West Wing
Guns Not Butter

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Votes and Goats

Josh hangs up and wanders over to where Donna's reading something. She says, "This is a push poll." Josh recites the Liberty Foundation poll statistics. Donna repeats herself; Josh keeps rabbiting on about the poll, saying that respondents think that foreign is 15 percent of the federal budget, whereas it's actually only 1 percent, or was, a half hour ago. Josh and Donna walk as she reads a question aloud: "'The money that goes into foreign could be used to reduce the tax burden here at home. Do you support such a shift of funds?' That's not a push poll?" Josh gestures for Donna to come a little closer and says quietly: "I lose this vote…I'm resigning." Donna looks as if she thinks he might be serious.

Roosevelt Room, lots of staffers milling about and buzzing. When Josh enters, Larry asks if they'll postpone again. Josh says they won't, not after two continuing resolutions. He says this expires at midnight. Ed asks if that's their problem. Josh says it "massively is." Leo comes in and asks, "What about Grace Hardin?" Josh says he thought of her, and wonders if she can say no to POTUS. Larry says she will; she's publicly against it. Ed mutters about "foreign aid in Georgia." Josh: "I say she's a Democrat, she owes the President, and there's nothing wrong with Georgia that New England can't fix." I bet Georgians might have something to say about that. Leo says, "If it's 'no' it's gotta be a fast 'no.'" Josh says it won't be no. Leo leaves. Josh tells them to put the senior Senator from Colorado in the nay column and move Hardin to undecided. "And start the clock." Larry starts the clock. Josh stares at it and says to himself, "I hate that clock."

Out in the hall, Will catches up to Josh. Josh: "Yeah, you're Bill Bailey, right?" Will corrects him and comments, "You get a pretty good aerobic workout talking to someone in this building." Josh says he's heard the jokes, and asks what he needs. Will starts to explain he's working on the Inauguration speech; Josh cuts him off saying, "Bill, I know who you are. What do you need?" Will states his name again, and indicates that he's working on a legislative section of the speech to do with bipartisan cooperation, and Toby wanted Josh involved. Josh: "Boy, did you pick the wrong day to write about bipartisan cooperation." He launches into the Liberty poll statistics again; Will wonders if Josh was talking to him or not. Josh asks Will to read him what he's got. Will obliges: "'The people, in their enduring wisdom, have put in office a Chief Executive of one party and a Congress of another. It's our duty to respect and enact…'" Josh tells him, "Strike 'in their enduring wisdom.' You think electing a reactionary Congress and a progressive President was wise? The people, in a fog of uncertainty, unsure of the difference, split tickets across the country." Will agrees, but thinks Toby would say that lacks poetry. Josh recites the poll results again, in case you missed them the first twenty-six times, and Will decides he's not going to get any help from Josh in this state and decides to do some other work in the meantime.

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West Wing

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