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Please, America, don’t let this work.
Conservatives have themselves a sweet deal with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare: They can criticize it in vague and usually inaccurate ways, and their base will eat it all up. But what’s a conservative to do when another issue begins dominating the news?
If you’re Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the answer is simple: Link that thing—whatever it is!—to the dreaded Obamacare.
On Monday morning, President Obama announced his support for the Federal Communications Commission’s strong net neutrality option, Title II regulation. Reclassifying Internet service providers under Title II of the Communcations Act of 1934 would allow the FCC to treat broadband Internet service like a public utility, such as water, electricity, or landline phone serivce.
The president’s statement catapulted net neutrality into the headlines, at least for the moment, leaving conservatives like Cruz fumbling for a response.
Here’s what the esteemed Tea Party senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate finally came up with:
“Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
SHOW ME WHERE IT SAYS “NET NEUTRALITY” IN THE CONSTITUTION YEAH I THOUGHT SO
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) November 10, 2014
OBAMA (beep boop) INTERNET (boop boop beep) GOVERNMENT (bop borp) NET NEUTRALITY (boop beep bap) OBAMACARE (blorp)
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) November 10, 2014
Ted Cruz: All things Obama supports are like Obamacare. Also, I don’t really know what net neutrality is. (Am I paraphrasing right?)
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) November 10, 2014
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means… MT @SenTedCruz “Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet
— Marianne von Nordeck (@The2632) November 10, 2014
— Joshua Hatch (@hatchjt) November 10, 2014
Wait, then what if net neutrality is the obamacare of the internet what are the death panels of the internet?
— Michael Perry (@michaelrperry6) November 10, 2014
Obamacare fear-mongering: For when you absolutely, positively need to avoid making a substantive comment about a matter of critical national importance.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.