The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 5, Episode 16 - Eppur Si Muove - full transcript

A Republican Congresswoman targets Ellie and her scientific research as an example of government waste and cronyism in an attempt to discredit the President and the Administration. To help rehabilitate her image, C.J. urges Abby to appear on the Muppets as a doctor. Josh pushes the Republicans hard on judicial nominees after learning that a friend of his has grown tired of waiting for confirmation and is going to take a university position.

Previously on The West Wing:

So tomorrow's the big day.

- What?
- Mystery Ben.

- What about him?
- Coming to say hello.

- No, he isn't.
- He's in town and called.

- You gave him an appointment?
- He seemed nice.

- He is nice. Very nice. Also very married.
- Not anymore.

I wanted to give you a heads-up.

- I'm gonna start volunteering.
- Volunteering?

- Washington Free Clinic.
- You're gonna practice medicine again?

I'll be helping out a bit.

I'm sorry. Are you licensed
to practice medicine?

I voluntarily chose
to stop practicing, C.J.

I never said I was hanging up
my stethoscope for good.

Preliminary results indicate an alarmingly
high prevalence of infection.

U.S. rates are 14 percent, whereas
of patient volunteers we investigated...

...48 percent tested positive for HPV.

Take a message.

And bring me the PCR data as well.

Dr. Foy's office.

I'm sorry, Dr. Foy isn't available.

Hold on a sec.

Congressman Bentley's office.

They're reviewing
one of your NIH grants.


Lewis Foy.

That's very nice.

I'm sorry, which congressman?

Which project?

Let me put you on speaker
so I can find my grants file.

The congressman is especially
impressed with your work on...

Wait, I have it right here.

Human papilloma virus in commercial
sex workers in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

But why the interest in Puerto Rico?
Why focus on sex workers?

Is that really of scientific value?

I just submitted
my noncompeting renewal.

- Ellie?
- Confirm your home address?

- He needs you.
- How is that relevant?

The address we have
is 536 Washburn Lane.

Are you a registered voter, sir?

Our records indicate
that you're a registered Democrat.

- How's that your business?
- Can you tell me who you voted for?

Maybe she's overreacting.
Maybe I'm overreacting.

- Maybe.
- He never mentioned her.

He never made reference to her
working in the lab.


The old "Let's lift up this rock, see if
we find something wiggling underneath."

Just happened to be her rock.

She's so sensitive. You know she'd freak
if anyone even hints at nepotism.

- Tell me this is nothing to worry about.
- This is nothing to worry about.


- Which congressman was it?
- Bentley.

House Reform. How many U.S. research
labs come with the president's daughter?

Whether they invoked her or not, they
wouldn't call unless they had something.

Somebody's out for blood,
and they're targeting Ellie Bartlet.

Ben will be here at 1.
I got the back table at 1789.

I told him to wear the painter's pants
so you won't be tempted to jump him.

- He has a meeting at 3.
- Nice work.

Those would have to be
seriously hideous painter's pants.

Now that you slept on it,
the call to Foy wasn't about Ellie...

...I have a happy day?
- Now that I slept on it, it's worse.

In the governor's mansion she got $5
allowance for doing a boatload of chores.

- He isn't steering money to his daughter.
- Not the president, us.

Some overeager NIH lackey
trying to curry favor.

This conversation would be easier...

...were I not fighting
through a cloud of Obsession.

There's no cloud.

It's about to precipitate out,
rain Obsession.

I've got a brief.

I'll get a breakdown of Foy's funding.

Hope like hell it hasn't gone up
since Ellie started working in his lab.

- I'll call Mike Rafter, House committee.
- Thank you.

It's not about you.
I'd do anything to avoid...

...using "Mr. President" and
"your daughter" in the same sentence.

What did you think
of the Lawrence opinion?

You keeping track of the court
these days?

When I'm not color-coding
the president's M&M's.

Still smarting I had to carry
your ass through Con Law?

You didn't have to carry.

You thought strict scrutiny
was a pickup technique.

Hey, it worked on Pam Sussman.

I mean, not that well.
How is your lovely wife?

She's good.

So Georgetown offered me
dean of the law school.

That's great. Except, aren't you
a judicial nominee for the 6th Circuit?

I've been a nominee for 12 months.

You knew the confirmation process
was an uphill battle.

Uphill battle?
It's a permanent gag order.

I can't write, I can't publish.

Hell, I can't even debate cases
with my students.

