Season 6 – Episode 17 – “A Good Day”

Episode Summary:

Santos (Jimmy Smits) masterminds a plot to pass the president’s stem cell bill while the Republicans aren’t looking. A group of middle school children who are part of the Future Leaders for Democracy visit the White House and seek out Toby (Richard Schiff) to discuss the voting age. Kate (Mary McCormack) has to deal with an impending invasion of Canada.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: – Interest in leaving the private sector? – Offering a job? – I’m gauging your interest.
– A White House job.
– Don’t make me think about it too hard.
– No, thanks.
– I need Charlie.
– We’re working.
I heard “Brad Pitt.
” You’re not working.
The Family Leave Expansion.
– Hello.
– Am I interrupting? You were in New Hampshire? This country was founded on freedom.
Freedom stands opposed to constraints.
The bigger the government, the more the constraints.
You agree with that? – No, it’s crap, but you’re really cute.
– Yeah, I know.
You’re too good at this.
You can’t just walk away.
Watch me.
Are you sure I can’t get you anything? No, thank you.
– I’m saying he needs a quiet news cycle.
– What, and it’s my job to ensure that? – Pretty much.
Is she? – Go on in.
Is the president ready for his press conference tomorrow? Unless Congress cooks up more recipes for lame duck.
Sorry about last week’s veto override.
I’m worried about this latest stunt.
Today’s vote on stem cell funding.
Where did that come from? The speaker wasn’t thrilled we found 55 million in the HHS budget for stem cell research.
Haffley’s introducing legislation to defund our program.
– “Embryonic” is their fighting word.
– Is funding limited to genetic material – being thrown away? – We have enough Republicans to make it close.
A dozen votes could decide.
The speaker saw an opening with Democrats out campaigning.
I’ve been making calls all morning.
Twenty Democrats are flying back.
In fact, I should Go.
The president doesn’t need any more bad news in the next 18 hours.
– He needs a good day.
– Count on it.
– Sorry.
Did I miss it? – Got his marching orders.
– Been one of those days.
– About tonight.
Nobel laureates’ dinner.
I brought my tux.
And dancing shoes? Latin jazz on tap? For those of us who are seated with the organometallic chemists – and run out of small talk by the soup.
– I’m afraid you’ll miss the soup.
– Future Leaders for Democracy.
– Near future? Distant future? – Middle schoolers, in fact.
– Not that.
I’m wall-to-wall today.
They won a commendation for some Internet voting thing.
– Give them 10 minutes.
– My whole day’s been divvied up.
I never get to anything They were bumped off the president’s schedule, bumped from mine.
– They’re on yours for 6.
– Why? – It’s their last day in town.
– I meant, why me? Because you’re so good with kids.
– Congressman Santos.
– Did I miss it? Doing the rule right now.
Sorry to cut it so close.
Traffic from Dulles.
– Appreciate interrupting the campaign.
– For stem cell? This one matters.
One more vote.
One vote arriving.
I saw the news crews.
If you want a comment after.
Congrats on Arizona and New Mexico.
Keeps us alive.
Super Tuesday’s the real gauntlet.
We appreciate this detour and calling so many others out stumping for your guy.
Three months of primary potshots it’s a relief to see the Democrats pulling on the same oar working together to protect.
Thought you were in Atlanta.
White House asked the VP to pitch in.
– Important one.
– Vice president can’t vote.
As a former House member, he retains lifetime floor privileges.
– He’s in there? – Whipping support for the president.
As only a vice president can do.
– He’ll take questions on his way out.
– You arranged the press? – I did.
– Nice touch, unless we don’t win this.
– Sneak him out the back.
– We have the votes.
It’d be great.
It’s why we’re all here.
A win for the president.
– Or not.
– Son of a bitch.
– What happened? – Nothing to do with democracy.
– Now we can hit the road.
– Why? Speaker saw how many Democrats were in town, did the math, pulled the vote.
– He pulled the vote.
– Game over.
We’ve been had.
– Can I get you some tea? – Oh, no, thank you.
I make a mean cup of ocha.
– Perhaps I could proceed on my own.
