The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 3, Episode 9 - The Women of Qumar - full transcript

CJ cannot control her outrage when the US agrees to an arms sale to Qumar, a country that brutally abuses women. Josh meets with Amy Gardner, a leading women's group lobbyist. The content of a Smithsonian exhibit draws protest from a veteran's group. Leo and the President discuss options when the possibility of a Mad Cow infection strikes the US beef industry.

Previously on The West Wing:

You have to ask a girl out on a date.

You can't just randomly tumble
into a girl sideways...

...and hope she breaks up with you.
- Why not?

She goes out with guys.
Are you jealous?

- No.
- See?

- I don't get jealous.
- Gather ye rosebuds.

Donna, I'm not gonna knock on her door.


C.J., do you know anything
about the president being sued?


It was in
the Rocky Mountain Bugler.

-Rocky Mountain Bugle.

-Rocky Mountain Herald.

- The president being sued?
- Unless this person was making it up.

All right, that's all, everybody,
I'll see you at 5.

- Thank you, C.J.
- Thank you, C.J.

You haven't heard anything, have you?

- What?
- The president being sued.

- It's the News, isn't it?
- What...?

The Rocky Mountain News.

There's a veterans' group talking about
not showing up for the anniversary.

- Which group?
- I don't know.

- Why aren't they?
- They're talking about it.

- Why?
- I don't know.

Do you know about
the president being sued?

Katie Witt thinks there was an item
in the Rocky Mountain News.

- Thought it was the Bugler.
- It's not.

I don't know anything about it.


Have you set up a meeting for me?
With the veterans' group?

The one that's talking about not coming?
You haven't, have you?

- But you will.
- Yes.


The president's being sued?

- You get this from the Rocky Mountain?
- Got it from the DOJ. Civil Division.

Three months ago, at a fundraiser,
the president was asked about air bags.

Someone suggested they're dangerous.

The president says, I'm quoting:

"Everything has risks.
You could drive into a lake...

...your seat belt jams. No one
says, 'Don't wear a seat belt. '"

A couple got into an accident,
he wasn't wearing a seat belt, he died.

- She's suing for contributory negligence.
- Can't sue the president.

Lawyers get rich trying to.

- We should do something preemptive.
- It's no big deal.

Isn't that what we say before
something becomes a big deal?

- Good morning, sir.
- Good morning, Mr. President.

Come with me for a second, would you?

It's possible you're gonna hear stuff
about seat belts today.

- I urge you to ignore it.
- No problem.

You straightening things out
with the Smithsonian?

I'm to speak at an exhibit marking
the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor...

...but a small veterans' group objects
on the grounds that it's America-bashing.

- I thought you liked America-bashing.
- I wouldn't say that.

- What would you say?
- I wouldn't.

- Sir, you needed me?
- Frank, what was added?

Hutchinson said two F-117 strike fighters
have been added to the package.

- This is Qumar?
- Yeah.

That means the total is 15 AMRAAMs,
50 M1-A1 s, 10 F-15s...

...the two F-117 strike fighters
and the PAC-3 missile.

There's no way I'll remember that.
Can you send somebody a memo?

- This is in exchange for a five-year...
- Ten-year lease agreement.

The point is that we've dotted the I's
and we're ready to announce.

- I'll let C.J. know.
- But have her pass it off to the DOD.

- You wanna bury it?
- Not totally, but...

Passing it off
to another department... signaling we don't want
the public to care.

Every time we make one of these deals
with a place like Qumar...

...I feel the women around here
look at me funny.

- You're wrong about that.
- You think it's just guilt?

- Yes, sir.
- Well, how should I deal with guilt?

Be more like me.

- Yeah, okay.
- Anything else, sir?

- C.J. 's gonna be cool with this?
- She's who you're worried about?

She knows who
the good guys are, right?

- Okay, thanks.
- Thank you.

What's next?

Could I get five minutes
without being interrupted by banality?

- It's not banality. It's the boss's wife.
- Good morning, ma'am.

- Little heads up wouldn't be out of line.
- I said,"Josh."

Yeah. What can I do for you, ma'am?

- I got a letter from Amy Gardner.
- I was cc'd on that.

- She seems pretty irate.
- Amy Gardner's always irate.

- I wouldn't give it a lot of thought.
- I agree with her.

- Me too. I think it deserves thought.
- I thought you might.

- I was kidding.
- I don't care.

It was cosigned by NOW, the Women's
Action League, and 10 women's groups.

- I've gotta go to Vienna next week.
- Honestly, ma'am, due respect...

