandal (Burris, Lieberman, etc)  
-The power of a corrupt media that calls for protest against truth  
-The manipulation of the news  
-Big business versus the freedom of Democracy  
-The status quo of the Senate  
-The institutional corruption of power  
-the power of hope and truth  and I am sure others can find even more . . .     

For those of us who have a hard time keeping up with David Waldman here and at Congress Matters, I think that this segment of the film where Jean Arthur explains how a bill is passed is one of the best explanations of the Legislative process you can find.

Why this is not taught in school is beyond me.     

After 8 years of the last Administration and with the behavior of the opposition party, how many of our causes seem like lost causes? How much power and money can men like Rupert Murdoch spend to thwart the message of change and reform and re-regulation?   


How many causes are lost causes? Who is it fighting for the lost cause? It is certainly not the GOP, so it must be us.     

We have hope. Hope is all one can have when faced with incredible odds, against incredible power.     

The James Taylor's of the world don't want EFCA. They don't want health care reform. They don't want a return of Glass/Steagall, or the removal of the Gramm/Leech/Bliley Act. They certainly and under no circumstances want a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate and prosecute The Bush Jr Administration

They don't want progressive taxes, or regulation, or anything else that means a damn. The long and powerful arm of the status quo will hold tea party protests and run smear campaigns, their lackeys will feign fiscal conservatism and bipartisanship without ideas. They will not even have the slightest clue that those idea have failed. They will defend the status quo before the face of change every time, because they know of nothing else.      

Is Barack Obama our Jefferson Smith? I hope so. If not, we are all that much the poorer. I do not believe that. I believe that President Obama is fighting for the American people, but the power of the status quo is too much for one man, which is why we have to stand behind him, and stand up for him.     

The armies of the Jim Taylor's and their "we surround them" tea parties, their Fair and Balanced smear machines, their Bayh's and Blue Dogs and their compliant dittoheads and wingnuts can not stand up against the power of the people, not the true power of a well informed and educated citizenry. That is where we come in, with our kid - run newspapers, our small guy message to the world that they sneer at, as though we all live in a basement somewhere, and only the few and powerful are fit to deign what is the news, and what is the truth, and what is fit and unfit for our ears.     

These people do not know about lost causes. These people have no idea what it is to believe in a lost cause. That is why no one is willing to fight for them. That is why they are destined to fail.

There is no compromise with the truth

 A true democracy needs no filters for information, it needs no balancing of the truth. A free citizen of a true democracy is the person who can see the truth for themselves, and understands that the lost causes are the ones worth fighting for.

Just one plain simple rule. Love thy neighbor. And in this world today full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Bain. And I loved you for it just as my father did. And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others, yes, you even die for them.   
Keep on fighting. Keep on yelling. Fight harder. Yell louder. Fight for what you believe in, even if it seems like a lost cause.


  1. Hi, sorry for ruining your fantastic post by asking a totally irrelevant and quite stupid question here...
    I'm having HUGE trouble uploading videos to my blog ( I tried, after advise from a couple of guys, to create a "Youtube-player" and paste the link in a new post, and then post. But it all turned out so messy and ugly.
    I see your videos are looking just lika Youtube-clips, how do you do that?
    I'd love for you to answer to my e-mail in case you do:

  2. Helene, I've sent an email to you with some information that will hopefully help you out. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Actually I haven't recieved any mail, would you send it again please? Maybe it landed in junkmail and I deleted it...
    Thanks again!

  4. Helene, here are the instructions I emailed to you. You can access them at the link below. Good luck.

    How do I post a video to my blog from YouTube?

    If you've got your own videos on your computer that you want to share on your blog, Blogger now allows you to upload video directly! If you'd like to share a video from YouTube, you can do that, too.

    Embedding a YouTube Video
    To embed a video from YouTube, just copy the code from the "Embed" box on the video's YouTube page. You can find the "Embed" box in the "About This Video" box when you're watching the video. You can also get the code from the "Embed HTML" box on the "Edit Video" page if the video belongs to your YouTube account.

    To embed a YouTube video within a blog post, first click "Edit HTML" from within the post editor. Next, paste the video's code into the body of your post. That's it!


* If you post using the "anonymous" profile you can still include whatever name you wish to use at the end of your comment.