You’re a son-of-a-bitch, You know that? She bought her first new car and You hit her with a drunk driver. What, was that supposed to be funny? “You can’t conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” says Graham Greene. I don’t know whose ass he was kissing there ‘cause I think You’re just vindictive.
What was Josh Lyman? A warning shot? That was my son. What did I ever do to Yours except praise His glory and praise His name? There’s a tropical storm that’s gaining speed and power. They say we haven’t had a storm this bad since You took out that tender ship of mine in the north Atlantic last year, 68 crew. Do You know what a tender ship does? Fixes the other ships. Doesn’t even carry guns, just goes around, fixes the other ships and delivers the mail, that’s all it can do. Gratias Tibi ago, domine.
Yes, I lied. It was a sin. I’ve committed many sins. Have I displeased You, You feckless thug? Three point eight million new jobs, that wasn’t good? Bailed out Mexico, increased foreign trade, 30 million new acres of land for conservation, put Mendoza on the bench, we’re not fighting a war, I’ve raised three children… that’s not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? Haec credam a deo pio? A deo iusto? A deo scito? Cruciatus in crucem! Tuus in terra servus nuntius fui officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem!
- President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet, The West Wing 2x22 - Two Cathedrals [x]
11 years on, this scene hasn’t lost any of its power. 11 years on, and I think it moves me more at 27 than it did at 16. I don’t even know that much about the world now, but I knew even less then.
And the thing about it isn’t that Jed Bartlet’s a perfect man, angry, railing loudly about how he did everything right. It’s that Jed Bartlet is an imperfect man, who knows how imperfect he, this job, and the world is, but who’s tried and is trying his best anyway. And maybe this God he loves so much could try meeting him halfway for a change.
And Martin just sounds so tired.
11 years on, there’s a lot that’s aged about The West Wing. But this scene never will.