– She won’t be much longer.
She’ll want the honor of escorting you herself.
Jed.
– I can come back.
– No, no, stay, stay.
Jed, you have to use the cane.
Doc said I didn’t have to use it at home.
I’m guessing he meant the residence, sir, not the entire White House.
My home, where I’m having a party tonight with dancing.
You ready? I’m the product of a ballroom class short on boys.
Tall girls had to lead.
– Look how well it’s served you.
– You’re in rare form today, sir.
– He certainly is.
– The speaker withdrew his bill – attacking stem cell research.
– More good news.
He’ll reschedule when our guys leave town.
– That could be when? – Tomorrow, during – your press conference.
– Still, something to be said for MS.
– Good days, you don’t take for granted.
– About tonight Nobel laureates, my favorite people.
I wanted to ask you about Yosh Takahashi.
I assumed you weren’t close.
I mean, I know he’s the economist you shared the Nobel with.
– Not shared.
Split.
– Right.
Ours was not a shared prize for shared work.
The prize was split.
That year, the Swedes chose to recognize two separate some would say divergent, even contradictory, efforts in the same field.
He is a bit conservative.
He makes Milton Friedman look middle-of-the-road.
Thank God he’s half a globe away.
We don’t have to think about him tonight.
– That’s the thing.
– Be gentle.
I’m not a well man.
– Dr.
Takahashi was invited.
– He’s flying in from Kyoto? He’s a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago.
– He’s crashing my party? – He’s here now waiting to pay his respects.
I got the message about babysitting your student group.
– Can’t stop.
Running late.
– You sure I’m the right fit? You’re perfect.
I’ll stop in to say hello.
I’ve got to review tapes for tomorrow’s press conference.
Why? You already said the president’s a natural.
– I did? – Sounds like your schedule’s clear.
Stay one more day.
Haffley will reschedule this.
Not if we’re here.
The speaker can delay the vote for as long as he wants.
Super Tuesday’s coming.
I’m in a tight race.
So are plenty of Republicans.
Give me another day.
– Would if I could.
That dog won’t hunt.
– Keep your phones on.
Don’t board any flights without talking to me first.
– Nice try.
– Mr.
Speaker.
So Leg Affairs tougher than lobbying or just different? – You are dead meat.
– It’s a good sign that in year seven – the president can still rally the troops.
– This won’t affect my serving.
– I’m gonna slaughter you tomorrow.
– Save it for the court, dude.
Congressman, tell me you’re not leaving town.
I never leave town.
And you have the president’s gratitude for your committed service.
To be honest, I have some doubts about funding stem cell research.
Of course you do.
Yeah, I’m gonna miss those little peach things.
Bring some to Cleveland for me.
Bye.
Sorry about the vote.
Strike one for stem cells? Sometimes things are going so smoothly, you don’t see it coming – till they fall apart.
– True.
You look changed.
In a good way.
Congratulations on the job.
May not be mine after today, but, you, onward and upward with Bingo Bob.
Vice president would stay if he thought it would help.
– Thank him for the use of his office.
– If Leg Affairs didn’t have this office – where would you camp out? – I guess Josh worked out of here a lot.
– Back in the day.
– We need to have dinner sometime so you can catch me up.
I’ll be back after Super Tuesday.
Good luck on it.
The Kohasa rebels continue to arm conscripts from refugee camps along the Angola border.
Under this contingency, we would mobilize near Llebo where Intel reports stocks of munitions and RPGs.
But we’re advocating wait and see.
Then we’re done for now.
Unless you want an update on the Canada situation.
Right.
Canada.
Go on.
As you know, tensions along the 49th parallel have been growing.
– What’s their beef? – Good one.
Our ban on live Canadian cattle exports is a catalyst but I wouldn’t reduce this to a simple mad-cow conflict.
– I’ll avoid that.
– Hostilities escalated dramatically at the start of snow goose hunting.
Certain Canadian ranchers posted – “no trespass” signs on property.
– Canadian property? Yes, but where their Montana neighbors had hunted quarry for generations.
– Are you from Interior? – Fish and Wildlife, ma’am.
