SCENES FROM A SHOWDOWN
BY STEVE BRODNER

The great debt-ceiling battle of 2011 captivated Washington, alarmed the world and annoyed the public. But why did it happen at all? Artist and illustrator Steve Brodner takes inspiration from The Washington Post's reporting to tell the story of this summer's standoff. It's a tale of patient planning, unmet expectations and political gamesmanship -- with the American economy hanging in the balance.
Start »

(( Click to view scenes ))

1. A COMEBACK?
In defeat, "Young Guns" aim for 2010

2. SEARCH PARTY
The GOP looks for a few good candidates

3. RALLYING CRY
The "debt limit" becomes a strategy

4. WARM UP
Round one averts a shutdown

5. MIDDLE MAN
Boehner, between Obama and base

6. BITTERSWEET
Tea Party wins, but doesn't like it

SCENES FROM A SHOWDOWN BY STEVE BRODNER

Related coverage

Is compromise overrated?

Politicians believe that political independents crave compromise. But new polling suggests otherwise.


Debt deal fails to soothe foreign critics

Countries that have lent trillions of dollars to the U.S. are reacting to news of a debt deal with skepticism, if not outright disdain.


Growth, not cuts

OPINIONS | An improved economy is the best way to lower debt.


Post analysis: Debt ceiling crisis averted

VIDEO | The Washington Post's Ezra Klein talks about how the GOP and Democrats came to an agreement despite contentious rhetoric on both sides of the debt ceiling debate and how the United States was able to avoid default.


What would Jesus cut?

OPINIONS | Praying to the same God, but different economists.