Sen. Joseph Harrison Paine
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Quotes for
Sen. Joseph Harrison Paine (Character)
from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
[the filibuster begins]
President of Senate: The Chair recognizes... Senator Smith!
Jefferson Smith: Thank you, sir.
Clarissa Saunders: Diz, here we go.
Jefferson Smith: Well, I guess the gentlemen are in a pretty tall hurry to get me out of here. The way the evidence has piled up against me, I can't say I blame them much. And I'm quite willing to go, sir, when they vote it that way - but before that happens I've got a few things I want to say to this body. I tried to say them once before, and I got stopped colder than a mackerel. Well, I'd like to get them said this time, sir. And as a matter of fact, I'm not going to leave this body until I do get them said.
Senator Joseph Paine: Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
President of Senate: Will the Senator yield?
Jefferson Smith: No, sir, I'm afraid not, no sir. I yielded the floor once before, if you can remember, and I was practically never heard of again. No sir. And we might as well all get together on this yielding business right off the bat, now.
[laughter from the gallery]
Jefferson Smith: Now, I had some pretty good coaching last night, and I find that if I yield only for a question or a point of order or a personal privilege, that I can hold this floor almost until doomsday. In other words, I've got a piece to speak, and blow hot or cold, I'm going to speak it.
Senator Joseph Paine: Will the Senator yield?
President of Senate: Will Senator Smith yield?
Jefferson Smith: Yield how, sir?
Senator Joseph Paine: Will he yield for a question?
Jefferson Smith: For a question, all right.

Senator Joseph Paine: I wish to ask my distinguished colleague, has he one scrap of evidence to add now to the defense he did not give and could not give at that same hearing?
Jefferson Smith: I have no defense against forged papers!
Senator Joseph Paine: The Committee ruled otherwise! The gentleman stands guilty, as charged. And I believe I speak for every member when I say that no one cares to hear what a man of his condemned character has to say about any section of any legislation before this House.
President of Senate: Order, order, gentlemen.
Jefferson Smith: Mr. President, I stand guilty as FRAMED! Because section 40 is graft! And I was ready to say so, I was ready to tell you that a certain man in my state, a Mr. James Taylor, wanted to put through this dam for his own profit. A man who controls a political machine! And controls everything else worth controlling in my state. Yes, and a man even powerful enough to control Congressmen - and I saw three of them in his room the day I went up to see him!
Senator Joseph Paine: Will the Senator yield?
Jefferson Smith: No, sir, I will not yield! And this same man, Mr. James Taylor, came down here and offered me a seat in this Senate for the next 20 years if I voted for a dam that he knew, and I knew, was a fraud. But if I dared to open my mouth against that dam, he promised to break me in two.

Senator Joseph Paine: He can raise public opinion against us - if any part of this sticks...
James Taylor: Aah, he'll never get started. I'll make public opinion out there within five hours! I've done it all my life. I'll blacken this punk so that he'll - You leave public opinion to me. Now, Joe, I think you'd better go back into the Senate and keep those Senators lined up.

Senator Joseph Paine: Let me go! I'm not fit to be a senator! I'm not fit to live! Expel me, not him! Willet Dam is a fraud! It's a crime against the people who sent me here - and I committed it! Every word that boy said is the truth! Every word about Taylor and me and graft and the rotten political corruption of my state! Every word of it is true! I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit for any place of honor or trust! Expel me, not that boy!

Senator Joseph Paine: 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. Now, when that deficiency bill comes up in the Senate tomorrow, you stay away from it. Don't say a word. Great powers are behind it, and they'll destroy you before you can even get started. For your own sake, Jeff, and for the sake of my friendship with your father, please, don't say a word.

Senator Joseph Paine: Jim, suppose we don't try to go through with this Dam? Suppose we postpone it until next session of Congress? Or, drop it altogether?
James Taylor: Oh, that'd be a crime, Joe. After all the work we've put in on it? Getting buried in this Deficiency Bill - as nicely as you please. Having it approved. It's rolling along. It was like taking candy from a baby.
Senator Joseph Paine: Is it worth the risk of a scandal?

Jefferson Smith: I suppose, Mr. Paine, when a fellow bucks up against a big organization like that, that one man by himself can't get very far, can he?
Senator Joseph Paine: No.

Senator Joseph Paine: How'd it happen?
Clarissa Saunders: Look, I merely took him home. I didn't tuck him in and give him his bottle. That's McGann's job.
Senator Joseph Paine: McGann just phoned - out of his mind. Smith's gone again. Do you know where?
Clarissa Saunders: Yes, he went up to Mount Vernon to give himself a patriotic address.

Senator Joseph Paine: Now, then, Saunders. You stop this nonsense and go back to Smith's office and go to work and get him to the Senate by twelve o'clock.
Clarissa Saunders: Look, Senator, I wasn't given a brain just to tell a Boy Ranger what time it is.

Clarissa Saunders: Look, when I came here, my eyes were big blue question marks. Now, they're big green dollar marks.
Senator Joseph Paine: Smart, girl, eh. All right. Finish this job properly and you get a handsome bonus. And by properly, I mean keep Smith away from anything that smacks of politics.

Jefferson Smith: The point is, sir, they're right. I'm just sitting in the Senate decorating a chair. Now, if-if I'm going to vote, I at least ought to try and study some of the bills that are coming up.
Senator Joseph Paine: The bills?
Jefferson Smith: Well, yes sir. Otherwise, I'm just a Christmas tiger, like they said.
Senator Joseph Paine: Jeff, these bills are put together by legal minds, after long study. Why, I-I-I can't understand ha-half of them myself - and I used to be a lawyer. Now, come on, forget it. When the time comes, I'll advise you how to vote.

Jefferson Smith: Now, doggone it, there's something wrong here! I know there's something wrong! And I'm not gonna vote on that thing until I get some more questions answered.
Senator Joseph Paine: Jeff, you're fighting windmills.
Jefferson Smith: I am?

Senator Joseph Paine: Well, as I said, this is a man's world, Jeff, and you gotta check your ideals outside the door - like you do your rubbers.