Not to mention I've had a bull's eye
on my back for 12 months.

They called my wife, my brother,
my ex-girlfriend.

These things take time.

Republicans have blocked
your nominations since you took office.

Drop out, you close this door forever.

I'm not sure this door was ever open.

- When does Georgetown need to know?
- No, don't do this to me.

- End of the week.
- Give me till then.

- To do what?
- To fix it.

They said they'd call back.

You told Congressman Bentley
it was the White House calling?

Toby Ziegler? From the White House?

Maybe you're running out of shizzle.

I looked up his funding
on the NIH's public website.

The money for last year is the same
as before Ellie started working.

Okay, $ 14 more.
Maybe they gave him a new trash can.

Try Bentley again...

...Iook at not-so-direct ways we'd
send money in Dr. Foy's direction...

...and please don't say "shizzle."

Mrs. Bartlet ditched
the board of regents meeting?

You find her smoking
at the Smithsonian?

She was working at the clinic,
sent a proxy...

...but Chairwoman Dorthea Lodge is mad
and threatening to go to the press.

Mad she had to go
to the regents meeting.

We've got an image problem.
The stories aren't dying down.

The press doesn't know what to do
with the first lady.

Nobody does, including the president.
He'd like you to sit down with her.

- Happy to help.
- She's in the Mural Room.

Now? I have a...

Had a lunch.
I'm just gonna go cancel it.

Are you wearing White Shoulders?

My piano teacher used to wear
White Shoulders.

Not as much.



Long time.


- You look great.
- You too.

Sorry, Ben. I can't have lunch.
I don't have a lot of time.

But you did the dance,
you paid your dues.

I want you to know that I'm in.

- What?
- Coy is a bad color on me.

I'm ready. I'm onboard. I want you
to count me in, because I'm in.

I gotta go. Call me later.

- Hey, did you get Leo?
- He's booked.

Tell Margaret I can talk so fast
it won't take measurable time.

- I'm waiting for Rodney.
- Who?

- Ryan's roommate.
- Ryan's got a roommate?

He's checking if Ryan's in his room.
He didn't show today, it's not like him.

Really? Because that seems
exactly like him.

He's never late.
He walks in like he's late, but he's not.

Like you're on a train and the train
next to you is pulling away, only it...

Rodney's taking a long time.

- Do you think he went back to sleep?
- That, or he's dead now too.

Get me Leo.

So, what was it? The tube top
to meet the queen of England...

...or the low-rise jeans
for the North Korean delegation?

The press didn't know what to make
of you before the MS became public.

You've never been the traditional,
hat-knitting president's wife.

Oh, shoot. Was that in the handbook?

Maybe if you just get me a photographer
and seven years' worth of yarn.

Tell me why you decided
to volunteer at the clinic.

Instead of putting out a press release,
I decided to help treat children.

- Is there any...?
- There are a number...

...of children's health issues
I'm interested in.

I thought it was appropriate to go out
and see what was going on firsthand.

Great. But until the press understands,
they're gonna fill in the blanks...

...with self-aggrandizing, vote-grabbing...

Would you like me to do interviews
with the press?

No. They're the most cynical bastards
on the planet.

You need to get beyond the Washington
echo chamber to the people.

So, what did you have in mind?

I checked out the reject list
from your invitation file.

There are a few I think you should
reconsider. The first is Muppets.


Sesame Street gives you an opportunity
to reintroduce yourself... the first lady who is also a doctor
and address questions about the clinic.

Give a Muppet a checkup,
get your message out.

No Meet the Press?

- Mrs. Bartlet...
- Don't think I could take Russert?

Why? Five people watch, and it's
the toughest interview in the world.

I want you on the Surgery Channel,
in Women 's Health, the Today show.

Mrs. Russell's approval ratings bumped
when she did her cooking segment.

Her chili was so good,
they're having her back for Christmas.

You trying to raise
my competitive hackles?

If I were trying to raise
your competitive hackles...

...I'd make you watch Diane Sawyer's
duet with Cookie Monster.


I wanna set a meeting with
the Judiciary Committee's chief of staff.

That's a productive use of time.

Eric Hayden's gonna withdraw
from the nomination process.

- Sixth Circuit's got eight empty seats.
- For a year and a half.

Because Republicans held up
our nominations in committee.

- What else is new?
- At least four of those nominees...

...including Hayden, would be confirmed
in a straight up-or-down vote...

...if they got out of committee
and onto the floor.