...they're overreacting.
We're talking about one word.

That dramatically alters
the effectiveness of the treaty?

I don't know how dramatically.

The current draft says
"forced prostitution"...

...excluding other types of prostitution
and sex trafficking?

- I suppose that's for prosecutors...
- Well, Amy says...

...that unless the U.N. removes
the word"forced"...'s gonna be difficult
to prosecute at all.

- You've spoken with her?
- Yes. And I'd like you to do the same.

God. Really?

See? Now you're wishing
it'd been banality.

Yes, I am.

- Have a good day.
- Thank you, ma'am.

Thanks for waiting.

These are Drs. Bedrosian and Califf.
This is Leo McGarry.

- How you doing?
- Fine.

- Why are we here?
- A herd of cattle in Ogallala, Nebraska...

...was accidentally given banned feed
and quarantined 18 months ago.

One of the cattle showed
neurological damage.

It was unable to stand,
called a downer cow.

Tissue was sent to NVSL in Ames, lowa,
for the first round of tests.

- Another sample was sent to the U.K.
- And?

The first round of lowa tissue
showed a presumptive positive.

- Mad Cow?
- We don't know that.

- But we think?
- We have to wait for the U.K. tests.

Worst-case scenario?

We declare a national emergency and
a Class-1 recall on consumer beef.

We've tested over 12,000 samples,
and none of them have come up positive.

- 12,000 out of how many nationally?
- Forty million adult cattle.

Somebody needs to teach me about this.

We need a response to Kendall
in the Weekly Standard.

What did he say?

"Our education re-authorization bill has
more pork than a pig-picking festival."

A"pig-picking festival"?

I'm in favor of English
being the national language.

It's worth knowing he's pushing
for four new schools, one of which is...

- Named after him?
- Yes.

Thank you, Santa. How about...?

"It's hard to get at the pork when
the chairman's hogging the trough."

- That's why he gets all the great women.
- What else?

Be briefed on the arms sale to Qumar.
The Pentagon leaked it.

Qumar? In the Gulf?

- Is there another one?
- No.

We lease an air base in Qumar.
Lease is up...

...and they won't renew
without an arms package.

When did we make an arms deal
with Qumar?

- What does it matter?
- What does it matter?

- Yeah.
- What are we selling?

- Don't start.
- What are we selling?

- What are we selling?
- Fifteen AMRAAMs, 50 M1-A1 tank kits...

...10 F-15s and Patriot missiles
for 1.5 billion and they renew the lease.

Don't start? What the hell...?

- Anything else?
- No.

- Thank you.
- Thank you, C.J.

- This is how it starts.
- What?

- Trouble. This is how trouble starts.
- Seat belts?

Contributory negligence in wrongful
death is the tort equivalent of murder.

And aren't lawsuits against the president
the tort equivalent of insane?

Like the guy suing the president to stop
CIA radio transmissions in his bridgework?

Or the guy suing to get the man from
planet Xanadu removed from his yard?

- That's not local?
- It's federal.

There's the couple suing for repayment
of all back taxes, ever...

...because taxes are unconstitutional.
- They are.

- Sam.
- They're not.

The bow-tie manufacturer
from the Garment District...

...who blames the falling market
on the president not wearing bow ties.

There's a reason the Civil Division
gave us a heads up.

This one could break. One random
comment, and that's the ball game.

You think murder is gonna overtake
education and health care?

No, you're right, because health care
and education are much sexier.

What are you suggesting?

That we come out right now
for a national seat-belt law.

Wait, better yet, why doesn't he set up
his own checkpoint on l-95?

That's impractical.

So is twisting national policy
over a non-story.

- It's not gonna be a non-story.
- Are you talking to me?


Good morning, Mr. President.

- Did the Celtics win last night?
- They got crushed.

Okay, when I say,"Did they win?"
you can just say yes or no.

- They got crushed.
- What are you doing?

- Sorry, I had a few minutes.
- I'm just asking.

I'm making notes for a final:

"Consumer movements
in late 20th-century America."

- Modern American history sucks.
- I had a hunch.

Study the Crusades, fall of the Roman
Empire from Theodosius to Justinian.

- The Visigoths.
- Damn right.

Modern history's another name
for television.

Is there any way I can help?

I'm a master of modern history,
ask me anything.

What year did we pass
the Clean Water Act?

- I don't know.
- Okay.

- Good morning.
- They said you needed to see me.

- What's going on?
- I'm gonna tell you.

Good morning, Mr. President.

Sir, at this moment, we're waiting
to hear from the U. K...

...on confirmation of a test
for Mad Cow.

