Study Guide

Blazing Saddles Politics

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GOVERNOR: Sheriff murdered! Innocent women and children blown to bits! We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen.

As the governor so eloquently puts it, he can't have murderers running around his state killing the people who voted him in as governor. After all, he's got a job to protect. He doesn't really care about the people at all. He just knows that he'll lose his job if he doesn't do something.

HEDLEY: I'm about to make you an historic figure. Maybe even get you a cabinet post.

Hedley Lamarr knows exactly how to manipulate Governor Lepetomane. All he has to do is dangle a cabinet position in front of Lepetomane's face and the guy will go right for it. Of course, Hedley could always run for governor himself. But he finds it much easier to let some idiot be governor so that he (Hedley) can run the show from behind the scenes.

HEDLEY: Yes, the first man ever to appoint a black sheriff! Just think, sir... Washington, Jefferson...

Hedley knows that Governor Lepetomane wants his name in the history books. And what better way to do this than to appoint the first black Sheriff in America? Of course, this is just all part of Hedley Lamarr's scheme to chase the people of Rock Ridge out of their homes.

HEDLEY: Well, under the provisions of this bill we would snatch 200,000 acres of Indian territory, which we have deemed unsafe for their use at this time.

This bill might seem absolutely unjust and insane. But the sad truth is that this is exactly the sort of thing that historically allowed white settlers to sweep across America and kill all the Native Americans who stood in their way.

HEDLEY: Just one more bill for you to sign, sir. […] This is the bill that will convert the State Hospital for the Insane into the William J. Le Petomane Memorial Gambling Casino for the Insane.

In case we haven't realized yet how crooked and dumb the politicians in this movie are, Mel Brooks ups the ante by having them convert a mental hospital into a casino. Because what better way is there to treat the mentally ill than to give them a casino?

GOVERNOR: Gentlemen, this bill will be a giant step forward in the treatment of the insane gambler.

Governor Lepetomane supports the new casino idea with all his heart, saying that it'll be a big step forward in the treatment of insane gamblers. Of course, the only reason he's really supporting the thing is that his name will be on it. And there's nothing politicians usually love more than legacies.

HOWARD JOHNSON: Why don't we wire the governor to send us a sheriff? Why should we get our own men killed?

The people of Rock Ridge are sick of seeing their friends and neighbors volunteer to be sheriff only to be killed immediately by Hedley Lamarr's thugs. In their eyes, the governor is responsible for sending them a new sheriff, so they decide to send a telegram asking for their next one to be sent along ASAP.

HARRIET: The fact that you have sent him here just goes to prove that you are the leading asshole in the state.

When the people of Rock Ridge learn that the governor has sent them a black sheriff, they nearly throw an all-out rebellion. But once cooler heads prevail, they write a letter basically telling the governor where to go and demanding that he send them someone new (and someone white).

GOVERNOR: I didn't get a "hrumph" out of that guy!
HEDLEY: Give the governor a "hrumph".

Governor Lepetomane clearly doesn't have his priorities straight. At one point, he even becomes more concerned that one of his lackeys didn't say "hrumph" with him than he is about the fact that murderers are running loose in his state.

HEDLEY: Official business, sir.
GOVERNOR: Is it important?
HEDLEY: It's very crucial.
GOVERNOR: Be with you in a minute.

Oh yeah, and did we mention that Governor Lepetomane likes to spend most of his time having sex with his secretary instead of actually governing his state? Well now we've said it.

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