Saturday, January 21, 2006

Jed Bartlet for Prime Minister!

Since it's now the weekend before the election, and with all the debate there has been around issues like same sex marriage and abortion, I thought I'd share this little rant by Martin Sheen's character President Jed Bartlet from the second season of The West Wing.

Bartlett is speaking to a reception for talk radio hosts in the White House when he spots a radio psychologist, Dr. Jenna Jacobs, and decides to ask her a few questions about the views she espouses on her show. The rant is based on a real-life letter sent to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, found here. Bartlett's rant was arhived here.

Anyone else miss Aaron Sorkin?

BARTLET: It’s a good idea to be reminded of the awesome impact, the awesome impact… I’m sorry. You’re Dr. Jenna Jacobs, right?

JACOBS: (obviously pleased to be recognized): Yes, sir!

BARTLET: It’s good to have you here.

JACOBS: Thank you!

BARTLET: … the awesome impact of the airwaves, and how that translates into the furthering of our national discussions, but obviously also how it can … how it can … Forgive me, Dr. Jacobs. Are you an M.D.?



JACOBS: Yes, sir.

BARTLET: In psychology?

JACOBS: No, sir.

BARTLET: Theology?


BARTLET: Social work?

JACOBS: I have a Ph.D. in English Literature.

BARTLET: I’m asking ‘cause on your show people call in for advice – and you go by the name Dr. Jacobs on your show – and I didn’t know if maybe your listeners were confused by that and assumed you had advanced training in psychology, theology or health care.

JACOBS: I don’t believe they are confused, no, sir.

BARTLET: I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an “abomination!”

JACOBS: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.

BARTLET: Yes it does. Leviticus!

JACOBS: 18:22.

BARTLET: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I wanted to sell my youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown Sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?

(Bartlet only waits a second for a response, then plunges on.)

BARTLET: While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGary, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Or is it okay to call the police?

(Bartlet barely pauses to take a breath.)

BARTLET: Here’s one that’s really important, because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you?

(The camera pushes in on the president.)

One last thing. While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building when the president stands, nobody sits.

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EX-NDIP said...

Maybe the Libs could change their name to the Hollywood Party . . . then they would have all the excuses they need to be the self-declared leader of the Pretend World.

A BCer in Toronto said...

I have no excuses for Aaron Sorkin leaving the show ex-ndip. I just know it hasn't been the same since.

CathiefromCanada said...

Excellent blogging -- I loved that scene and I only wish someone would slap down the real anti-gay Christian Right bigots this way