Anyone who lived through the great debt-limit showdown of 2011 gets a pain deep in his gut when contemplating what’s next. Two years ago, Republicans refused to raise the debt limit unless they got concessions like spending cuts, spending caps, and a strict balanced budget amendment. Two years ago, Democrats negotiated, then walked away. An impasse that made everyone look like idiots ended with a compromise that made them look like … well, idiots. A select committee—nicknamed “the supercommittee”—was empowered to stop the next crisis.
That plan did not work.
Washington is now careening into another fight over the debt limit, with Republicans and Democrats basically at their old battle stations. The deficit’s shrinking, so Republicans talk less about debt than about delaying or defunding Obamacare. President Obama was re-elected, so Democrats are less fearful than they were in 2011. Otherwise, this showdown is playing out precisely the way it did last time.
So let’s make a game of it. The bingo card below will let you check off 24 (of 32) of the various clichés, events, threats, and failures that inevitably will define Debt Limit II. (Click at the bottom of the board to shuffle the spaces and generate multiple boards to play against your friends.)
Boehner "demands" photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Obama on phone photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed. Obama pointing photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque. National debt sign photo by REUTERS/Allison Joyce. Club for Growth logo courtesy of Club for Growth. Harry Reid photo by REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana. Eric Kantor photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images. Justin Amash photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque. Obama TV address photo by REUTERS/Evan Vucci/POOL. Tom Cole photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images. White House photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Chuck Schumer photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed. Obama "Balanced plan" photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque. Rand Paul photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque. Bernie Sanders photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images. Boehner pointing photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. CPI photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call. Jack Lew photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque. Joe Biden photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed. U.S. Chamber of Commerce/Wikimedia Commons. Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call. Thomas Friedman photo by REUTERS/Lucas Jackson. KeystoneXL photo by Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post. Calendar photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto. Tea Party protest photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images. Boehner "weak leader" photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. "Defund Obamacare" photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Boehner "rejects" photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Obama "goes outside DC" photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed. Obama "White house threatens veto" photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images. Tweet photo illustration by Slate, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.