In the judicial branch, the seven
remaining judges on the circuit...

...are totally overworked, and the cases
keep growing. If Hayden withdraws...

You wanna make him the
justice-held-hostage poster boy?

I bet Republicans
on the Judiciary Committee don't.

- How can they block qualified...?
- They blocked nominations since Roe.

A judge has an opinion
on the right to privacy...'s grounds for
killing the nomination.

You think you just waltz in, knock on
a few pipes and fix the plumbing?

- The 6th Circuit...
- It's one lousy appellate court.

Hayden and the eight empty seats
on the circuit epitomize the problem.

- You think it's time to do something?
- Lunatics, I'm surrounded by lunatics.

I'm gonna set up the meeting.

I got 10 bucks says you're banging
your head against the sink.


That's what I figured you'd say,
Mike, but thanks for checking.

- Your friend couldn't help?
- My friend's a Democrat.

No one on House Reform
who knows anything talks to him.

- What do you got?
- Bupkis.

Unless Foy got some of the $2 billion
Bartlet earmarked for AIDS research.

Foy's funding didn't come
from that money.

If this is the president's favoritism,
Dr. Foy should find a new sugar daddy.

- Where's Bentley?
- I tried again.

His assistant promised he'd call
soon as he gets off the floor.

He's not on the floor.
There's no more votes today.

- the field for exploration.

Now, if somebody wants to do a study
on depression in childless lesbians...

... I can 't stop them.

It's Barbara Layton.

And there's Bentley,
standing right next to her.

- zero benefit?

- Get C.J.
- I have a list...

... of 255 projects supported
by the Bartlet administration...

- C.J., it's Toby.
- Tell him I'm already watching.

... $ 1,788,000.

- Dr. Lewis Foy...
- Damn it.

... studied papilloma virus
in commercial sex workers...

She has a list. She made a list.

Haven't lists gone out
with McCarthy and Hula-Hoops?

Haven't these scientists gone through
a review process before getting a dollar?

They knew about Ellie.

Bentley and Layton knew
if they questioned Dr. Foy...

...Ellie would contact us
and we'd come knocking hard and fast.

And I walked right into it.

It's a full attack and Layton won't stop
until she gets a televised investigation.

Layton doesn't care about science?

Didn't care about artistic expression,
then helped dismantle the NEA.

Let's put out a neutral statement
saying the White House has no role... the NIH review process,
refer all comments to NIH.

We might want the fight. We just
gotta find out what it is first. Rena!

Get me a copy of that list!

I'm right here.

Find out everything you can about
the projects and the investigators... the list was put together.

Get on the NIH website,
look for keywords in project titles... "heroin,"
"men who sleep with men."

- They're coming after us.
- Yeah.

We can't put our pieces on the board
until we know the game.

Just don't do anything.
Don't say anything.

We don't want Ellie's name spilling out
because we pressed the wrong button.

We don't respond, it looks like
we have no response.

- I'll need a party line.
- I'll talk to Leo.

- No, no. Not one of the daughters.
- They haven't involved Ellie yet.

What happens if he finds out she's
getting dragged into a political tar pit?

We won't get him to focus
on his breakfast order...

...because he'll be asking for
the launch codes.

What's C.J. think?

We should hang back
with a neutral statement.

Hiding under the covers
isn't gonna work.


Set up a meeting with Toby and Layton
for tomorrow morning.

Let's see if we can't negotiate
our way out.

The meeting's a statement.

Our guys'll think we've caved,
her folks will crow.

She's not sitting down unless
she comes out with a pound of flesh.

That's why I gave you till tomorrow.

- The NSC principals are in the Sit Room.
- Thanks.

I'm sorry, but can we really justify
spending $800,000...

...on "The Biocultural Approach
to the Study...

...of Female Sexual Fantasy
and Genital Arousal"?

How can we afford not to?

The president wonders if you'll join him
at the reception for Congressman Scaia.

You bet.

Mrs. Bartlet, people are talking, and
I was wondering if you could confirm...

Yes, Debbie. The Muppets are coming
to our very own White House.

I had the good fortune of seeing
Judy Garland live at Carnegie Hall...

...but Miss Piggy here,
it's just too much.

- Debbie's a big fan.
- And you're not?

I'm crazy for Muppets.
I'm just trying to act cool.

Ma'am, will Fozzie Bear
be in the house?

Interestingly, Fozzie and Miss Piggy...

...aren't actually part
of the Sesame Street gang.

