It struck me today how familiar Ben's story is, and yet I couldn't quite place it. But then it came to me - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In both, a young, relatively inexperienced, and exceptionally idealistic man is accepted for a job in Washington, DC - though he's perplexed exactly how or why he was selected for such a position. Although he is truly put there merely to placate the public, he throws himself into his work, trying to make a difference through what little influence he is given. And yet he is doomed from the start. Lies and accusations are thrown at the innocent man, who had stepped on the toes of those in power.Yeah. Except for the fact that when Jefferson Smith said, "I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too," he wasn't passing off something Stephanie Zacharek said as his own words.
For more crippling self-delusion: Adventures of Christine.