With four days to go before a possible U.S. default, and a debt ceiling compromise still stuck in the legislative Bermuda Triangle, these are undoubtedly trying times for President Obama. Does he invoke the 14th amendment and raise the debt limit on his own? Or should he take a deal--any deal--just to prevent an economic catastrophe?
Maybe it's time to check in with Lisa Simpson, the only president, real or fictional, that's held office during a U.S. default.
It happened in the show's eleventh season, in a flash-forward episode called "Bart To The Future," when a casino bouncer shows Bart a vision of his 2028 self, ostensibly to get him to stop sneaking around in carrying cases meant for ventriloquist dummies. While Bart's a shiftless beach bum, Lisa's just been sworn in as "the first straight female President of the United States." She has an ambitious agenda, including plans to build the world's largest bookmobile, which she can't pursue because, as an aide explains to her, the country "inherited quite the budget crunch from President Trump." America has already given creditor nations "the purple mountains majesty and the shores of Tripoli." Now they creditors are coming for the rest. (Tragically, the full episode isn't online, nor are there any high quality clips, which might have something to do with Entertainment Weekly once deeming it the worst episode in Simpsons history. Obviously, we disagree. In the meantime, here's a bootleg six-minute clip to give you a flavor.)