Oh, man, they got it again?

No, sir. I mean a U.S. case.

A U.S. case?

Right now it's what's called
a presumptive positive.

England will come
with definitive results.

- How long?
- In 72 hours.

- Do we say anything?
- That's my question.

- That's why you're here.
- We have to.

Put the secretary in the briefing room
with experts from Maryland...

...the National Cattlemen's
Beef Association, soften up the ground.

In three days, we'll have our facts,
make a full disclosure.

- But meanwhile...
- The USDA takes the time for tracing...

...checking feed logs. We don't know
how many herds have to be quarantined.

We don't know
how many know already.

- Nobody knows.
- A rancher knows.

- Labs in lowa and England, the USDA...
- They're our labs in lowa...

...and the rancher doesn't have interest
in saying his cattle are sick.

- Yeah, we gotta wait.
- Sir...

The second we say"positive,"
beef futures collapse...

...and we lose 3.6 billion
in beef exports.

Fast food is deserted,
supermarkets pull beef, it's panic.

I wanna talk to more people.
In the meantime, we wait.

- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

- Wanna see panic?
- Hang on.

You wanna see panic,
let the story break on CNN.

Waiting buys us time
to get reassuring answers.

How many times can we get caught
keeping a secret?

Sometimes we're supposed to do that.

- All right.
- Thanks.


Three weeks ago, a woman in Qumar
was executed for adultery.

Didn't need a lawyer,
because there was no trial.

Her husband's word against hers.

Later today, I'm gonna be announcing
that we're selling them tanks and guns.

- Amy should be with you in a minute.
- Thanks.

This is interesting art on the walls.

A lot of very strong women
who could hurt me.

Only if you provoked them.

She's busy with something important
or she wouldn't make you wait.

- Special J.
- Amy.

Thanks for waiting,
I was playing a little Nintendo.

I'm kidding.
I was on a conference call.

You want anything?
Coke? Pepsi? Shrimp cocktail?


- How you been?
- Good.


You know what this is?

A map of global trafficking
in prostitution?

You know who drew it?

Amerigo Vespucci?

That's funny, J.
It was your State Department.

- It's your State Department too.
- Yeah, a little more yours than mine.

Every time you write a letter
to the first lady...

...she gets in gear because she feels guilty
that she's not doing enough for women.

She's not doing enough.

- What would you like?
- I'm glad you asked.

Not half as glad as I am.

Current draft says forced prostitution,
not other types, is sexual exploitation.

What about someone who answers
an ad for an au pair...

...and ends up working in a whorehouse,
where they're held hostage?

That's not the worst-case scenario.

Five days ago, four 13-year-old
Thai girls hanged themselves... an abandoned house
on Stonycrest Lane in Bethesda.

Not halfway around the world,

Sheets over windows,
triple locks on doors... phones,
handcuffs hanging off the bedposts.

For the price of a toaster, their parents
had sold them to work as babysitters.

How is that not forced prostitution?

I've got a whole floor
full of lawyers who...

In the last two years,
100,000 women...

...including girls who should be
playing with Easy-Bake Ovens...

...100,000 were brought here
and forced to work as prostitutes.

You know how many cases
we've prosecuted?

- Not enough.
- Two hundred and fifty.

You guys are about to make it harder,
so I dropped the first lady a note.

What the hell are those?

- Those are balloon animals.
- I'm sorry?

I have nephews who like balloon animals,
so I got someone to teach me.

- Are they abstract?
- I'm a beginner.

- We can't drop the word.
- Why?

We're not the only ones
in the world.

Prostitution is legal in Germany,
Turkey, Netherlands.

- If we alienate them...
- They don't sign.

The more countries that sign,
more effective it is.

The more toothless the treaty,
the more toothless it is.

- That's a permeating syllogism.
- I'm not screwing around.

The women's vote
isn't half your constituency.

- It's the entire margin of victory.
- Who else are you gonna vote for?

I don't know, but you haven't appointed
enough women to the federal bench.

We'll hold up your other nominations.

I didn't burn my bras, J.
In fact, I like my bras.

I ring your bell when it's important.

All right.

Would you get back to me
before the end of the day...

...and let me know where we are?
- Yeah.

Thank you.

The art around here
scares the hell out of me.

That's what it's supposed to do.

Good morning. Thanks for waiting.

- How are you, Toby? Evan Woodkirk.
- Good to see you.

Mary Klein.

Tell me why I'm talking to you.

The Smithsonian is opening an exhibit...

...marking the 60th anniversary
of Pearl Harbor.

