“Mr. Rapp!” the jowly senator from Vermont jumped in, “You will watch your tongue! This is the United States Senate.”
“I’m well aware of where I am, sir. This is where we not only say it’s perfectly okay for a doctor to kill a full-term baby, but we think taxpayers should help pay for it.” Rapp shot daggers at Ogden. “And you call me a barbarian.”
“Mr. Rapp,” Ogden said, “for the last time we are not here to discuss abortion.”
“I’m well aware of that, Senator. We’re here to talk about your moral outrage over what I have allegedly done. And I’m merely trying to point out the hypocrisy that this esteemed body is so famous for.” Rapp walked back to the table.
WHERE the hell did you come up with that?” Nash asked as soon as they were clear of the committee room. Kennedy was still inside having a private word with a few of the senators.
Rapp grinned, thought of Lonsdale’s note, and said, “Just popped into my head.”
“It was brilliant. I mean frickin’ brilliant. I’ve never seen Ogden that frustrated.”
“Yeah, well she opened the door pretty wide for me.”
“I think you actually got her to reconsider.”
“I doubt it.” Rapp shook his head. “She’ll make it about me. She’d rather shoot the messenger than confront her hypocrisy.”
“Well, there were sixteen other senators in there who all seemed to be agreeing with you.”
Rapp laughed. “Maybe fourteen or fifteen at the most. Probably enough to kill this thing before it gets legs, but she’ll leak it to the press and all of her buddies at A
mnesty International and the ACLU. There’s no shortage of attorneys in this town who wouldn’t jump at the chance to try to drag our asses into court.”
They stopped to wait for Kennedy. “Yeah, but at least we’ll get political cover from the committee.”
“Probably, and we’ll have the president on our side.”
Nash waited for a couple of staffers to walk past and then said in a conspiratorial voice, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the president would just slip us a couple of blanket pardons?”
Rapp laughed. Nash the martyr appeared to be on break.
“We could tuck them away in Irene’s safe for a nice rainy day. No one would have to know.”
Rapp thought of their next meeting. “You should ask him when we get to the White House. I jumped on the grenade in there,” Rapp jerked his head back toward the committee room, “you handle the next one.”
Nash thought about it for a while and said, “Maybe I will.”
“Don’t hold your breath. I’ve been waiting to get one for years.”
Kennedy joined them in the hallway, and as she pulled up, she shot Rapp a look and said, “That was interesting.”
“Sure was,” Nash said.
“I think we can count on the committee dropping the issue.”
“What about Ogden?” Rapp asked. “Who cares,” Nash said. “You destroyed her.”
“She can still make trouble for us,” Kennedy warned.
“Yeah . . . she’ll be back to fight another day,” Rapp said. “She has to. Either that or admit she’s wrong, and she’s been drinking the Kool-Aid for way too long to admit that.”
“You were lucky in there,” Kennedy said.
“Lucky?” Nash scoffed.