It’s not a secret that Ted Cruz doesn’t give Chrissy Matthews any tingles up his pants. In the past he’s called him “a terrorist” for wanting to shut down the American government (BTW, if anyone knows how we could actually “shut down the government,” please advise, because despite all the rhetoric no one around here has the faintest idea how to actually do it.). Yesterday he said Senator Cruz was a “problem for our republic” and in a convoluted reference to the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, compared him to Hitler. Why must it always be Hitler? Why can’t we ever have a good Stalin, Lenin or Mao analogy?
“We do not have time to play at ‘oppositions’ at ‘conferences.’ We will keep our political opponents… whether open or disguised as ‘nonparty,’ in prison.” - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
In fairness though, Chrissy has compared Senator Cruz to other classic Democratic protagonists; Major "King" Kong in Dr. Strangelove (riding the delivery system for the “noo-ku-lar” option) and the former most loathed domestic terrorist, Joe McCarthy.
Butt Mr. Matthews was by no means the only pundit who was dismissive, even derisive of Senator Cruz’s Senate floor performance by evoking a comparison to Jimmy Stewart’s Mr. Smith:
“Smith's naïve and honest nature allows the unforgiving Washington press to take advantage of him, quickly tarnishing Smith's reputation with ridiculous front page pictures and headlines branding him a bumpkin.” – Wikipedia
In order to understand their disdain it’s helpful to first understand how Progs interpret the message in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, because for them, I don’t think it means what you think it means.
Here’s a take on it from American Prospect, along with a few of my annotated comments:
The movie is often hailed as a tribute to democracy, but it sure isn't a tribute to democracy as a functioning or even valid process. As I've pointed out more than once in print, the hero isn't elected, [ed. Just like George W. Bush] casts no votes [ed. just like Barack Hussein Obama], passes no legislation [ed. like the do-nothing Congress], and prevails via the most undemocratic of Senate tactics: a filibuster [ed. Which is valid only when invoked by a Senator from a non-red state]. Paine's convenient crisis of conscience aside, Smith wins due to a successful appeal to public hysteria.[ed. Which is much worse than public adulation]
It's a very durable daydream. Virtually every successful political comedy since Mr. Smith has borrowed its feel-good but not think-good template, [ed. I thought the copyright on that template was held by the Progs?] featuring an innocent "average" [ed. i.e., not a member of the enlightened Prog class] citizen who gets put in power by mistake and sets everything to rights by circumventing how the system usually works.[ed. Wait! “Circumventing the system?” Isn’t this how “HOPE and CHANGE by any means necessary” works!?!] This usually includes shaming the creepy politicos who dicker and broker in their clubby way instead of solving every problem by whooping it up for our founding ideals.[ed. Like those low-life “tea baggers” do.]
Naturally, unlike the Tea Party version, this kind of "political" movie prospers by omitting any discernible ideology. The contest is always between guileless virtue and the intrinsic corruption of business as usual. But since that invariably translates as mistrust of government—the bumpkin hero may marvel at his first sight of the Capitol or White House, but he's got no use for the practical endeavors they were built to serve—the fantasy is a right-wing one by default. [ed. Holy moly! - “bumpkin hero?,” “right-wing fantasy?” Please see ed. comment above re. disdain.]
Butt no Prog analysis would be complete without the inclusion of at least one clever ad hominem:
As for Cruz, few people would claim that he looks much like Jimmy Stewart. Instead, he looks ideally like what Ted Cruz should look like. If he looked any more like Ted Cruz than he does, he wouldn't be in the Senate; he'd be in Ratatouille.
Remy, star of Ratatouille
But whether you like it or not, he's our foremost current example of a real-life Mr. Smith—and that ought to tell you how destructive real-life Mr. Smiths can be. [ed. yes sir! We all know how destructive integrity combined with conviction and a belief in the founding documents can be.]
So here’s my takeaway: Among others, Chrissy Tinglepants, master of the Ms.NBC Hardball filibuster, didn’t approve of Ted Cruz’s non-sanctioned filibuster.
Yeah, well, I’d like to see Mr. Tinglepants go for 21 hours, 19 minutes without a potty break. Or for that matter, 19 minutes without a drink.
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Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network