?Grass Roots? (post-ep to "The Stackhouse Filibuster")
Disclaimers: Not mine, never have been, just borrowing.
Additional Spoilers: "Somebody's Going To Emergency, Somebody's Going To Jail"

I am so impressed.

Well, not really impressed.

She kicked my ass.

This nineteen year old intern kicked my ass. She knew her policy and I didn't, and I got myself used as a floor-wiping tool. Honestly, what is it with women kicking my ass on policy matters?

Nonetheless, I am impressed. I meant what I told her. When she gets out of school she should see me for a job. *Not* the other way around, as she put it, but I would love to have someone like that work for me.

It's so rare to see such political ambition in someone so young. Though I suppose nineteen really isn't that young nowadays. I mean, what with fourteen year olds shooting up their schools and all, I'm sure nineteen year olds have the capacity to do amazing amounts of good, or the capacity to do limitless evil. I wish I still understood nineteen year olds like I used to.

One thing I understand, though – the feeling of not being listened to. I'm the White House baby. I've been used to that for a while. Everyone tries to protect me, or tried to protect me in their own small ways. I've been politically screwed more times than I can remember, up to and including Toby's little drop-in. It's not fair, but neither is politics. It happens to everyone. As much as I've tried not to let it affect me, I've grown cynical.

In that way I can empathize with her. I was a little embarrassed at first, but after I talked to C.J. I thought about it and I'm really not anymore. I'm intrigued by the wealth of political passion I've found. She looked at me with a very familiar mien. It's that feeling of being ignored; of being told that you don't know what you're talking about. So on second thought I'm proud of myself for giving her that little bit. Someone does care what you think. Someone finds your opinion valuable. It's politics at work.

I have to admit that I felt a little self-righteous taking those reports. It's like I told Josh. I'm the housekeeper. I decide what stays and goes, and I've felt fairly secure in that right. I thought I was secure in my judgment of what stayed and what went. And Winifred the intern changed all that.

I've had the carpet yanked out from under me in the past few weeks. My dad. Daniel Gault. Even the map of the world, or so C.J. tells me. Nothing's what you think it is anymore. And now another thing comes along that reminds me how totally out of touch one can become if you're not careful. It blows my mind. I could just cry sometimes, I swear I could.

She was so fiery. Right to my face, she called me an idiot. She told me I didn't know what I was talking about. That's impressive. I'm not sure I would have had the guts to do that to a White House senior staffer when I was nineteen. It makes a point that she's so intense. I could see it in her eyes right there; she's going to be Josh when she grows up. Fiery, dedicated, passionate, a wonderful person to have on your team, and a large pain in the ass. But she will be a popular pain in the ass because she'll be respected.

Oh, God, it just hit me. Can the world *handle* two Joshes?

The thing is that her logic makes so much sense. I mean, who wants to be a trash collector in the worst of times? Step by step, she went from the ground up. Grass roots politics at its finest. Better economy means more choices for jobs. Which means less people stuck being garbage men. Which means we're in a big smelly predicament if there's a shortage of sanitation workers.

Well, hell. It's like I wrote in the email to the jackass – I mean, my father. Ex ore infantium. Out of the mouths of babes come the damnedest fabrications. And yet she's sort of given me a new thing to think about. Instead of musing on my dad, or the filibuster, or Hoynes – who's creeping us all out, by the way – I can think about how many more Winifreds there are in our schools, and in our intern programs. It's a nice picture.

So, it's like I told C.J. I did *not* get spanked. I got an interesting lecture on a new perspective. Ex ore infantium. Grass roots politics. They're both good places to start.



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