Josh runs into C.J. in the hallway. He asks if she gets the feeling that she doesn't have any idea what the hell's going on around here anymore. She just asks, "What?" Man, that's sad. Even in a national crisis, the old C.J. would have had a snappy reply to a question like that. Josh asks if C.J.'s heard any of these rumours about Atwood pushing the Republican agenda. She hasn't. She splits. My God, the 2004 Emmys are almost a year off, but already I can hear voters scratching a write-in category for the next round of voting: "Most Criminal Waste Of An Astonishingly Talented Ensemble."
Josh walks into Toby's office blathering about the Republicans coming back. Toby's leaning his head on his left hand, and supporting his chin with his right, and looking sadly up at Josh. It's not a big stretch to imagine his face morphing into The Scream. Josh asks whether Leo's been invited to join these meetings, or if Toby has. Toby says nothing. Toby blinks. This is ridiculous. This is painful. I suppose it's better than putting ludicrously ignorant and reactionary lines in his mouth, but not by much. Josh rants about all the issues the Republicans might start legislating. Toby asks if Josh got any sleep last night. I think Toby might turn into Fred MacMurray if someone's not careful. Will comes in to dis Haffley. Toby tells Josh that the Democrats can filibuster in the Senate. Josh: "Not on partial births or tax cuts." Josh takes off for Leo's office. Toby chases after him, handing Will a speech as he goes, saying, "Can you read this? I'll be right back." As he hands it to Will, Toby makes a face like the one I'm sure Richard Schiff made when he was handed this script. I'll call it his "what is this shit?" face.
Josh natters and frets and projects all the way to Leo's office. Toby eggs him on a bit. Josh says he's not being paranoid. They reach Leo's office and more or less bypass Margaret. Josh asks if Leo has a minute. Leo tells him, "Not really." Josh spills his concerns about the Republicans legislating issues the Democrats can't filibuster and ramming them through. Leo: "They won't." Josh says that the Republicans are meeting secretly again today. Leo says it wasn't secret yesterday. Josh continues, "To plot a strategy..." Leo tells Josh this isn't the grassy knoll. Josh keeps on, and Leo asks Toby, who's just standing there with his arms crossed, "You been drinking his Kool-Aid?" No response. Josh ratchets it up another notch and insists, "We need to leak it to the press that the GOP are conspiring to use the cover of a national crisis to impose a radical right-wing agenda!" Josh suggests that Bartlet get himself back into office, nominate a strong VP, and then, if necessary, recuse himself again with a Democratic VP to take his place. Leo: "Go through all this again?" Josh: "We should at least take it to the Pres..." Leo snaps, "Dammit, Josh. The man's child is missing, probably dead. He doesn't give a damn about politics right now." Josh says that's why they have to. Leo asks where they are on a new VPOTUS. Josh feebly claims to be working on it. Leo: "I want three names on my desk by 7:00 AM tomorrow." Josh starts to leave and then wants to talk about Ryan. Leo says he's Josh's new intern. Josh thought they decided he wouldn't have any more interns. Leo: "No. You decided." Margaret comes to the door as Josh wonders, "Pierce? Is he a Pierce Pierce?" He is. Margaret tells Leo, "They're ready for you."