- They're from The Muppet Show.
- What about Kermit?

He is the only crossover.

Set me a meeting
with the Judiciary chief of staff.

- Lisa Wolfe?
- We're gonna put butts in seats.

- I'm packing the court.
- Because of Eric Hayden.

Because of Eric Hayden,
the 6th Circuit's in crisis...

...because the judicial
nomination process is a mess.

Is this a "do something impossible
to impress the one guy...

...who impresses you
and stole your girl in law school" thing?

He didn't steal my girl.

Pam was cute, but when I saw
she had eyes for Hayden, I bowed out.

Nothing I take more seriously
than getting judges on the federal bench.

How about getting judges
on the Supreme Court?

This is the problem.
It's always about the Supreme Court.

Nine guys getting all the ink.

It's seven guys
and two qualified female jurists.

The Supreme Court sees 80 cases
a year. These guys see close to 20,000.

Circuit courts make 99 percent
of judge-made law.

That is important. You should fix that.
Ryan's still missing, by the way.

What do C.J. and Big Bird
have in common?

This'll be fun. No one's ever made
a joke about me and Big Bird.

Your heads are in Ohio,
your feet are in Florida.

Wouldn't that make us
not so much tall as crooked?


Is this Layton thing gonna stick?

It's too soon to tell.

Hard to imagine
she'll get any kind of traction.

If I had a nickel for every Republican...

...bloviating about
our pansy-ass priorities...

- They do love to bloviate.
- I mean, isn't that what the floor is for?


You want insight into Layton,
Toby's tangled with her.

No, I was just...


- Josh.
- Hello, Lisa.

Let's talk about the 6th Circuit.

Not much to talk about.

Court's got eight empty seats.

- And not a single confirmable nominee.
- Really?

Seems like Eric Hayden's probably good
for 53 yeas on the Senate floor.

That seems unlikely.

You heard he's planning to withdraw?

- No. But it wouldn't surprise me.
- It surprised me.

The public will be shocked if they hear
what the committee's doing to the circuit.

Protecting the most important courts
from being overrun by the Green Party?

The Green Party?

Hayden gave a speech
on gay rights five years ago.

He said the court should
make sodomy laws unconstitutional.

The court just made sodomy laws

Yes. Let me tell you, our base
was thrilled with that decision.

The press is already writing
about the state of the 6th Circuit.

It's time to fix this thing.

It's in both our interests.

Talk more.

- We start with Hayden.
- And the 6th Circuit.

You show good faith, we'll sit down,
knock back a few beers...

...and see what we can do
to fix the greater problem.


If you wanna convince Republicans
on the committee we're starting anew... need new nominees.

Confirm Hayden. We'll discuss it.

- They have to fill some seats eventually.
- I don't think so.

- They can't hold out forever.
- They can hold out for three years.

They can't. For six months, they've left
half the seats on the 6th Circuit empty.

The seats on the 6th Circuit?

How about 15 percent
of the federal bench?

- What?
- A hundred and twenty vacant seats.

A hundred and twenty empty robes
during the last Republican presidency.

Didn't hear Governor Bartlet
complaining then.

Think I like this?

Think I think this is the way
our government should function?

I'm a Republican, and I've spent
every day of the past five years...

...wondering whether judges shouldn't
be appointed by executive decree.

It's a political process.

You wanna fill the 6th Circuit, you've
gotta send us someone we can confirm.

The assistants in Layton's office
were so happy to give me the list...

...I swear I heard a band playing.

So why should we study
female sex workers at truck stops?

Well, what's the purpose of the study?

To improve and protect public health...

...scientists have a responsibility
to study whatever will lead to answers.

- And we have to pay for it?
- Yeah.

- lf conducted ethically and have merit.
- But you said scientists...

"Doesn't approve of HIV being spread
through sexual contact."

"Drug addicts have made
bad personal choices."

One congresswoman doesn't get
to appoint herself God.

- Anything else?
- Yes.

I did a Google search
for these project titles.

The same website keeps coming up.

I'm sorry. So I'm supposed to
raise my kid on $650 a week...

...and shell out for research on safe
injection practices among heroin users?

Yes. You have a kid?

Yeah, I have a little girl.

- The Traditional Values Alliance?
- They represent church groups.

Yeah, some 50,000 of them.

It's the same list.

Get me Mack McCall from the Traditional
Values Alliance on the phone. Now.

Where's my 20 bucks?

How do you feel
about executive decrees?

