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Archive for the ‘Political Cinema’ Category

All The Kings Men

Broderick Crawford

Source: SPPN: All The Kings Men

I think the best way to describe Huey Long aka Louisiana Kingfish would be compared him with the recently deceased President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez. Even though Huey was a lot more Democratic than Hugo and believed in a greater deal of freedom. But they were both basically dictators who were corrupt who meant well and wanted to do good things. But weren’t really cutout to be chief executives and people with strong Progressive-Socialist leanings.

Both Huey and Hugo spoke about share the wealth and Social Justice, but wanted as much power as possible even centralized all the power with them to do these good works for the people. Huey Long was clearly a Democrat as far as party and politically and believed in democracy except when it went against him. And Hugo Chavez was a Socialist, but certainly not a Democratic Socialist.

Hugo was not a full-blooded Communist like Fidel Castro, but probably more like Neo-Communist. Someone who allowed for political opposition and a certain level of economic and personal freedom, but someone with strong dictatorial leanings as well. Huey was probably more Democratic than Hugo, but politically they were similar.

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Kingfish

Kingfish

Source: Daniel JB Mitchell: Huey Long Seen as Threat to FDR in The 1930s

Franklin Roosevelt and Huey Long were very similar Progressive Democrats in that they were both economic Progressives who believed in things like infrastructure investment funded by the public and making American capitalism work for more people. But there were several differences in the two and they mostly resulted around character.

Franklin had a lot of it and wasn’t a corrupt man or a corrupt politician looking to become some dictator over the United States. Huey was exactly that, but a dictator over Louisiana first as Governor where he basically ran the whole state under his leadership and when he left the Louisiana governors mansion to serve in Congress as a Senator, he was still running Louisiana.

But now Huey Long as a U.S. Senator had more national power and since these two men were similar ideologically at least on economic-policy, President Roosevelt saw Senator Long as a threat to his leadership and power and someone who needed to be put down. But Huey Long would’ve gone down anyway because of his lifestyle and how he carried himself in office.

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A lot things about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are simply inaccurate. Rarely do you see even fifty senators on floor of the U.S. Senate let alone a hundred. Or back when this movie came out in 1939 we had ninety-six U.S. Senators because we had forty-eight states back then. The only time ever do you see a full Senate is when they are voting on amendments to bills or nominations. Or final passage of bills, or when there is some special ceremony going on in the chamber. And if you watch this movie you see basically a full Senate whenever it is in session.

But what Mr. Smith did very well (and I’m talking about the movie) is the writing and the speeches. The writing looked like stuff they got from the Founding Fathers (the first Liberals of America) when Jimmy Stewart’s character Senator Jeff Smith is talking about the Constitution. And liberty and freedom for all. The line that is in the title of this post. “Liberty is too precious of a thing to be buried in text books”. You probably would never see a line in a movie like that today. For one it would sound corny to Hollywood filmmakers. But also Hollywood has moved so far left they would probably see that line as conservative or libertarian or something and doesn’t deserve mentioning.

But that is a great line and one of the best ever written with real meaning that should never be forgotten. Because once the concept of liberty is forgotten we then become slaves of either the state, or private organizations that want to control us and use us to make profits off of us. That liberty can never be forgotten as long as we want to be free people with the right to chart our own courses in life and live up to our own choices and responsibilities and not be under the control of anyone else.
Lady Liberty

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Senator Jefferson Smith

Senator Jefferson Smith


How Jeff Smith became a real U.S. Senator and not just a puppet for the Illinois or Washington political machine. With the inspiration of Senator Joe Harrison telling since you are interested in legislation in the Senate. And want to be a legislature, you are talking about a national boys camps. Why don’t you write the bill and present it to Congress. And that is exactly what he did and why Senator Harrison’s and his allies tried to destroy Jeff Smith. Because both parties wanted the same land but used for different reasons.

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U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith

U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith


I’m not sure a lot of members of Congress today know how bills are supposed to be written in Congress. But Jean Arthur or Jean Arthur’s character (to be more accurate) gave a pretty good explanation of it. But today that is not how it is generally done and unless legislation has bi-partisan support, what generally happens for legislation to be written in either the Senate or House, the chairman of the committee of jurisdiction that covers the bill, tends to write the bill on their own, or have input from the majority party members of their committee. Or a bill is written in the Senate or House majority party leaderships office among the members of the majority leadership. And perhaps with the input of the committee chairman who has jurisdiction over the proposed legislation.

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Filibuster

Filibuster


Here’s what a real Senate filibuster looks like and something that today’s Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, could learn from. And should be required viewing for anyone whose in the U.S. Senate today or considering running for the Senate at a near point in the future. Because today except on rare occasions we do not see real Senate filibusters. But what we have instead are cloture votes that the Leader of the Senate in this case Harry Reid, calls to see where the potential votes are on legislation that Senate Democrats want to pass. Or even in some cases bipartisan legislation that the Senate Democratic Leadership wants to pass. And what the Senate Republican Leadership does to block votes on final passage of bills, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is to round-up enough votes. (That is forty-one or more) Against cloture to kills votes on legislation they do not want to see passed in the Senate. That they do not actually filibuster legislation, but try to get enough votes to vote against cloture to prevent final votes from happening.

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U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith

U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939: A Fine Young Patriot – YouTube.

Jefferson Smith an average joe so to speak as far as someone who wasn’t famous or at least seen as powerful. But not someone who could be messed with or pushed around.

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