Fake politics are less depressing than the real thing

Tonight's West Wing (6.18: La Palabra) teaches us the very useful lesson that building dramatic tension where the payoff is an out of left field deus ex machina leads to unsatisfied viewers. It was pretty predictable that once Donna was out of Josh's shadow she'd demonstrate a good deal of strength as a character, but it's still nice to see. Other than Donna as a strong person with a good grasp on the issues, she's in some ways too strait-laced now. Though her dressing down of the chicken two weeks ago was good. I'm not really clear on what her goals are besides from demonstrating her independent worth, though maybe that's enough.

What the show needs now is for Santos to do something that he thinks is right morally but will hurt him politically and have it actually hurt him politically. So far, every political risk he takes to go with what he thinks is right has paid off. That's boring. Same general idea, but going in the opposite direction, one of the campaigns should do something unambiguously unethical to the other campaign, and it should work.

Finally, had Santos better hold it against Josh that Josh lost confidence in the campaign's chances to succeed.

Oh, and are Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Martin Sheen and the rest of the regulars happy working half schedules?