Love them. I'm making one.
I want my money.

Hold on there. I wanna talk about
recess appointments.

- A recess appointment.
- Not just one, eight of them.

Every vacant seat on the 6th Circuit.

- Fork it over.
- Leo.

The appointments only last nine months.

Then we nominate them again,
we're back to square one.

It's not square one. We increase public
awareness, we reexamine the process.

We have a Whiskey Rebellion
on the floor.

In response,
we circulate a complete bio...

...of every one of our judges
and let the country decide who's right.

If we have a national debate,
it's gotta be on our terms.

Somebody's gonna ask
if it's constitutional.

Justice Warren thought so.

- Earl Warren approved?
- Earl Warren was one.

Along with Brennan and Potter Stewart.

I'll run it up the flagpole.

Here you go.

I don't know. C.J. and Big Bird
are so tall that what?

- You do cartwheels...
- We kick God's chin?

We trip, hit our heads on the Moon?
Do pushups, burn our backs on the Sun?

- And you read The Tall Street Journal.
- Go away.

Dems scheduled special-order speeches
in defense of pure science.

Pro-family groups are coming
to Layton's defense.

A letter signed by 237 members of
the National Academy of Sciences...

...calling the list
scientific McCarthyism...

...and the head of the NIH
just put out a statement.

"I have ordered an immediate review
of all relevant projects. " Great.

There's a whole new Sesame Street
since my girls were little.

Gordon and Susan got married. Maria has
a daughter that's almost grown.

- What about Bob?
- Bob is still there. He looks fantastic.

You have a handsome man
in your doorway.

- Carol?
- He really needed to talk to you.

Hello. I'm Abbey Bartlet.

- Ben Dryer, ma'am.
- Yes, but who are you to our C.J.?

Well, that's an excellent question,
Mrs. Bartlet.

- Would you excuse us a moment?
- Nice to meet you.

Ben, whatever this is,
this isn't a good time.

What...? What does that mean,
you're in?

You. Me.


We haven't seen each other
in six years.

We haven't slept together in 15.

So, what, are we engaged?

I have a daughter, an ex-wife.

I have an ex-wife's mother
that I have to take care of.

What, are we gonna have kids?
We should probably get cracking.

- I didn't...
- Yeah.

- Excuse me. Hi. Hi. Sorry...
- All right.

I just got off with Mack McCall
of the Traditional Values Alliance.

The $2 billion earmarked
for AIDS research is actually...

...a pseudoscientific slush fund
for the president's daughter.

She doesn't work in HIV.
They're kooks.

- With a press conference on national TV.
- Oh, my God.

Where's Ellie?
The press will be all over her.

We've got about 30 minutes
to keep her under wraps.

Ron Butterfield.

- Get me the Washington bureau...
- C.J.

- under heavy fire when members
of the House committee...

- Toby.
- ... began investigations...

... into 255 scientific research projects.

The projects,
all funded with NIH grants...

... were deemed of questionable
scientific value by the critics.

And in a recent turn,
Miss Bartlet was believed to be...

... on the receiving end of $ 2 billion
appropriated to AIDS research.

That money was earmarked last year
by President Bartlet.

Accusations of nepotism
are coming swift from the right...

... but as we see here today,
the events are still unfolding.

Dr. Bartlet is the president's daughter,
a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins...

... where she studies
human papilloma virus, or HPV...

... in Puerto Rican sex workers.

- So is she okay?
- The Secret Service was right there.

How is this possible?! This is my family!
What the hell are you people thinking?!

- Oh, my.
- I'd yell too.

Ellie's off-limits!
Has everyone on my staff...?

How can the Traditional Values Alliance
link AIDS money with what Ellie does?

Aren't AIDS and HPV different areas
of research?

They're both below the waist.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus
that's been linked to cervical cancer.

Just get them the hell in here!

Come on.

- two HPV vaccines.
The Center for Disease Control...

When the NIH was founded,
the idea was simple:

Identify the best research
as defined by scientists themselves.

Now these people,
who are not even scientists...

...have answered all the questions
before any science is done?

Ever seen one of these
grant applications?

We're lucky Einstein
didn't have to fill one out...

...or God knows what E would equal.

So tell me what you're doing.

Right now, I might as well let loose
buzzards in Ellie's apartment...

...for all the good you're doing.

Pretty sure Layton's
known about Ellie...

...but she covered her tracks by
having Bentley call other researchers.

- What do you propose?
- Make a statement, call it what it is.