Why is that making veterans unhappy?

Let's be clear.
The USF is a very small group.

Maybe 2000 members and only 30
of them were gonna be attending.

They're not, they're boycotting.

It's not like we're not able to fill those
seats. We don't see it as a problem.

The president's speaking at the opening,
so it's a problem.

They're not gonna keep
their unhappiness to themselves.

I don't want the president
where there are pissed-off veterans.

- There's nothing to be concerned about.
- What are they gonna tell me?

They'll tell you they're troubled by the
commentary on the propaganda posters.

- Which is?
- Sorry?

The commentary.

These were fear-inspiring posters,
incredibly racist.

- And you say so in the commentary.
- In so many words.

"The Sowers" portrays the Japanese... hulking barbarians,
tossing human skulls onto the ground.

How about the exhibit,
"America's Vengeance"?

- You've reviewed the material?
- Vengeance is pretty provocative...

...especially when followed by the
burnt contents of a child's lunch box.

Of course I've reviewed the material.

Excuse me, I'm sorry.
Do you have a moment?

I want you to get with C.J.
when you can.

Sure, why?

A lab in the U.K. is gonna let us know
in 72 hours...

...if the first U.S. case of Mad Cow
is in Nebraska right now.

- We got a presumptive positive on...
- Seventy-two hours.


- We should keep it to ourselves.
- That's what I think.

C.J. disagrees,
and the president wants to hear more.


- Leo.
- Yeah?

You know the president's being sued?

- I'm sorry?
- The president's being sued.

- Oh, the guy from the planet Zanzibar.
- Xanadu, no. The seat belts.

That's not gonna be anything.

Washington Times is running,"Bartlet
Accused of Contributory Negligence."

I didn't think The Washington Times
could spell all those words.

- A29, above the fold.
- There's a fold that deep in the paper?

It's gonna be picked up by The Post
and The New York Times.

- Let's be ahead of it.
- How?

Come out for a national seat-belt law.

- It's never gonna happen.
- Why?

- Most important state in the primaries?
- New Hampshire.

- Most important state in the general?
- Michigan.

The only state without
a mandatory seat-belt law?

- New Hampshire.
- Where do they make the cars?

Fair enough. Can I explore it?

Knock yourself out.
In fact, go ahead and knock yourself out.


The appointments
aren't gonna be held up.

At least not by Lady Godiva.

Tell me she wasn't bare-breasted,
at least outside your imagination.

Yeah, no, she was. Yeah.

I'm saying, if she wants to front off...

...there's not a moral imperative
for the White House to get behind, what?

Equity in Insurance Coverage
for Contraception or whatever it is.

More money for sewing notions
and whatnot.

Suffrage and the right to smoke.

She wants heat, we can hold off backing
for the Child Support Enforcement Act.

- But you don't want to do that.
- Of course I don't.

- I'm a friend to the working mom.
- You want her to have sewing notions.

- I do.
- Can I ask you something?

Do you think it's possible
there's a broader point?

No. Why?


That leaving the word"forced"
condones consensual prostitution.

- That's ridiculous.
- It can be spun that way.

- That we condone prostitution?
- Yeah.

- It can't be spun that way.
- Okay.

- You think it can?
- I just did.

All right.

All right, would you check
if C.J. 's in her office?

Toby, it's not like the entire exhibit
is anti-American.

Hang on, it's not like any of the exhibit
is anti-American.

I can't believe I have to have this
conversation with you of all people.

I don't know what
"me of all people" means, but...

- Aren't you standing by the NEA...?
- I'm not. This is different.

- How?
- It is.

The president was asked to speak...

...which is the only reason
I can have you sitting here.

Something's come up,
and I'm done if you're done.

- We appreciate your time.
- I appreciate yours.

- Can I call later today?
- Please.

- How you doing?
- Fine.

- I just came from seeing Amy Gardner.
- How did it go?

- I showed her who's boss.
- Who did it turn out to be?

It's still unclear, but let me ask,
the U.N. treaty, Vienna?

If we have to make a to-do
about it being forced prostitution... there a chance it can be spun
that we're condoning prostitution?

- How much of a chance?
- It'll happen.

- Amy will make it happen.
- Yeah.

Well, this is a whole new thing, then.

Leo told me.

- Close the door.
- Told you what?

Close the door.

There was a presumptive positive
on some cattle in Nebraska.

- What does that mean?
- We wait 72 hours for a test.

- A disease?
- Yeah.

- You're kidding me.
- No.

- Mad Cow?
- Yeah.

- Oh, my God, you're kidding me.
- Really, no.

