Previously on The West Wing: Deborah kicked Aaron Sorkin's pretentious ass until he cried like a little girl. And then she went on to much, much better things. So pass the Parliaments, people -- you can bet your ass I'm packing a muumuu, and I'm not afraid to use it.
"Full Disclosure," the title card announces, and we fade in on a bank of monitors showing Taylor "Mohr's The Pity" Reid, announcing that he'll be right back with C.J. after a commercial. Ah, C.J. She's that tall chick who used to be an ass-kicker, right? Said ex-ass-kicker is just arriving at the studio, chatting with Toby on her cell phone as she walks in front of the work a bunch of people are trying to do in the control room. She's asking about something involving the dollar and the yen. Toby patiently explains that it's China, and that they don't use the yen in China. They use the yen in Japan. They use the yuan in China. It's a good thing C.J.'s not the press secretary or something, or I'd think she probably would know the monetary unit that's used in China. C.J. points out that Reid isn't going to ask her about the dollar and the yuan, but Toby counters that there are planned protests on tap for the next day about cheap goods imported from China, so Reid in fact might. Toby, back at his desk, is handed an AP report claiming that a presidential commission is recommending a 50% increase in cigarette taxes, which seems to come as something of a surprise to our boy Mr. Ziegler. C.J. does think this sounds like something Reid will ask about, so Toby offers her some hasty details about how this seventeen-cent increase will raise $3.4 billion a year, and $16 billion over five years. He also mentions how many tobacco farmers you could buy off with that kind of money, the possible reduction in teenage smoking...all while Will "Beetle" Bailey comes charging in to bring up on Toby's computer the latest from Matt Drudge, with a big headline that says, "HOYNES TELLS ALL." Ruh-roh. There's a lot going on today.
Back at the Reid studio, C.J. hangs up on Toby before he can share this scoop, and Reid jumps directly in with her, opening with a crack about the "controlled environment" of the White House, which crack she confidently parries, because she is C.J., and "confidently parry" is in her skill set right next to "be the best dressed woman on the red carpet." His next gambit is the "president's secret plan to raise taxes." She isn't thrown by this at all, either, making it clear that she's seen the same AP report he has, and that it's nothing to get all riled up about. "The president hasn't even heard about it yet," she tells him. There is some back and forth about this, and Reid hits her with a clichéd and not particularly inspiring version of the typical "taxes ate my grandmother" rant, including the story of how the country was founded during a tax revolt. As you'd expect, Reid forgets that the original tax revolt wasn't against an elected government imposing taxes on the people who elected it, and that this was actually rather a large portion of the debate, in that legislators you can boot out of office at will or can satirize by drawing pictures of them being sodomized by Crank Yankers puppets if you so choose can be distinguished, without resort to technicalities, from a King ruling you from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean who will have you run through with a bayonet if you say anything critical about him, so we're not quite living in oppressive colonial times as a result of an increase in cigarette taxes, punk-ass (or, as it would have appeared in colonial times, punk-aff). The Constitution: I think I'll keep her. Anyway, Reid also gets a few slams in at public assistance and how buying out the tobacco farmers is just another weak-ass liberal idea of paying people not to do anything, and by the end of this scene, the rant-writers are just showing off. If I just admit that they excel at the composition of irrational, one-sided rants on behalf of both liberal and conservative viewpoints, do you suppose they'll stop doing it? Yeah, probably not. How would they fill the other forty-two minutes every week? Seriously, I entirely fail to understand how it benefits C.J. to go on a show like this, nor do I understand why so many apparently sane people in real political life dignify idiot combatants like this by treating them like thinkers, which they aren't, but that's neither here nor there, I suppose.