Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of the all-time great movies. The late Jimmy Stewart plays Mr. Smith, an honest man who knows nothing about politics, but who is chosen by the power brokers to fill a U.S. Senator’s unexpired term. They think Smith is such a novice that he won’t get in the way of their pork-barrel and graft.
But Jefferson Smith turns out to be smarter than the big boys suppose. He can’t be bought off or scared off. When he discovers a graft scheme that would destroy a Boy Scout summer camp, Mr. Smith takes to the floor to filibuster against the bill. Today, another representative has taken to the floor of Congress to fight for what is right. Dr. Tom Coburn, the citizen legislator from Muskogee, Oklahoma, is serious about holding the line on spending and not allowing Congress to steal Social Security money.
When career politicians piled on a 12 percent increase in overhead funding for the Department of Agriculture, Coburn said no. He has offered 100 amendments to block the increase. The Republican leadership is upset with Coburn for not going along with their big spending. Many Democrats are attacking him for “hurting farmers.” But Coburn’s term-limited himself and in his final term. He’s determined to do what’s right to get the nation’s fiscal house in order.
n the movie, the politicians complain that Mr. Smith is holding up the Relief Bill and hurting people. Mr. Smith says, “The people of my state need permanent relief from crooked men riding their backs.” In the end, Mr. Smith won and so will Dr. Coburn.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.