While an American party was setting out decoys this morning Canadians surrounded them.
It’s unclear whether Americans have been taken hostage.
– Hostage? – Well, that’s affirm.
– Local law enforcement can’t? – Before officials could respond one of the hunters, a retired Montana state trooper, called in backup.
Off-duty officers responded, and they infiltrated – the swath demarking the border.
– Shots been fired? Yes, but there were geese in the air at the time.
Do we even have a map of Canada? Dr.
Takahashi.
Mr.
President.
Dr.
Bartlet.
What a lovely surprise.
Thank you for allowing me to say hello.
I regret that I’m so busy today.
But for an old friend.
These two met in grad school.
– And we competed even then.
– A fellowship you won, as I recall.
I was always the bookworm.
– He was the politician.
– I wasn’t.
A tenure track was all I aspired to back then.
But his economics betrayed his true calling.
– How so? – President of the welfare state.
The footnote to explain his theory.
We’ll have an opportunity for more of this at dinner.
That, sir, would be a rational expectation.
They’re setting tea in the other room.
Would you join me? – Well, he’s certainly a – Smug son of a bitch.
– “Rational expectation.
” – What? Territory he claims to have pioneered.
Footnote, my ass.
– I don’t think he was – As if his work would still be read if he hadn’t been assigning it to undergrads.
All due respect, sir, you sit in this office.
You’re pretty much not allowed to harbor professional jealousies.
He started it.
– Congressman, you’re still here.
– I got held up.
– I know you’ve got a fundraiser tonight.
– I’m on my way now.
– Isn’t there any chance? – Okay.
Look unhappy.
You see how I’m shaking my head, telling you, “No way”? – I do.
Are you telling me the opposite? – I’m not sure yet.
Don’t smile.
– Is it too much if I slump? – Careful.
– So where can we talk? – My office, half an hour.
Look, I’m sorry.
I’m really sorry.
I hear you’re point man on the Saskatchewan incursion.
You have the clearance to discuss this? Vice president’s on his way to Atlanta.
He wanted me to weigh in.
– He has an interest.
– Tell me this is a ruse to steal – moments of my promising company.
– He has an interest in the situation.
– He’s a snow gooser.
– More a stalker of the black bear.
Owns a hunting cabin north of Chinook.
Hunts with the governor.
They spoke today.
He’d like to see this resolved bloodlessly.
He’s more concerned we not back down, that we not appear weak.
– We? – The United States.
There’s no we.
It’s 15 drunks in camo.
– The vice president wants a hard line.
– Lock out the NHL? Maple syrup embargo? Turn off Niagara Falls? I know you’re disappointed.
We understand that the president has other priorities.
We were cool with Ms.
Cregg as backup.
Even Mr.
Ziegler made sense.
Getting bumped to deputy press secretary in charge of hairstyles – kind of sucks.
– I’m sure you’re great at what you do.
If we were a media club, we wouldn’t be lodging this protest.
We’re not lodging a protest, Cody.
We’re a political group.
Did you even read our materials? As a matter of fact, I did.
Then you know a glorified field trip is a waste of time.
Let’s talk about it on our way to the East Room.
– Josh.
– I love what you’ve done with the place.
– I expected the congressman.
– He’s on his way – but you’re wasting his time with this.
– Stem cell’s not a waste.
– It’s a win with women.
You polled this.
– We have.
That’s not the.
Caregivers get what this means for those with diabetes, Parkinson’s – ALS, Alzheimer’s.
Yep, we’re onboard.
– Great to hear.
But we’re not going down with the ship.
The problem isn’t stem cells.
It’s asking us to stay when there’s no strategy to win this.
I am talking to the congressman at his request about his president’s agenda.
Maybe you could give us a sec.
– You kicking me out of this office? – I got a better idea.
Why don’t you give Josh and me a minute.
Take your time.
My office is your office.
It was, in fact.
You set this up? – You can’t let me out of your sight.
– This is a lose-lose.
As long as you stay, Haffley won’t call the vote.
Soon as you leave, he will.
– There is one way.
– You have a plan to win this vote? But I’m gonna need you to iron out some crucial details with Cliff.
