This Week’s Cartoon: “The Latest Debt Ceiling Demands”

Debt Ceiling cartoonUgh, what more can I say. This whole thing reminds me more and more of Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine every day. Manufacture a crisis, use the ensuing sense of panic to impose draconian cuts to programs people desperately need, and voila! Utopia at last. Never mind that Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times, and Dubya 7, or that Clinton balanced the budget, or that the vast bulk of our current deficit was formed under Bush. The hypocrisy is simply astounding.

The m&m’s in the first panel are, of course, a reference to Van Halen’s infamous contract rider stipulating that the brown ones be removed. David Lee Roth has explained that the point was not to be a prima donna, but to test to see if stage crews had read the contract carefully. I love this quote:

I came backstage. I found some brown M&M’s, I went into full Shakespearean ‘What is this before me?”… you know, with the skull in one hand… and promptly trashed the dressing room. Dumped the buffet, kicked a hole in the door, twelve thousand dollars’ worth of fun.”

I decided to make the m&m’s that Republicans object to the green ones, since, you know, they hate anything green.


  • Jape

    Also, the fact that the green ones make you horny, and the only other thing right-wingers hate more than deficits is sex.

  • Michael Welle

    I love it how the tea party is so “concerned” about our national debt. You never heard a damn thing from them when Bush was racking up $6 trillion dollar deficits for Iraq and tax cuts for the rich. Why is it so hard for people to get this? BTW, Macbeth was the one who said “Is this a dagger which I see before me?” It was Hamlet who was holding the skull.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Jape – I’d forgotten about that particular effect of the green ones!

    Michael – Clearly David Lee Roth needs to bone up on his Shakespeare.

  • http://n/a Martin

    Green – the right wingers like money…
    They might demand only red M & M’s. Red for passion and for the red states…

  • Jen Sorensen

    Martin – You’re right , money is definitely an exception in the green department.

  • Michael Welle

    I haven’t read “Shock Doctrine”, but the Republicans remind me of Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” (1980) when he tries to blame Shelley Duvall for everything. Whenever the Republicans try to blame Obama for this mess I keep saying: “Wendy, I have let you f— up my life so far, but I am not gonna let you f— this up!” Blame the victim.

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.