West Wing
The Indians In The Lobby

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The Butterball Hotline

C.J. is talking to the Indians in the lobby. Maggie is citing how the Treaty of 1856 meant they were moved from New York to Wisconsin. C.J. says this isn't a good place for this; it's a lobby. Maggie says, "I know what this is. I have a degree from the University of Michigan." I found this line weirdly defensive in this context; it's as if we need to be told that there are native people with advanced educations or something. Or at least, that these particular people are not unsophisticated malcontents. So far they've been nothing but civil, poised, and patient; it's not like they're having conniption fits or spray painting the lobby or anything. Jack says, "If we give up this ground, we lose our one bullet in our gun. We need to be in view of the press." C.J. asks what tribe they're from. They are Stockbridge-Munsee Indians. Jack says that when they signed the Treaty of 1856 and were moved to Wisconsin, the government, in turn, was supposed to protect their reservations, provide education and health care, and recognize them as a sovereign nation. He states, "But then the Dawes Act came." C.J.: "You were forced to sell the land?" He continues, "We went from 46,000 acres of tribal land to 11,000. The Dawes Act was also supposed to 'civilize' us." He manages to say this without spitting in contempt, which is more than I would have managed. Jack: "Henry Dawes said, 'To be civilized, you must cultivate the land, wear civilized clothes, drive Studebaker wagons, and drink whiskey.'" Maggie, dryly: "The drinking part was particularly constructive advice." C.J. apologetically says, "Now, before we go any further, I should tell you there's absolutely nothing I can do for you." Maggie: "Imagine our shock." C.J., sheepishly: "Yes." Maggie states, "In two generations, we'll be wiped out." Understandably, C.J. doesn't know what to say to that.

Josh talks to Donna at her desk about his Thanksgiving flight plans. She's gotten him a flight that gets him there in time for dinner, but not one that saves him having to change planes in Atlanta. By and large, the extreme petulance of their relationship of late has disappeared. Josh is dismayed: "I told you..." She's all, "You have to change planes in Atlanta. Deal with it!" He argues that there must be something else. The only other flight gets him there too late for dinner. She suggests, "You could get a C-141 leaving Andrews for Homestead, but there's a problem with that, too." Josh: "It would trigger a Congressional investigation?" She replies, "All right, two problems." God knows they've got enough investigation-related woes. He tells her to find him something. She asks, "Why is this being done last-minute?" Josh: "And...remember to scold me a couple of times before I go." Donna inquires, "Did you just decide you're going home for Thanksgiving?" Josh says he didn't, but thought he was going to Connecticut, because that's where "the house" is. Donna points out that his mother sold the house ten months ago. Josh says that he made a mistake. Donna, amused: "You forgot where your mother lives?" Josh insists: "I'm from Connecticut! Okay? And like a swallow to Capistrano, I have to..." He tells her to find him a flight. Donna clicks away at her computer, making like she's looking at Expedia.com but really she's checking out MBTV. He also instructs her to call Russell Angler at the State Department and tell him that he needs to speak to him about the kid in Georgia. As he returns to his office, Donna calls out, "I'm telling your mother you forgot where she lives!" Josh's rejoinder: "You're the girl I made fun of in elementary school, you know that?" Donna smiles adorably to herself, much pleased, and says, "Yes, I do." Sam ambles up and asks if he may go in to see Josh. Donna asks if he knows of any special secret flights to Palm Beach. Sam: "Yeah, but you gotta change planes in Atlanta."

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