– Yes, ma’am? – What’s this? Operation Northern Lights.
It’s a working title.
You wanna infiltrate Canada with CIA operatives posing as ranchers? Procedure in a hostage situation on foreign soil, assess the threat level.
Before the insertion-extraction phase? Were you thinking Blackhawks or a HALO drop? I could game both out.
DefCon 1 out of Fort Bragg.
– The other out of – Stop.
The ranchers are making a statement on television.
Don’t give this to anyone, including me.
And the desk was made from the timbers of the H.
M.
S.
Resolute which was presented to President Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1880.
The presidential coat of arms was added by FDR who was President Bartlet’s hero when he was your age.
Thanks, Phil.
So are there any questions? As promised, director of White House communications, Mr.
Toby Ziegler.
Hi, everybody.
Annabeth showing you the place? – We have the Roosevelt Room left.
– Don’t let me interrupt.
I have one question for Mr.
Ziegler, if I may.
– Sure.
Fire away.
– Do you know who we are? – Yeah, Junior Leaders of – Future Leaders for Democracy.
– Were you briefed on our purpose? – Probably not.
We’re a youth lobby in support of a constitutional amendment to forbid discrimination of voting rights on the basis of age.
– They want the voting age lowered.
– Abolished.
Well, that’s radical.
Why did we get the brushoff today? Why do we get passed down the food chain? Why do you keep looking at our chaperone or Ms.
Schott to intervene? We’re children, and that shouldn’t render us meaningless.
But in this society, we are meaningless.
We’re powerless.
We have no voice.
Well, that’s an interesting point.
I’ll read your stuff.
– The Roosevelt Room – The brushoff again.
And why not? No risk in offending us.
We don’t exist.
– What is it you want? – More than a 15-minute tour and 30-second drive-by.
We’ve been shuffled around, 10 minutes here, there.
It’s like there’s a plot to keep us from discussing our agenda.
What Cody means is that children’s suffrage is a complex issue, and it I get it.
I get what he means.
Okay.
This is the Roosevelt Room where issues are discussed.
Pull up a chair.
It’s your meeting.
When he was asked why he wanted a one-armed economist Truman said because he was always being advised: “On the one hand.
But on the other hand.
” Academics often confound politicians.
Yes.
In politics, it’s dog-eat-dog.
In academia, it’s the opposite.
When Japan Railway privatized in ’87 – my theories were put to the test.
– And you got lucky.
It would have been hard to fail worse than the government had.
All that red ink.
Must be why the private sector turns to government for a bailout when things get tough.
And why disciplined leaders learn to say no.
I’m so sorry to interrupt, but they’re calling us in for dinner.
Excuse us.
Does the steward have laryngitis? It’d be a pity to battle MS, only to succumb to an aneurysm.
Jefferson said it best.
“A man’s management of his own purse – speaks volumes about character.
” – Are you still pissed about Stockholm? We were Nobel laureates in economics.
It was no empty gesture when he stiffed me for the cab fare.
I hear there is to be Latin dancing after dinner.
And he’s a big fan.
I trust you’ll save me a tango, Dr.
Bartlet.
– Your dance card’s full, toots.
– Jed, did you bring your cane? – You can hold me up.
– Maybe I’ll give him a little samba.
Over my dead body.
The prime minister wishes to emphasize the unofficial nature of the ranchers ‘ declaration of war against the United States.
– Thank you.
– You have seen their demands – on Canadian television? – We have.
Security officers at Waterton-Glacier National Park are on ready response.
Reinforcements may be crossing over through Peace Park.
We’re concerned about reports of escalation.
An effigy burning in Alberta.
A response to your governor of Montana.
He mentioned calling in the National Guard.
He referred to a contingency plan to invade Canada.
That is absurd.
There is no U.
S.
contingency plan to Are you there? I was saying, we trust that local officials will resolve this very soon.
We’ll be in touch.
We have a contingency plan to invade Canada? – Would you like to be briefed? – Other developments? – A sawmill in Climax is piling on.
– Is Climax us or them? Them.
They’re demanding we drop tariffs on soft-lumber products.