People who don't like you
using your daughter as a partisan pi?ata.

- I don't want to engage with them.
- We have to fight.

- I'm not saying we shouldn't.
- Public health's at stake.

We're gonna sit back and let moralistic
dogma replace scientific method?

Penicillin, human genetics, Rogaine...

...these were discovered
with no practical objective.

- It's not about that.
- It is.

- That's what's on the table.
- Get Layton over.

I'm not cooperating
with any investigation.

Pull the passes of every
White House reporter who filed on this.

Sir, I can only imagine
how angry you must be...

Damn it!

Ellie's never sought or accepted
public office.

She's not running that lab,
she's a research fellow!

They can take all the shots
they want at me.

These people have to understand:
Attack my family, there's consequences.

Sir, if we punish the congresswoman
or the press, we make it more of a story.

- I think we can discredit Layton.
- How's that?

She got her hit list
from a political action group...

...whose other website is
TheLordHatesHomos. org.

Ellie's never asked for anything. I begged
her to come to my first inaugural ball.

She had some exam, I asked
the professor to reschedule it.

I think she's still mad at me.

I have been very clear:
We won't use them, you can't either.

We never even put them
on a White House Christmas card!


I'm sorry about all of this.


- I didn't support you?
- No, I'm just tired.

Thought I had somewhere to go
other than my office.

- I wore perfume...
- What happened with Ben?

I wrecked it.

- Is that a record?
- Personal best.

- Do you like him?
- Yeah.



- Go fix it.
- But...

It's all I got.

Call Layton's office.
Tell them I'm coming over right now.

- You need something?
- How did Layton get the list?

Russell gonna weigh in
on scientific McCarthyism?

- No, I need to...
- Now's not good.

Thanks, Julie, you rock.

You're all set to see Layton.
They're expecting you any time.

Please don't say "You rock."

Didn't have much luck with
the Judiciary Committee.

- Didn't expect you would.
- The president is considering...

...a number of recess appointments.
- A number?

You and the other nominees
to the 6th Circuit.

It'll be bumpy, but once the public sees
your credentials, we're confident that...

Yeah, you think it'll give the president
a nice lift in the polls?

No. I mean...

I'm sure it can't hurt, but that's...

- Well, I can't be your martyr, Josh.
- I'm not asking...

They didn't confirm me now.
They sure won't in nine months.

You think Georgetown's
gonna wait around?

Come on, I got two kids and my wife,
a mortgage.

- I'm just... I'm just trying...
- You're trying to win.

You know, my first semester
at Harvard... of my students helped
30 retired steelworkers file a suit... action under ERISA.

And they were old men,
just struggling to get by...

...because the mill refused to award
them their federally guaranteed pension.

So six years later,
10 of the plaintiffs have passed on.

The court still hasn't
gotten to their case.

You throw dirt at them,
they throw dirt at you.

It's never gonna stop.

So you're just gonna hide
at Georgetown and complain?

Let's do something!
We're firing a shot here.

Maybe we won't win the war,
but, come on, Hayden... are one of the brightest guys
I have ever known.

You got nine months.

Let's show them what you can do.

- Hey.
- Hey.

Did you know that patents
and copyrights were invented... encourage private patronage
of science and technology?

Didn't work, of course.

Maybe they should have thrown in
a free football phone.

I'm really sorry about today.

Yeah, well, if I'd known I was gonna be
on TV, I would have blow-dried.

There's always been tension
between science and policy.

We used to do terrible
things to you people.

We were never ready to hear
what you had to say.

I know of one guy they were
ready to carve up...

...because he had this silly idea that
the Earth revolved around the Sun.

If this is about scientists having it better
today because there's no Inquisition...

I enjoy talking about Galileo,
and don't you start with me.

It's apocryphal, Dad.
A story for tourists.

If Galileo had muttered "It still moves"
after they made him recant his work...

...they would've killed him on the spot.
And I don't know why I let you do this.

I promised Dr. Foy
I'd have this stuff to him by tonight.

He'll understand.

I hate that he has to.
I don't wanna ask him.

I just wanna go sit in my office
and look at my data.


- I wish you could do that too.
- But I can't.

If you believe in what you're doing,
you have to speak up.

- Our work speaks for itself.
- It's not enough.

Sorry you had the misfortune to be born
into this, but our business is politics.

- Your business.
- This whole thing started...

...because I earmarked $2 billion
of the federal science budget...

