John Thune breaks the Internet with insane Obamacare argument

Yesterday, Senator John Thune (R – Reaganland) distilled the Republican argument in King v Burwell, the Supreme Court case that could wipe out Obamacare subsidies for over 6 million Americans due to a typo in the bill, to its purest form: “I know you are, but what am I?”

In a tweet that was seemingly memetically generated in order to grate his nails across the chalkboard that is political Twitter as loudly as possible, Thune argued that if the Supreme Court invalidates federal insurance subsidies for consumers whose states did not set up their own health insurance exchanges, it will be President Obama’s fault for signing a bill that covered those consumers in the first place:

On a scale from one to trolling, that tweet is straight out of Lord of the Rings. Thune is basically saying that if the good parts of Obamacare are overturned, it will prove that Obamacare is bad.

The Internet yesterday (image via Imgur

The only reasonable reaction to Thune’s tweet (image via Imgur

Of course, the Republican-controlled Congress could step in at any time and pass a bill to fix the drafting error in Obamacare, which would render this whole Supreme Court case moot and guarantee that no one loses their subsidies. But they won’t, because that would mean that journalists could write articles that put the words “Republican,” “vote for” and “Obamacare” in the same sentence, which could then be used in ads run by primary opponents.

All of this underscores a point that Chris Trejbal made late last week: No matter what happens in King v Burwell, Republicans lose. If the court rules that the subsidies are okay, in keeping with the clear intent of the bill, then Republicans will have brought a frivolous lawsuit that put 6 million Americans at risk of losing their health coverage. If the court invalidates the subsidies, then Republicans will have actually taken away health coverage from 6 million Americans with absolutely no fallback option to restore them. That they’re field-testing arguments that not only defy logic, but flip logic the bird and insult its mother, only makes that all the more clear.

That didn’t stop Twitter from taking Thune’s argument and running with it:

Even conservative lawmakers joined in to pile on Thune’s idiocy:

And to think this guy was being taken seriously as a presidential contender not that long ago.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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