And a meatpacking plant in Lodgepole.
Us.
Coffee for Americans on their way to the front.
– Don’t say “front.
” – Royal Canadians arrived but they’re at a disadvantage.
Mountie’s standard issue is a Smith and Wesson 9 mm.
And the hunters are packing A couple of Barrett 50-caliber snipers HK carbine fiber assault rifles and infrared night goggles.
– Congressman.
– Talk to Josh.
He’s going to Hartford? Folks there paid to shake his hand.
– You want me to? – No, no, stay put.
I’m fine here.
But he can shake those hands and be back in D.
C.
in a few hours.
And the dozen congressmen who are heading out to stump for him? – I’m ready to start calling them back.
– Thank you.
Thank the congressman.
– Sorry.
– No.
If there’s a single Republican on his flight or someone sees him He’s flying himself.
He’ll land at the private terminal.
Question is, where does he go after that? Give me half an hour.
It can be arranged.
– Hi.
– Congressman.
Do you wanna come in? So the rumor’s true.
You really do sleep in your office.
Can’t afford D.
C.
rent on this salary.
And in Pine Bluff, we favor a short commute.
The president needs you, Arkansas.
You shared my concerns, and I’m being summoned to the White House? It’s more legwork.
The president needs a loyal Democrat who can walk these halls and look like he belongs here.
– Where do I start? – Do you have some pants? I’m saying all societies distinguish between an adult phase of life and childhood as a time of development – when rights are curtailed.
– But the 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18, proves the line is arbitrary.
There’s a call for you.
In the 30 years since the 26th passed society has not altered its stance on when adulthood begins.
Eighteen is still the common age of graduation from school, conscription.
What about children as young as 12 get tried as adults? I’m mature enough to face sentencing as a full citizen but not to vote? You can be dumb and commit a crime.
Voting requires a level of reasoning.
Adults don’t have to prove any level of reasoning to vote.
I’ll cede that.
Would you agree children need special protections – against mistreatment by adults? – Sure.
Those same vulnerabilities make them unable to vote independently.
– That argument, immature logic – Being easy to coerce.
That was used to prevent Negroes and women from voting – up until the 20th century.
– Sorry.
C.
J.
‘s looking for you.
– Your next meeting.
– Dining and dancing.
And your parents called.
You guys are missing dinner.
Oh, my gosh, we are.
We took up a lot of your time.
It’s been great, sir.
Another half-hour, I could’ve convinced you.
– I believe you.
– We heard District is the best pizza.
– Outrageous.
– They deliver, don’t they? I think so.
– I need the Mural Room for a meeting.
– Is it Canada? Okay.
Maybe I’m overly emotional these days but Mother’s Canadian, you know.
Dad hails from upstate so there’s always been a north-south tug of war for us kids.
Today’s events, this is the kind of thing that pulls families apart.
Pits brother against brother.
– So can I have the room? – All yours.
Give peace a chance.
Get the door, get the door.
I wasn’t looking.
I missed the whole thing.
He overdid it.
A man his age attempting a tango.
– The physician is on the way.
– There’s no need.
Can we bring him some ice? You hit your head.
Did you hurt yourself? You’re the expert on soft landings.
You tell me.
He’s fine.
Congressman Santos is in Hartford tonight.
Do you wanna leave word? – Sounds like I missed him.
– I can try him on his cell.
Just tell him I stopped by.
Good night.
Elvis has left the building.
Anyone see you? Okay, Arkansas.
Congressman Riley’s approaching – the south entrance.
– Got it covered.
– Nice flight? – Little turbulence, makes it interesting.
Does the vice president know we’re using his office? I’m not telling him.
I’d keep the noise down and the curtains pulled.
– You aren’t staying? – I can’t be seen around here.
– Can I get you anything? – Is there coffee? The soda’s there.
Washroom is through there.
Thanks.
No, no, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Don’t Don’t scream.
– What the? – I’m sorry.
– I’m sorry.
– Oh, God.
I didn’t plan I mean, I – Oh, I crashed.
– Your Russell’s chicken fighter.
Donna Moss.
