Last Monday, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) sent out the following Tweet --
Yes, to clarify, this is from an actual United States senator. One who's even been occasionally mentioned as a Republican vice-presidential -- or even presidential -- candidate. Even if you can't recollect anything about him. Though this Tweet explains why not.
Just to be clear, this isn't about liking or not liking the Affordable Care Act. If you hate the law, well....so be it, but that's another debate. This is about not even bizarre logic, but zero logic.
What Mr. Thune is seemingly trying to say here is that (depending on the upcoming Supreme Court ruling) because six million people might lose their critically important health care subsidies -- subsidies which they specifically get from the government through the ACA -- then that same ACA is therefore a bad thing because it gives them that very same, critically important health care subsidy.
Seriously. That's what he's saying. This is like telling someone, "Because you might lose that new car I gave you last year that let's you get to work and earn income to pay your bills and live, it was a bad thing that I gave you that new car."
It's telling a child, "You might break that toy I gave you last Christmas, which you play with every day and love, so I should never have given you the toy."
Actually, it's worse than that. Bizarrely, it's much worse. Because the very reason there is a risk of these six million people losing the subsidies to the health care coverage (which Sen. Thune bemoans) is because people just like John Thune himself have been fighting to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and it's these very same people on the far right who have taken it to court in order to gut it. This is known as the Lizzie Borden Defense. Killing your parents and begging the court to be lenient because you're an orphan.
Sen. John Thune has painted himself -- and all those who support him and his argument -- into a damned if you do, damned if your don't corner. Either he supports the Affordable Care Act and doesn't want those six million people to lose their health care subsidies -- or he doesn't support the ACA and is okay with the six million people losing their health care subsidies.
The bottom line here, though, is not what anyone feels about the Affordable Care Act. That's between everyone and their personal God. The issue is a mind-numblingly, head-exploding idiotic comment from a sitting United States Senator that something is a Bad Thing specifically because it's So Good and would be terrible if he took it away from you.
In related news, there are completely unsubstantiated guesses that Sen. Thune's staff right now is restricting his access to sending out Tweets.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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