Well, I guess if the door's closed,
we're not saying anything yet.

- That's why we're talking.
- What do you think?

We have an extra $ 1.5 billion
we weren't counting on.

- What?
- There's an extra 1.5 billion.

In Qumar,
when a woman's raped...

...she's beaten by her husband
and sons as punishment.

So we should talk about how to spend
the 1.5 billion they're giving us.

Okay. So should we tell anybody?

All right, unfunded mandates.

This is where the federal government
forces localities to do stuff...

...but isn't interested in paying the bill.
- Don't give me the grumbles.

According to Frank Segal, Danville,
Virginia, with a population of 55,000...

...spent 13,800 hours and $ 167,000
complying with the Disabilities Act.

Should employees in wheelchairs
work in the parking lot?

Segal thinks it's unfair
that the federal government...

How much would it cost
the federal government to amend...

...the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
to cover all unfunded mandates?

Tens of billions, I would think.

Find out for sure and then tell Segal
to sit down and shut up.

- Anything else?
- No.

- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Thank you, sir.

So paint a picture for me, would you?

We find the source of the problem,
which will be the feed.

- We buy the cattle and slaughter them.
- How many?

- Tens of thousands.
- That's live cattle. What about beef?

FSIS will do a Class-1 recall and get it
off the shelves, not that they'd need to.

Nobody's gonna buy beef
for a couple of years.

That's a $ 150 billion industry.
What's the West gonna do for a living?

This generation of ranchers is done.
They won't get back on their feet.

People have known about this disease.
They're still eating beef.

Because it's been across the ocean.

Once we announce a positive, steak
houses are done, fast food is done.

And then the corn
and soybean growers, right?

The dominoes don't end on this.

- Any good news?
- For fishermen.

We've got frightened parents, rising food
prices, public panic, massive layoffs...

...and something new, wondering when
the next case is gonna happen.

- The most costly disruptions...
- Yeah?

...always when something
we take completely for granted...

...stops working for a minute.


- Okay.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

Do you know when we passed
the Clean Water Act?

- No.
- How can you not?

- My water's clean. I don't ask questions.
- What'd I say?

- I wasn't really listening.
- All right.

Thank you.

Yes, sir.

Nope. Nothing.

- You sure there's nothing you need?
- No.

- You know, Charlie...
- Yeah.

...history can't be reduced
to dates and names.

Well, I'm pretty sure this final can.

I'm starting you out with the speech
George Perkins Marsh used in 1845... rouse the agricultural community
of Rutland, Vermont...

...and then you'll need to study
on the word"ecology"...

...coined by the German biologist
Ernst Haeckel.

I'm being punished.

It's better in the original German, but
obviously, the translation will be fine.


- Sam.
- Sam, how you doing?

Good, good. Thanks for coming down.
Come on back.

I've got a joke the president can do
on telling people not to wear seat belts.

He didn't tell people that.

He should say,"Maybe I should go back
to concealing my health."

That's good.
He can use it at the Rotary Club.

Josh Lyman shouldn't joke
about Rotarians. They're good people.

He feels bad about that.

- They volunteer their time.
- He'll apologize.

- I'm a Rotarian, my dad's a Rotarian.
- My dad's an Elk.

Elks are okay.

Anticipating this might
become a thing.

I want to float the idea
of a national seat-belt law.

What's the Democratic leadership
gonna say?

- They'll say no.
- Why?

Democratic leadership doesn't do
damage control for the president.

It's about more than damage control.

Only 68 percent of drivers
wear their seat belts.

We get that up to 90 percent,
we save 5000 lives a year.

If kids eat spinach,
they'll be as strong as Popeye.

We've done driver safety, food drives,
physical fitness.

- Who?
- The Rotary Club.

- He really is gonna apologize, Tom.
- Sam.

Secondary seat-belt laws don't work.

You can only fine someone if you
stop them for something else.

- It's time for a tough law.
- To make up for a bonehead comment?

Governors don't like it.
It's federalism run amuck.

Governors don't vote in Congress.

Congressmen aren't gonna vote
for it either.

Okay, then, it's a shorter meeting
than I thought it was gonna be.


You won't catch a Rotarian
not wearing his seat belt.

- An Elk, maybe.
- Yeah.

Leo wanted you to know
the OMB's gonna do a quick report...

...on expanding unfunded mandates.

It doesn't mean anything,
but they're doing it anyway.

- My tax dollars, hard at work.
- I'll be at my desk.

- Donna, you've worked as a prostitute.
- Yeah?

- Let's just say.
- Okay.