You’re Matt Santos.
Running for president.
And I haven’t shaken your hand yet.
Okay, assuming I’m not in some state – of deep REM hallucination – I’m hiding out.
We’re trying to outsmart the speaker have him think we’ve all left town before he calls the vote.
– Now, when you say we? – There’s some others that are coming.
Excuse me.
– Does the vice president know you’re – This is not for the Santos campaign.
It’s for the president.
I bet you’re a fan.
You’re not gonna try, “It’s for stem cells everywhere,” are you? That was going in next.
– I made a fool of myself.
– We all know the feeling.
– Even presidents? – Especially presidents.
You’re thinking of last week’s veto override? No, but thanks for the reminder.
Not that you should judge.
You’d veto all government spending.
You think I judge you? We judge each other.
Always have.
Put this on.
Thank you.
What if I were here as a friend with a friendly warning? – What would that be? – Japan has been heavily investing in your national debt.
If you mean that Japan has been buying U.
S.
Treasury bonds.
Foreign investors have bought 90 percent of your new debt.
My government alone holds Since when did deficits bother you? They bother you.
Your work was a jeremiad on keeping deficits low.
My work applied to developing economies.
There are rumors Singapore may dump her dollars.
It could start a run.
– Never happen.
– Japan could not afford to be caught It’s in Japan’s own interest for these notes to hold their value.
We have an aging population.
We’ll have to divest.
Gradually.
A soft landing.
Not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment behind your nightmare scenario.
A deficit projected over 300 billion on your watch – is not my nightmare.
– Hence my veto of the Highways Bill.
Which I mistook for mutual concern over the world’s greatest economy burdened with mounting debt increasingly held by foreign friends.
What are friends for? Thank you for seeing me.
I know you’ve had a long day.
Will said something’s on your mind.
As Canadian ambassador, I am pleased to report – all’s quiet on the western front.
– Though still unresolved.
Yes.
And when I spoke with the vice president You called the vice president? The vice president called the ambassador.
I’ve had some unofficial conversations.
You understand I’m not at liberty to speak officially.
– What are we talking about? – You’ll have to excuse my.
I haven’t had much practice at this kind of intrigue.
We all learn by doing.
Our two countries are close and historic friends.
Yes, of course, there are some areas where we differ.
– Bovine spongiform is one.
– And lumber tariffs.
– Mail-order prescription drugs.
– And U.
S.
global military presence.
But on the whole, friends.
If you would trust me, I could prevail upon the premier of the province to exert pressure on his citizens to relent and allow the Americans back across the border.
– That’d be swell.
– Of course, this would create – some expectations.
– Expectations.
The ambassador suggested if there were some flexibility on the U.
S.
appeal of NAFTA’s lumber decision The U.
S.
does not make trade decisions based on the actions of cowboys.
Unless they’ve been elected to office.
I understand you can’t negotiate with me directly but if you sense the possibility of an openness to consider my proposal, you could signal the same by crossing your legs.
Or uncrossing and crossing them again, just to be sure.
Ambassador, listen carefully.
An hour ago I reviewed the U.
S.
contingency plan to invade your country.
– There’s a contingency plan? -1789, amended in 1815.
The calligraphy is beautiful.
If one more deal is floated in this room I’m gonna ask DOD to reactivate it.
You could argue that 18 is the worst age to start voting.
You’re all worried about college or paying rent or falling in love.
It isn’t only power that corrupts.
Weakness corrupts.
Kids grow up cynical.
You think half of adults don’t vote because they didn’t get started soon enough? Absolutely.
Churches don’t wait.
They get kids at birth.
– It’s as kids we have unique concerns.
– Like what? I’m going to be breathing air and drinking water after you’re gone but I can’t vote to protect the environment? We’re required to attend underfunded schools but can’t vote to fix them.
Kids who work pay into Social Security without say as to how it’s managed.
When you guys fix Social Security, you have to keep adults happy.
You can rob our future without losing a vote.
Here’s another.
Poverty among young people exceeds all other age groups yet the government spends than it does each poor child.
We have no AARP to lobby for us.
We have no voice at all.
