West Wing
Abu el Banat

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"Dying/ Is an art/ Like everything else"

Jed comes into the Oval Office where the AG is waiting. There's no Secret Service agent inside the room, unless I'm supposed to believe there's a guy standing where the camera operator is. Would they really leave anybody -- even the AG -- alone in the Oval Office, with the doors closed? Yeah, there were probably agents on the portico, but come on. Jed comes in, no greeting, just "Two more doctors? You couldn't wait a year to start campaigning?" Jed tells him, "You don't run for governor from my cabinet." Alan asks, "You really think a run to the right on a couple of pro-life standards is gonna win me Mississippi?" Jed quotes, "'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states respectively.'" Alan inquires, "How long before there's a lawyer arguing, 'We can't limit this to terminal patients; we ought to include the chronically ill?' When is it allowing children to make the decision for the parents?" Jed: "Yes...when is it allowing the state to decide, not families? We'll just start knocking off the weak and the indigent, along with the sick and dying." That's not the plan? Could have fooled me. Jed asks, "When does my administration completely deteriorate into the Third Reich?" Alan: "I'm not suggesting...." But he can't get a word in edgewise; Jed continues, saying that the federal government has no place here: "The question is a moral one, an individual one, a grappling with the nature of life and the purview of God, in which the federal government has no...." Jed smacks his desk and says, "Forget it. You do what you want. The courts are gonna nail you. You were counting on my silence and you just lost it." Jed starts to walk out, as Alan says, "Sir, a public debate...." Jed: "Yeah, I didn't want to get on TV with Oprah and talk about who's gonna cut my meat when the coordination goes. But c'est la vie, the lid's off. You pull this crap one more time, you're fired. Tell Janet 'Merry Christmas.'" He marches out. Well, that was extremely one-sided -- even for this show -- especially for an argument between two Democrats. Fisk hardly got to say anything.

Ellie arrives at dinner, only to find the dining room empty except for stewards, one of whom tells her that her family will be right back. He offers her a drink; she politely declines, and then sits down at the table, resigned.

Jed knocks at the door of Liz's room, which is slightly ajar. He enters, but she doesn't acknowledge him. She seems to be packing -- or maybe unpacking, I can't tell yet. He picks up some of Gus's stuff off the floor, and begins telling her about Mitch Clark. Liz: "Mitchell Clark single-handedly disembowelled managed-care reform. He put together the committee, took credit for creating rate stabilization, and then sold the whole thing down the river. How do you think he's financing a run? He's got board members from Barnstead Mutual writing cheque after cheque." Jed replies, "The district's splitting right much more than in my day." Liz says Josh mentioned something about that: "Apparently he was very helpful." Jed: "Elizabeth...." She complains, "You couldn't give him the courtesy of five minutes? It's one thing to delegate my car loan or Ellie's MCATs to your stuff, but my husband?" Wow. Jed's staff arranges car loans and fixes MCAT results? Huh.

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West Wing

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