Why should what you do
be against the law?

You're not allowed
to buy and sell people.

- You're renting out your body.
- Not allowed to do that either.

- Fashion models do.
- It's different.

Only because we say it's different.

Get a massage,
isn't it a matter of degrees?

Lots of things are.

Wouldn't legalizing prostitution
allow women to unionize...

...and get access to social services
and health care...

...and create some control?
- You think if you make it legal...

...prostitutes will want everybody
to know they're prostitutes?

- What?
- The rare, valid point.

I'll be back on my street corner.

Okay, round two.

I'm Toby Ziegler,
I'll be your referee.

I'm Barney Lang,
national commander.

- We spoke on the phone.
- Yes.

Please meet Ed Ramsey
and Ronald Kruckshank.

- These are two of our regional directors.
- Welcome to the White House.

Been here before.

My unit was invited by Franklin Roosevelt.
That chair used to be over there.

It's nice to meet you.

Before we start,
could I hit you up for a personal favor?

I don't think the president's available
for pictures today.

No, it's my buddy Arthur Holly.

He's been in a wheelchair
because he lost his left leg...

...and the wheelchair is falling apart.

We've been doing pretty good
with duct tape...

...but the guy could use a new one,
and Medicaid is dragging its feet on this.

Leave me his information.
I can make a phone call for you.

- I appreciate that, son, thank you.
- Okay.

Tell me one point you find most offensive
and would like pulled from the exhibit.

- There are a number of points.
- What's at the top?

Sections that have
the overreaching message...

...of a vengeful America
and a victimized Japan.

You don't want to ignore
effects of the bomb.

We don't want to ignore facts...

...but, in that particular case, we don't
agree with their version of the facts.

The 63,000?

They say 63,000 American lives
would've been lost if we'd invaded.

Marshall told Truman a ground offensive
would take the lives of at least 250,000.

There's some evidence to suggest
that Marshall told Truman that.

Some estimates say 150,000,
some say 268,000.

There are discrepancies.

I didn't see you there.

This is C.J. Cregg.

I'm Barney Lang. Ed Ramsey,
Ronald Kruckshank.

Good to meet you.

- You need anything?
- I just came by to listen.

I wanna put you in a room with the
exhibit directors from the Smithsonian.

- Can I do it today?
- Sure.

Stay by a phone. Okay.

- Can I interrupt for a second, Toby?
- Yeah.

Mr. Ramsey, I saw in your information
you were in the 10th Armored Division.

Pvt. First Class, 10th Armored
Division, Third Army, Second World War.

- You fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
- I did.

My unit broke through
the German 7th army's buffer...

...which was critical
in winning Bastogne.

That was the moment we beat the Nazis
on the Western front.

That was a hell of a moment.

I have a granddaughter like you.
She's a chemist.

- Can I ask you to imagine something?
- I suppose.

Imagine if you weren't as successful
as you were.

Imagine, say,
that Hitler had taken Antwerp...

...and we'd lost the Battle of the Bulge
and Germany held the Western front.

It wouldn't have mattered.

The Russians crushed them on the Eastern
front. They wouldn't have won the war.

No, but even if the Russians kicked
them out of Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria...

...they could've held on to France,
maybe Italy, certainly defended Germany.

It's six decades later.
While they didn't conquer Europe...

...Nazis exist as a recognized government
in some small corner of Europe.

- That would never have happened.
- Really?

They killed a quarter of my unit.

They killed a third of my classmates
from Erasmus High School.

- We would never have allowed...
- We did it in Cambodia.

C.J., knock it off.

You're protesting because you think the
Smithsonian doesn't pay proper respect... what you and the soldiers
of the 10th Armored, Third Army...

...risked and lost your lives
for six decades ago.

How would you feel,
in the hypothetical I just described...

...if I told you that
at my press briefing...

...I'm announcing we were selling tanks,
missiles and fighter jets to the Nazis?

Excuse me.

Step outside.


If I was in Qumar, I wouldn't be allowed
to say,"Shove it up your ass"...

...but since I'm not,
shove it up your ass, Toby.

You really want to talk
about the lawsuit in Colorado?

You hear about the lawyer
who opened a chain of dry cleaners?

Press your lawsuit while you wait.

There was a better joke in there
someplace, right?

- Probably not. Sir...
- Doctrine of Sovereign lmmunity.

Can't sue the king.
We brought it from England.

He's not immune
from the court of public opinion.

Forgot that one.

- The RNC will have a press conference.
- They have one when I sneeze.

We need to come out
for a strong national seat-belt law.