So are you? Did we convince you? Well, I’d go for lowering the age in increments and I wouldn’t start at the federal level.
But you’ll mention it to the president? I’ll do better than that.
– Where are we hiding? – Republican at 12 o’clock.
– But it’s crucial to the president.
– And I am in a crucial primary.
Sir.
– Gentlemen.
– I’m sorry, buddy but I got a plane to catch.
We clear? – Hey, Donna.
– Congressman.
You wanna take this in? – What about popcorn? Smell too risky? – I’d wait another hour.
You made it.
Greg.
Didn’t you get the message about provisions? It’s 75 degrees here.
I may never go back to D.
C.
– It was a dirty trick.
– Worked like a charm, though.
The speaker crossed a line.
You should’ve seen stuff we pulled when we were the majority.
Why I hated coed dorms.
Once again, we let the Republicans set the terms.
This is therapeutic research, not reproductive cloning.
Congressman, no more souls to ferry? All in for now.
Pull up a chair.
We’re preaching to the choir here on stem cells.
I may sing another tune.
– No, take it easy.
He’s on our team.
– Burns me up the speaker – didn’t have a fair vote.
– Even if you’re leaning his way.
Should I turn in my decoder ring? Haffley closed the floor to debate, but we’re not playing by his rules.
What are your reservations? I have morality questions.
Ask them.
We have all night.
Thank you.
– Half-day? – Those Nobel laureates can party.
– Did Josh fill you in on what’s afoot? – Operation Sleepover? It’s a cool move if it works.
I can’t figure how you get Haffley – to call the vote.
He can put it off.
– This is where squash come in.
– The sport or the vegetable? – I punish the speaker every Thursday.
– Tomorrow.
– In five hours, to be exact.
You’re gonna talk him into scheduling a vote? And shut him out with my forehand at the same time.
Here’s how it’ll go.
I say, “Oh, nice nick.
” Squash talk.
“And nice maneuver on the floor, pulling the vote.
” He says, “Thanks.
Let, please.
” I’ve played a little squash.
“Everything’s a game, even research that could save millions of lives.
” – “Stem cell’s not a game.
” – “Looks like that to the president.
” “This research could lead to trafficking in human embryos.
” “If this were a trip to moral high ground, not an inside-the-Beltway bitch slap you’d schedule the vote now that you can win protecting clustered cells in petri dishes everywhere.
Why let it slide? Maybe the Republican Party has a stronger interest in keeping its base agitated than it does in protecting the sanctity of human life.
” Might work.
You’re gonna have to let him win a game, though.
Yes, they’re in labs, but they’re still embryos.
What they are Have you seen them? They’re frozen, fertilized eggs.
Call them eggs.
Call them genetic material.
– They’re potential human life.
– Potential, that’s the key.
These embryos may contribute to life but they could never become a person or a fetus without a mother’s womb.
– That’s a fine line.
– The mystery of life.
It’s all fine lines and tough odds as anyone who’s ever been through in vitro fertilization knows.
Do you object to that too? In vitro? No.
That’s science helping folks conceive.
Well, these cells are what’s left over when that work is done.
But the science is the same as the science of cloning.
That’s why funding would be limited to discarded cells.
If not used in research, these cells would be thrown away and there would be no outcry from Congress.
And, you know, if it’s a moral call and I agree, it is what about the morality of dragging our heels when we could be alleviating suffering? – Is this true? – We have Officer Horn – at the site confirming it.
– An American helicopter entered Canadian airspace and emergency-landed half a click from the standoff? – Yes, ma ‘am.
– This was a UH-1 H helicopter? – Yes, ma ‘am.
– A Huey? They make civilian aircraft.
We have deniability.
Not deniability.
I want absolute assurance – this was not part of a military action.
– I can’t vouch for Black Ops.
Enough.
This is stopping now.
The problem is not a few rowdy outlaws blowing off testosterone.
The problem is us.
We’re the Wild Bunch.
The higher we go, the hotter the risk.
I just threatened the Canadian ambassador.
Someone on the ground has got – Okay, officer, are you still there? – I am.
