Pope Francis has been known to go out of his way to humble himself before the ill and homeless, and take the time to bless those who need it most. So, The Onion’s use of the aging and crumbling roads and bridges, mapped onto the image of the sick needing to be healed, pairs perfectly with the character of the humble Francis who has been ridiculed for his surprising decisions as Pope. For more satire on the country’s aging infrastructure, see John Oliver‘s excellent send up from earlier this year.
Pope Francis recently referred to capitalism as the “dung of the devil,” and based on the rampant inequality plaguing America, it’s easy for many to agree with him. However, it’s impossible for even the starkest critics to deny there are some benefits to the free market. With the use of an ironic portrayal of a known public figure, this article plays on the idea that as much as people, represented here by the Pope, want to shout down the results of a laissez-faire economy, it’s hard not to enjoy the perks of living in a capitalist society in which a wide variety of options is made available to the consumer.
After years of shouting down social programs, and their potential recipients, in favor of tax breaks for the wealthy, congressional lawmakers were surely nervous about meeting a man who represented everything they were trying to ignore. This article satirizes members of Congress by acknowledging the simple truth of their record as lawmakers, then portraying that record as the subject of a candid scene that, based on the known character of Congress and the unfortunate truth of such a possible scene, the reader would have no reason to disbelieve.