- Congress won't pass it.
- We don't need the law.

Just come out for it. It'll end
the question of where you stand.

People know.
If they don't, they can ask.

- You were governor of New Hampshire...
- I was for it then.

I never did anything, because nobody
wanted it. Why waste time and capital?

C.J. will get asked about it.

I can't be responsible every time
somebody irrationally twists my meaning.

People are responsible for themselves.

Today's cars are safer
than they've ever been.

They've all got air bags, seat belts...

...and they're crash-tested
from here till Tuesday.

All that's left is personal behavior
and bad luck.

I'm not responsible for either.

If Mrs. Landingham was here,
she'd say the exact same thing.

- Yes, sir.
- I don't blame this woman for suing me.

I'm not a king, not sure the law should
treat me like one, though I don't mind.

I'm not blaming her.

She's got to go someplace
with her grief and her anger.

The ones who should be horsewhipped
are the ones exploiting her grief...

...for political gain, and I'm not
getting down with them.

- Let Congress pass that law, I'll sign it.
- Sir?

- Yeah, let's go. Get Leo.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

Good evening, Mr. President.

Isn't there a joke with lawsuits and dry
cleaners? I've been working on it all day.

You've been working
on other stuff too, right?

- Yeah.
- Good evening, sir.

Okay, what do we think?
When do you tell the public?

- I think right now.
- I think when you know something.

Absolute confirmation must be the rule
when talking about public panic.

Are we sure there'll be public panic
if we're only saying there's a chance?

- We think, maybe, usually it's negative.
- I do.

We're not talking about sushi, it's
hamburgers, and I'm not kidding around.

These things, the everyday American
things, the 99-cent things that...

...when you suddenly have to be afraid
of them, strike at our equilibrium.

Democrats are not exactly loved
by the beef industry to begin with.

Are we gonna get killed
for causing false panic?

What we say now will
be measured against the facts...

...the consequences of which will be
far worse if we don't say anything.

- I disagree.
- Then pretend the cow has MS.

No, I don't think I will.

Something going on?

They can hear you.
They're standing in front of you.

That was a bad analogy.
I apologize.

What I meant was...

...the public will not forgive a president
who withheld information...

...that could've helped them
or saved lives.

Second, in a crisis, people need
to feel like soldiers, not victims.

Third, information breeds confidence,
silence breeds fear.

That's my argument.

- If it comes from the president...
- It shouldn't.

- Not even the White House.
- From Health and Human Services.

- Not the secretary, midlevel.
- That's what we'll do, then.

- Thank you, sir.
- Toby.

What's going on with the Smithsonian?

- It'll be fine, sir.
- Where are you leading them?

Not to turn a blind eye toward
the dark periods in our history...

...but there's a time and place for that,
and this isn't it.

- You're changing.
- No, I'm not.

- Yes, you are.
- A very, very little bit.


Mr. President, could you point me
in the right direction on something?

One of the vets who was here has
a buddy whose wheelchair's fallen apart.

Who can get something
done overnight at Medicaid?

We gotta straighten out Medicaid.

After the Civil War, veterans had
to come to D.C. to get their pensions.

They had to visit the office.

They waited for a clerk to look through
records until their papers were found.

Know what the papers were bound with?

- No.
- Red tape.

- That's where it comes from.
- Didn't know that.

Go and apologize to C.J.
for whatever you did.

- I didn't do anything.
- Like that matters.

Thank you, sir.

What's next?

- What?
- You know, sir...

...that story about red tape
and Medicaid was interesting, but... .

- What?
- Nothing.

You have economic advisers
in the Roosevelt Room.

- Interesting but what?
- He just wanted a wheelchair.

- Toby's trying to get him a wheelchair.
- I forgot.

I forgot. Get the information.
I'll make the call myself.

Maybe the guy can wheel
around on a book... German biologist Ernst Haeckel.

Get the information and the director
of the CMSO on the phone.

Yes, sir.


- I'm sorry, sir?
- When we passed the Clean Water Act.

Thank you, sir.

- You know nothing about the Visigoths.
- Yes, sir.

- And I know everything.
- Yes, sir.


What are you doing here?

Your office said you were here.

Eleanor Roosevelt once made a speech
to the U.N. General Assembly...

...saying that we should
decriminalize prostitution.

Eleanor Roosevelt was the one
who liked hats, right?

The undersecretary for Global Affairs
and Regina Pierce...

...will sit with our legal adviser at
the U.N., look at alternative language.

- I heard.
- So.

- Indeed.
- That's right.

Are you walking me back to my office?