...for HIV-AIDS research.
- What does that...?

Just because you like
what I earmarked...

...doesn't mean I didn't politicize
science, just like Layton's trying to do.

This is the real world.

My enemies will never
stop going after you.

But if Dr. Foy is investigated,
you need to be right by his side.

- C.J. can help you with a statement.
- No.

When Galileo said "Eppur si muove"... meant he would continue
to study and publish...

I get nosebleeds...

He had to write in secret
under house arrest.

I couldn't stand up
to a damn book report.

It's easy for Zoey and Liz.
You and Mom love the attention.

Science can't wall itself off
from controversy... has to live by it!

It's not me, Dad.

It's not.

I mean, it's a red-banner day,
and I'm just happy I'm here to celebrate.

I knew that.

- Toby. Hi.
- Congresswoman.

- Thanks for seeing me.
- I'm sorry about this mess.

One of my assistants
just had her thesis published.


Nobody wants to blow up
the NIH here.

I promise I won't even mention
the supercollider.

Oh, you guys pretty much
took care of that one already.

I hope you will convey
my deepest sympathy...

...that the president's daughter
has been dragged into this.

I'll do that.
He'll be delighted to hear...

...that we won't be seeing Ellie
in your fundraising materials.

Wasn't my decision
for her to work in a lab...

...doing questionable research
on Uncle Sam's dime.

And you decide what's questionable?

It's my job.

I'm on the authorizing committee
for that money.

- Nothing wrong with healthy scrutiny.
- Healthy scrutiny. Not subjective attack.

Your list isn't about priorities.

It's about imposing ideology
and religious doctrine...

...on the awarding of
individual scientific grants.

It's the taxpayers' money.

Your disapproval
of high-risk behavior... justification for stifling
the research to reduce it?

I don't have a problem with
homosexuals or injection-drug users...

...but there is only one pie.

And we're talking about spending
$2 billion of it...

...on the small percentage
of the population with HIV...

...which means cutting funding
for Alzheimer's, muscular dystrophy...

...and diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
- Oh, good, the MS card.

This doesn't have to be
one or the other.

One in eight women
will get breast cancer.

And at least 15 percent
of those aren't gonna live...

...five years after the diagnosis.

Every dollar you spend on studies
of Puerto Rican sex workers... one you take away
from cancer centers and clinical tests.

You don't know that. You don't know
where undirected research will lead.

You're not a scientist...

...and neither are the members
of the Traditional Values Alliance.

What are you doing
in bed with these people?

- I'm not.
- I spoke with Mack McCall.

Oh, McCall will take credit for anything
that gets his name in the paper.

You got your list from
the Traditional Values Alliance.

I didn't.

Your lists are identical.

There's a lot of people
who care about this issue.

A lot of prominent people,
on both sides of the aisle.

You'd be surprised, Toby.

It was nice seeing you again.

I got Muppets in two, but l...

Layton claims she didn't get her list
from the Traditional Values Alliance.

She didn't. Rena?

When I first checked Dr. Foy's funding,
it said he had $ 14 more this year.

Right. The trash can.

When Layton's list came out,
the extra $ 14 wasn't there.

There were other discrepancies
between the lists...

...but they were so small,
I figured human error.

So Layton's list is up to date
and the TVA's list isn't?

Makes sense. It's a public website,
probably not updated regularly.

But the 14 bucks kept bugging me... I checked Layton's list
against our internal, NIH-generated...

- Very unpublic list and...
- And they're the same.

Yeah. See? No trash can.

Our list was out two weeks ago.
She couldn't get that info unless...

Unless whoever put this list together
works inside the administration.

At first I thought it was
Stephen James from HHS...

...because I know he hates
the president.

And then I thought it was the
passive-aggressive recycling guy and...

You know who it is.


I have new pages.

This is not what we agreed on.

I think the first lady had some
strong ideas about her character.

I'll catch up.

If I were the vice president's
chief of staff...

...gearing up for the next campaign...

...I might be doing some thinking
about our own weaknesses.

Trying to imagine how our opposition
might be viewing us...

...with regards to, say,
health-care spending priorities.

It was for my eyes only.
No one here knew about it except me.

Yeah, well, the experiment
got out of the lab, huh?

- You didn't do opposition research?
- That's what vaults are for.

I have no idea how it got
to the congresswoman.

I came to talk to you about it,
but you threw me out.

Maybe if you started
the conversation by saying:

"I just outed the president's daughter
on national TV."

