This week’s cartoon: “Post-Debt Ceiling Ultimatums”

In the midst of all the hand-wringing over deficits, it seems no one is bringing up the simple fact that the deficit will disappear if Congress does NOTHING. The entire debate is a crock of simmering crap, a thinly-veiled excuse for Republicans who don’t give a damn about deficits to gut social programs. It’s straight out of the GOP playbook. Run up massive deficits to starve the beast (see: Reagan, Bush Jr.), then squawk bloody murder when a Democrat is in charge, pinning the blame on them and forcing the Dem to clean up the mess (see: Clinton, Obama, Mark Warner as governor of Virginia). And no matter how irresponsible the Republicans are, or how cautious Dems are budget-wise, the grand narrative never changes. Dems are always characterized as big spenders, Repubs as pillars of fiscal probity. And when Dems point to loopholes like the private jet tax break, the Republicans’ talking point is: “That’s small potatoes. It would hardly make a dent in the deficit.” Well, if it’s no big deal, then why threaten to blow up the whole economy over it? And if minor expenses don’t matter, why threaten to defund NPR over piddling chump change?  These people are unserious frauds concerned only with dismantling the New Deal, and the media should treat them as such. Anyone — and any cartoonist — who takes these self-proclaimed “deficit hawks” at face value (especially that smug, dead-eyed, know-nothing doucheswizzle Paul Ryan) is doing a gross disservice to the public and to democracy itself.


  • Matt

    En fuego!
    How about a permalink to this post?

  • Jen Sorensen

    Do you mean a permalink from the cartoon page on my site? Or from Daily Kos? Perhaps I should spread my rant around a bit more…

  • Matt

    The rant for sure. Tell it like it is!

  • Michael Fish, Canada

    Actually these Anti-Tax Republicans are Anarchists and should be so named and treated. They throw two main types of bombs: Big Lies and Very Large Financial Crimes. They do more damage than the dynamite kind. They have been doing great damage since the Reagan years. They should be attacked with the same fervour that they show. The anarchists were greatly feared in the earlier years of the twentieth century and the suspicion of Anarchist sympathies was usually a ticket for serious exclusion from the rest of society.

  • stevej

    The absolute best summary of the situation I’ve read or heard or gleaned from scattering chicken bones and entrails!

  • stevej

    However, I’m curious as to the origins of “doucheswizzle.” Not even Urban Dictionary can give me a definition on that one.

  • Michael Fish, Canada

    How about a cartoon on ALEC – EH ? Your work is very good.

  • Bill

    Fish, would you leave anarchists out of it? Anarchists are opposed to government violence, while republicans are in love with government violence. Republicans are mostly opposed to any use of goevrnment that helps, rather than punishes or hurts people. But they love prisons, the army, etc., which are the things to which anarchists are most opposed. That anyone should have to explain this very basic difference is deeply depressing. It’s like having to explain that even though gasoline and water will both make you wet, one will cause you to catch fire and the other will just make you have to change clothes.

  • Roger Bloyce

    There’s Daumier, Nast, Herblock, Levine, Brodner, Tomorrow, and Sorensen. Your recent stuff is just brilliant and you should be all over the mass media. They do have their moral standards, though, and it’s not likely they’ll stop groveling for dollars just to print a bit of the truth.

  • Martin

    Re this fragment “These people are unserious frauds concerned only with dismantling the New Deal, and the media should treat them as such.” I see the problem in a more paranoid way, as part of a planned assault by moneyed interests on government. Government is a threat to capitalism, as I imagine the reasoning goes, and government must be controlled so that it is as little a threat as possible. Investing in media is part of the plan. Thus, investing in think tanks and related organizations (Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, etc. ad nauseam) that churn out biased white papers, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, Swft-boat style documentaries, etc. is part of the plan. The mass of crap created doesn’t even have to convince people that moneyed interests should get more breaks. All it has to do is muddy the waters — by printing slanting pieces (see attacks on climate researchers), by requiring “fair and balanced coverage ,” by complaining loudly when opposition pieces are aired, etc. The beauty of this is that even when people see what is going on, they are discouraged by the inability to stop it, and are somewhat apt to become apathetic about participating in government. Thus, they vote less and donate less often. Investing at the national, state, and local political levels in politicians is part of the plan. This has really paid off in the gerrymandering gains in many states. Moneyed interests can buy up local- and state-level folks for a fraction of the cost. The state-level folks set up favorablly-shaped Congressional districts which all but guarantee victory in Congressional elections. Both sides have done this, but the party with more donations coming in has the advantage. Another part of the plan is to attempt to control which people can become judges. The dilatory blocking of Obama’s nominees for judgeships by Republicans has been covered some in the press.

    There’s a quote by former California State Treasurer Jesse Unruh that said “If you can’t eat their [lobbyists'] food, drink their booze, screw their women and then vote against them, you have no business being up here.” –

    I wishj more politicians felt that way.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Martin – I agree fully that it goes beyond just wanting to dismantle the New Deal. I was speaking more narrowly about the debt ceiling and what they’re trying to accomplish in the negotiations. It’s all about dismantling what little safety net we have, and also destroying Obama’s presidency at any cost.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.