All the brouhaha about lobbyists was stuck in my mind as I watched "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" tonight. While the filibuster scene is the most famous, I find this bit by Claude Rains, playing Senator Paine, Jefferson Smith's mentor, the most interesting:

Listen, Jeff--you--you don't understand these things--you mustn't condemn me for my part in this without--you've had no experience--you see things as black or white--and a man as angel or devil. That's the young idealist in you. And that isn't how the world runs, Jeff--certainly not Government and politics. It's a question of give and take--you have to play the rules--compromise--you have to leave your ideals outside the door, with your rubbers. I feel I'm the right man for the Senate. And there are certain powers- influence. To stay there, I must respect them. And now and then--for the sake of that power--a dam has to be built--and one must shut his eyes. It's--it's a small compromise. The best men have had to make them. Do`you understand? . . . [MORE]

I know how you feel, Jeff. Thirty years ago--I had those ideals, too. I was you. I had to make the decision you were asked to make today. And I compromised--yes! So that all these years I could stay in that Senate--and serve the people in a thousand honest ways! You've got to face facts, Jeff. I've served our State well, haven't I? We have the lowest unemployment and the highest Federal grants. But, well, I've had to compromise, had to play ball. You can't count on people voting, half the time they don't vote, anyway. That's how states and empires have been built since time began. Don't you understand? Well, Jeff, you can take my word for it, that's how things are. Now I've told you all this because--well, I've grown very fond of you--about like a son--in fact, and I don't want to see you get hurt. . . .

An argument for term limits?

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    An argument for term limits? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Raoul Duke on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:07:40 PM EST
    Senator Paine's corrupt counsel to the idealist Jeff a few scenes prior to his suicide attempt. Its more accurately an argument for assisted suicide.

    Heh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:18:32 PM EST
    Oh please.... (1.00 / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:32:15 AM EST
    It was a movie.

    Didn't you hear Hillary?? She'll take their money because.... after all, they represent Americans.

    I like my pork! (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:09:59 PM EST
    (just cut off everyone else. . .)

    Claude Rains always gets the best lines. One that seems appropriate these days is from Lawrence of Arabia:

    Mr. Dryden: Lawrence, only two kinds of creature get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you're neither. Take it from me, for ordinary men, it's a burning, fiery furnace.

    Oh, GOD !!! (none / 0) (#8)
    by RedHead on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 12:40:01 AM EST
    Claude Rains always gets the best lines

    Casablanca always supersedes Lawerence.  Almost every line in golden: "I'm making out the report now. We haven't quite decided whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape."


    One of my favorites: (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 07:09:16 AM EST
    Captain Renault: We are very honored tonight, Rick. Major Strasser is one of the reasons the Third Reich enjoys the reputation it has today.
    Major Heinrich Strasser: You repeat Third Reich as though you expected there to be others!
    Captain Renault: Well, personally, Major, I will take what comes.

    Sheesh (none / 0) (#4)
    by Maryb2004 on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:37:51 PM EST
    I go away for 2 weeks, leave the fate of the country in your hands, and come back to find you let that crappy FISA bill pass.

    What are you doing watching movies?  Get back to work.

    BTW you (and everyone else) should rent this movie:
    Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?.  It's a documentary about the real life Jeff Smith who ran in my congressional district in 2004 (and is now my state senator).  

    I skipped the bloggers Convention (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:40:44 PM EST
    What more could I do?

    The rest of us at the bloggers convention (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Maryb2004 on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:45:15 PM EST
    were relying on you.  

    Our trust was obviously misplaced. ;)

    I can't begin to tell you how pissed off I am at Claire McCaskill.

    and I'm serious that you should rent that movie.  


    Or else? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 09:49:48 PM EST
    I'll rent it, in honor of the capitulating Dems.

    Did the subject of the pending FISA (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 12:58:01 AM EST
    vote come up at the convention?

    "the best man" (none / 0) (#9)
    by RedHead on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 12:57:39 AM EST
    I'm sure you've seen the movie or the play, this reminds me of the hotel room exchanges btn Senator Russell and President Hockstader