- That would've gotten my attention.
- So you must be happy.

Maybe if I had stuck around,
I wouldn't be committing career suicide.

I don't give a damn if you left
opposition research in a fax.

Did you or did you not willfully
target the president's daughter?

Of course not.

I'll take you at your word.
This was a mistake.

Whatever the hell else you wanna
do about it is your own business.

Thank you.

- I never do this. I'm a little nervous.
- Don't be silly. You have beautiful hair.

Oh, my God, that's so sweet.
I actually need to get it cut, but thanks.

Is everything okay?

It's just, I thought, well,
Kermit was gonna be here...

...but, you know, it's no big deal.

I didn't know you studied HPV.

- Yeah.
- My sister died of cervical cancer.

- I'm so sorry.
- She was 37.

It was really fast. We didn't know.
Nobody knew it was connected to HPV.

- Yeah.
- I read there's a vaccine coming.

That's what we've been working on.

Work harder.

Boy. Going to the doctor is
not so bad after all.

That tickles.

Okay. And one, two, three.

Boy, that was fun. Do the other one.

Elmo, it's time for your immunization.
I'm gonna have to give you an injection.

But, Mrs. Dr. Abbey First Lady Doctor,
will it hurt Elmo?

Well, it might hurt just a little tiny bit.
But it's very important.

Wait a minute. Didn't you give up
your medical license?

Elmo, you did not...
You didn't say that!

Do you have a diploma
you could show Elmo?

Can Elmo be frank? This laughing
is not filling Elmo with confidence.

- Oh, Elmo, you... You...
- Stop it!


Let me know
if there's anything I can do.

Hayden's onboard.

- Hayden?
- I got him.

- He called Georgetown...
- We have to put that on hold.

We lost a Supreme Court justice.

- Lost?
- Dead.

Justice Ashland's dead?

Justice Brady. Owen Brady.
Heart attack.

What was he, 45?


Justice Brady.

The Republicans will go nuts.
I just saw him.

Leo. You've got the head of the Senate
Judiciary Committee on line three.

I'll take it.

- That's it. Was that so bad?
- Well, it hurt, but just a little.

- You did it!
- Oh, Elmo did it.

- You were so brave!
- Oh, Elmo, you are my hero!

Oh, thanks.
Oh, and thank you for making Elmo...

You did well.

If there's any kind of firestorm,
I promise I'll handle it.

I know.

Your handsome man is back.

- first lady doctor.
- Thank you. That's the nicest thing...

Thank you for coming back.

Thank you for calling.

C.J., can you help me with something?

Yeah. Wait, wait,
we can do it together. Elmo...

- He in there?
- Go on in.

- What can I do for you, Will?
- We have to talk about the NIH list.

I told them I'm the only one
who's seen it.

I thought the research
would be useful, a good idea.

It was a good idea.

I heard you played bad cop/bad cop
with the entire staff...

...trying to find out
who leaked it to Layton.

Doesn't one of your wife's charities
do something with breast cancer?

The National Foundation.

Congresswoman Layton's on the board
of that foundation, isn't she?

- What's your point?
- There may be speculation...

My wife feels strongly
about this work.

Is it possible she shared her
information with Barbara Layton?

Barb? Yeah. That's possible.

You're gonna need to
tell the president, sir.

- Am I?
- It's going to come out, sir.

- The list is all over town.
- Well, maybe that's not so bad.

It wasn't my plan,
but it might be a happy accident.

Just the thing we need to put
a little distance between us and them.

I wouldn't worry about it.

I really wouldn't.

That'll be all.

Yes, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

While money spent studying
the brains of PCP users...

...might appear to be taxpayer waste...

...this research led directly
to the discovery of the NMDA receptor.

Science cannot exist in a vacuum.

By nature, it's an open enterprise
strengthened by public scrutiny.

Openness is the basis of a free society.

But when science is attacked
on ideological grounds...

...its integrity and usefulness
are threatened.

Independent, peer-review research
is the cornerstone of science in America.

It shouldn 't be
about the left or the right...

... but what works to keep people
safe and healthy.

I believe all Americans,
and all people everywhere...

... no matter who they are
or how they live...

... deserve research
to improve their lives.

Thomas Jefferson said:

"We must not be afraid to follow
the truth, wherever it may lead. "

Scientific truth ennobles us.

It tells us who we are, where we've
been and where we're going.

I believe the truth will only be found
when all scientists are free to pursue it.

Thank you.