How is making prostitution illegal
not suppressing women's rights?

How is making heroin use illegal
not suppressing a heroin user's rights?

- It is, but heroin is bad for you.
- So's being a prostitute.

How can I not call you a hypocrite...

...when you say the government shouldn't
tell women what to do with their bodies?

Exercise some self-control, I guess.

Prostitution is about the subjugation
of women by men for profit.

- Profit goes to the women.
- In some cases.

But I know of no girl who says,"I
want to be a prostitute when I grow up."

They're forced to do it
out of financial circumstances.

Dire economic need
is a form of coercion.

But the guy who steals my stereo
does it for the same reason.

And he's going to jail.

Because he broke into my apartment
and stole my stereo...

...and nobody wants that, but you can't
say that about the other thing.

Forget, for a second,
that it's a women's issue.

The law isn't a deterrent. Prostitutes
advertise in the Yellow Pages.

Aren't we just serving to create more
criminals in a criminal environment?

Why did you come here?

To tell you about the thing.

- The U.N.?
- Yeah.

- I'd heard.
- I didn't know that.

- Why didn't you call?
- I'm sorry?

Why didn't you call me
on the phone?

Your office is on the way home.

- It's 5:00.
- Yeah.

You go home at 5:00?

I just stopped by.

- Are you dating your assistant?
- No.

- I heard you might be.
- I'm not.

- She's cute.
- She's my assistant.

- Are you dating Joey Lucas?
- No.

- She's not your assistant.
- I know.

You know the thing with guys like you?

- Why are we talking about this?
- Because you stopped by.

I'm a visible guy,
people say things about me.

People write things.
And what I do reflects on the president.

Nice save.

- I didn't make that up.
- Okay.

What's the thing about guys like me?

What's the thing with guys like me?

You want to get hit over the head.

- I have to go.
- See you.


What the hell?!

It was a water balloon!

What are you, 15 years old?
You almost hit me in the head!

The briefing begins in a few moments.
Please take your seats.

Hey, Nancy.

I understand you're troubled
by the arms sale.

The Nazis were a bad analogy.
We're not fighting a war with Qumar.

Well, this isn't the point, but we will.

Of course we'll be fighting a war
with Qumar one day, and you know it.

At least we'll be familiar
with the weapons they're using.

We need Khalifa Air Base, we refuel
there and we keep AWACS radar.

We don't need it, it's convenient.
We don't need it.

We've got Turkey, Bahrain,
Diego Garcia. Qumar's convenient.

- Yes, it's convenient.
- They beat women, Nancy.

The only reason they keep Qumari women
alive is to make more Qumari men.

What do you want me to do?

Instead of selling the guns to them,
shooting the guns at them.

Not to change the subject...

...but how do we have moral credibility
when we talk about gun control...

...and making sure guns don't get
to the wrong people?

What the hell are we defining
as the right people?

In the real world,
we can't isolate our enemies.

I know the real world,
I don't suggest we isolate them.

- You suggest we eliminate them.
- I have a briefing.

- You...
- I'm not suggesting anything.

- I don't suggest foreign policy.
- You are right now.

It's the 21 st century,
Nancy, the world's gotten smaller.

I don't know how we can tolerate
this kind of suffering anymore...

...when all it does is continue
the cycle of anti-American hatred.

- But that's not the point.
- What's the point?

The point is that apartheid
was an East Hampton clambake...

...compared to what we laughingly refer
to as the life these women lead.

If we had sold M1-A1 s to South Africa,
you'd have set the building on fire.

Thank God we never needed to refuel
in Johannesburg!

It's a big world, C.J.

And everybody has guns.

And I'm doing the best I can.

They're beating the women, Nancy.

Good evening, we have two birthdays
today, so we have cake.

One cake. It's nice to share.

Before I take questions,
a late addition to Monday's schedule.

The president will be at the Smithsonian
exhibit opening...

...commemorating the 60th Anniversary
of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

That's 3 in the afternoon,
more information Monday morning.

Labor Secretary Carl Reed will brief
from this podium in one hour...

...on our school-to-work initiative.

There'll be a briefing at the Department
of Health and Human Services... USDA Director David Reingold.

Tuesday, you'll be briefed
at the Pentagon.

The DOD will announce we've renewed
our lease another 10 years in Qumar.

I understand they've promised
to paint and add new carpet.

A delegation from State and the U. N...

...will be sitting down to go over
some last-minute language for Vienna...

...and for that trip, we'll have
your schedules ready next week.

- Who's got a question?
- Will you tell us what Mr. Reingold...?