Who is the ranking Canadian officer at the scene? – The Grasslands EcoRegion director.
– Does he have access to a bullhorn? – It could be arranged.
– Okay.
What if? It’s just past midnight, Mountain time.
Announce the end of hunting season.
– Not till next week.
– It just ended at midnight.
Anyone discharging a firearm is subject to immediate, permanent loss – of their hunting license.
– That could work.
– They don’t fool around with hunting.
– Give it a shot.
The man’s a gnat.
A buzzing mosquito.
No, he’s a pit bull.
Locks his jaws and won’t let go.
– Yeah.
– His doomsday predictions.
– Not that that stuff keeps me awake.
– No.
What keeps you awake is the deficit.
First term, we made so much progress we were talking balanced budget.
Economy slowed.
Costs spiraled.
Security at home terrorism peacekeeping abroad, Republican tax cuts.
I couldn’t control it.
– And I’m an economist, for God’s sakes.
– And a smart one.
You gotta ask, what’s the next guy, a mere mortal, gonna do? It’s like Eisenhower.
– In what way? – Even though he’d been a general when he was president, he couldn’t do anything to control the military industrial, you know.
He did one thing.
Haffley just called the first procedural bill of the day, approving the journal.
Testing to see if there’s anyone here to flush out.
He announced today is gonna be about pharmaceutical drug trials.
– Oh, no.
– Stem cell isn’t on the agenda.
No.
This is a nationally televised presidential press conference.
– You don’t speak unless you’re called on.
– Yes, sir.
– President’s on his way.
– Anything from the Hill? – Not so far.
– You think that would be appropriate? I don’t think that would be a problem.
– Good morning.
– Morning, sir.
– You ready to shake things up, Toby? – Yes, sir.
If you’re in the mood there’s a young man in the back you might wanna call on.
The president of the United States.
Good morning.
I love you all, but two days without fresh clothes, I may switch parties.
Whose toothpaste was this? – What did I miss? – We’re reconsidering our strategy.
Let’s give it another hour, guys.
– Haffley just called the vote.
– For stem cell? Just now.
Well, 20 seconds ago.
– Got your voting card? – Right here.
Go on out there and vote.
– Mr.
President.
– Chris.
Mr.
President, as you head into your final year in office do you have any regrets? One big regret, and here’s your lead, people is my failure to bring the budget deficit under control.
I know an election cycle is warming up and no one wants to hear about budget deficits but both sides are gonna hear about them from me.
That’s my campaign promise.
– I wasn’t sure you’d schedule it.
– Thanks for your vote, congressman.
– One more vote arriving.
– Thanks for coming in.
Angela, thanks for coming in.
We got this one sewed up.
I thought maybe you’d join us on this one.
– Administration bend your ear? – I made up my own mind, Mr.
Speaker.
I had such high hopes for you.
Sometimes when you get them when they’re still wet behind the ears Mr.
Speaker.
Good match today.
– Mr.
President! – What do you plan to do? The young man.
I don’t know your name.
– Cody Zucker, Mr.
President.
– Cody.
Do you think the budget deficit is especially unfair to younger Americans? Absolutely.
We’re passing on a crushing debt to our children.
That’s not something a responsible parent would choose to do.
– Yeah, David.
– A follow-up, sir.
Do you think we’d have such a large deficit if children were allowed to vote? Well, as adults, we’re certainly not shouldering our responsibility and your generation has a vested interest.
Allowing children to vote is worthy of consideration.
Thank you, Cody.
Yeah, David.
Mr.
President, what plans do you have to reign in the budget deficit.
Well done, Commander Harper.
– Cooler heads prevailed.
– All Americans home safe? Peace in our time.
The surprise arrival was lead by presidential hopeful Congressman Matt Santos.
It was a stunt, no doubt about it.
Good work.
Group effort.
Santos was the brains.
Two hundred and sixteen congressmen and women did the voting.
– And on the squash court? – Best of five.
All by myself.
Were you satisfied with the outcome? Sometimes the American people wonder what it is we do here in Congress.
Sometimes I wonder myself.
Today wasn’t one of those days.
– Congressman.
– Yes.

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