West Wing
Ways And Means

Episode Report Card
Deborah: C+ | Grade It Now!
Now With 17% More Pedeconferencing!

After the commercials, we're back to Cliff and Donna. They're slowly walking around outside after their drinks. She ventures, "Why are you a Republican? Why can't you be a cute Democrat like my boss, whom I'm madly in love with?" Yeah, yeah: just the first part. You can tell he's been asked once or twice before: "Because I hate poor people. I hate them, Donna. They're all so...poor. And many of them talk funny, and don't have proper table manners. My father slaved away at the Fortune 500 company he inherited so I could go to Choate, Brown, and Harvard, and see that this country isn't overrun by poor people and lesbians." Donna smiles. "No, I'm a Republican because I believe in smaller government. This country was founded on the principle of freedom, and freedom stands opposed to constraints, and the bigger the government, the more the constraints." Donna says, "Wow." Cliff seems slightly amazed and asks, "You agree with that?" She replies, "No, it's crap, but you're really cute." He chuckles, "Yeah, I know." The "crap" part, or the "cute" part? Both, I hope. Donna says she had a hunch he did. Then: "Listen, you know who my boss is, right?" He does. "And that he's one of the point men in this fight with Ways and Mean over the estate tax?" Cliff: "The death tax." Donna mentions that Josh doesn't like to call it that. Cliff explains, "We've been ordered to. There was a memo." Donna smiles. She continues, "Anyway, not to editorialize, but since we're fighting for the betterment of ordinary people while you're voraciously protecting the grotesque wealth of the few, I wasn't sure if this was awkward for you." Cliff: "Listen, Robin Hood --" "You don't think it's a good tax?" Donna asks. Cliff says it was, in 1916, when this country's wealth was concentrated and they wanted to prevent the emergence of an aristocratic class. I'm not convinced the country's wealth is so much more fairly distributed today, but whatever. Donna gets in a shot: "Says 'Choate, Brown, and Harvard.'" Cliff ignores that and says, "The wealth is now spread among farmers, small business owners, farmers, merchants, and did I mention farmers?" Yes, three times. Donna says, "So a second date wouldn't be awkward for you?" This seems to throw him a bit, and he says that this is his last week working for Ways and Means; he's been traded to House Government Oversight. Donna asks, "What'd they trade you for?" Cliff: "Some toner, I think." Donna seriously wants to know why they traded him; he says he doesn't know: "We got a call from the Majority Leader's office; they wanted another litigator at Government Oversight and they didn't...they didn't say why..." It dawns on him. Donna jests: "Maybe it was just an oversight." Cliff doesn't react. Donna says, "Oh, come on! 'Maybe it was just an oversight'? I don't even get a courtesy laugh?" Cliff looks seriously bummed and says, "The boxes." Donna: "What about 'em?" Cliff: "I have to say goodnight now." He kind of shakes his head a little bit, and Donna looks stricken. He walks away without any further explanation. I guess I can buy that he didn't twig to why he was being traded, but I do find it hard to believe that he would just take his leave without explaining the situation to Donna, and abandoning her there on the corner like a rancid sandwich. She just cannot catch a break.

Thursday. Sam and Connie are meeting with Victor Campos, played by Miguel Sandoval (probably another HITG! candidate ["Definitely" -- Wing Chun]) in the Mural Room. Victor says the White House didn't bring him out from L.A. to talk about the HELP initiative. Sam asks why Victor passed on the seat on the Commission. Victor says he wasn't brought out there to talk about that, either. Sam: "And you didn't go to Indiana to watch a basketball game." Victor says it was a good game. Sam: "Don't get cute with me." Victor: "Watch your mouth." Sam: "No, I don't think I will, Victor. We fought a war together. What the hell happened to loyalty?" Well, this is off to a good start. Victor replies, "You tell me." Sam's in a pretty touchy mood: "You know what? The President promised to ban permanent striker replacement workers, and he did it." Victor: "Thank you. So the jobs he isn't shipping overseas will be safe and secure." Burn! Sam asks who else was talking about prenatal care for illegal immigrants in Davenport, Iowa. Victor says that isn't where it needs to be talked about. Sam counters with, "He put an empowerment zone in Pacoima and no one has worked harder to raise the minimum wage." Suddenly they bring the Spanish.

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