West Wing
Constituency Of One

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The 101st Senator

Josh arrives at an office where there's a beautiful black compote full of fresh potatoes (or possibly, given the way this storyline's going, I should be spelling it potatos) on the desk. The man at the desk greets him: "Mr. Lyman." Josh looks at the compote and says, "I get it. Idaho. That's funny." Aw, come on. Most of us could or would figure that out, and it's just not important enough to emphasize for those who couldn't. I wish they had just let us see the potatoes without having to call attention to them. The assistant asks if Josh has an appointment with the Senator. He doesn't, but Josh is confident that the Senator will want to see him. Indeed, he does.

As Josh enters, Senator Carrick -- nicely played by Tom Skerritt -- says, "I'm surprised the White House sent Senator Lyman." Josh immediately tells Carrick that he can't block military promotions: "We can't have an intra-party fight on this when the Republicans are thrashing us on security." Carrick says he doesn't want a fight. Josh says that these are career officers who risked their lives in the Gulf and Africa. Carrick: "We'll keep our promises to our troops once we keep our promises to each other." Josh wonders what promises he's talking about. Carrick: "The MB-827 triple missile launcher." It's supposed to be built in Idaho, and he wants a signed letter of intent today. Josh says that missile launcher doesn't work: "It's a missile defense system that can't hit missiles. It's a $270 million slingshot the Pentagon doesn't want." Carrick wants to talk about why they should build it anyway. Josh: "No, let's talk about what you're going to do for underpaid, underpromoted fighting men and women." Carrick: "Not a damn thing until I get my launcher." Josh wonders when Carrick was promised this. Turns out it was seven years ago, under the previous administration. Josh: "Okay, a bunch of things have fallen by the wayside since then, like Communism..." Carrick restates his ultimatum. Josh: "If you want to come asking for party favours, you shouldn't have voted with the Republicans for five straight years. You shouldn't have voted with them last week to kill our stimulus package." Carrick: "You tell Leo McGarry I look forward to a letter approving the MB-827."

Jed asks Leo -- who's just come into the Oval Office -- if he's heard about the Chief Justice. Leo: "What now?" Charlie: "He was presiding over a moot court competition at NYU -- thought he was at the real Supreme Court." Aw, it's that adorable stray dog, Continuity! Sit. Stay. Good doggie! Leo: "Which is fine, if we can get NYU to rule on the Second Amendment." Jed: "He's losing it, Leo." Leo reminds him that it's a lifetime appointment. Jed: "That doesn't mean he gets to decompose on the bench." ["Someone tell the Pope that." -- Wing Chun] Leo tells Jed that Josh is taking care of Carrick. Leo tells Jed that the money for violence prevention in the appropriations bill has now been doubled. Jed: "It went from gutted to doubled?" Leo: "Two hundred million." Jed wonders if this is a budget problem. Leo: "Legislative Affairs are concerned it could cut into bioterrorism, global pandemics...$200 million's real money." Jed wonders if the Republicans are trying to make it so expensive that they'll cut it themselves. Leo thinks that's possible. Jed: "Are they trying to outflank us on the left?" Leo can't see why they would. Jed: "Let's find out."

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West Wing




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