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GOP congressman resorts to cat memes in Obamacare fight

Would you still like the Affordable Healthcare Act if you learned that Grumpy Cat has had issues with it?


Kevin Collier

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 23, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 3:35 am CDT

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) finally has a way to convince these kids that the Affordable Healthcare Act—colloquially known as Obamacare—is no good.

Just go full BuzzFeed.

A new post on Issa’s page promises “8 Cats Who Called 1-800-ObamaCare but Still Couldn’t Get Healthcare.” True to BuzzFeed’s infinitely replicable style, it lists cats—though only seven of them; perhaps the eighth one ended up getting through—with captions related to frustrations with the buggy new health insurance system.

The images are established, generic Internet felines. “Most of them look like classic lolcat photos to me,” Know Your Meme curator Amanda Brennan told the Daily Dot, pointing out that several are mainstays on Reddit and Tumblr.

It’s not the first time Issa—or more likely, someone on his staff—has tried to make political gains using Internet cat macros. Earlier in October, for instance, he Instagrammed that the cause of Grumpy Cat’s grumpiness was actually Obamacare. 

Issa may still have some lingering Internet cred from early 2012, when he spearheaded the House’s opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). 

But since then, he’s become a far more controversial figure. He twice voted to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), widely condemned by Internet privacy groups. More recently, he called for the resignation of the head of the National Park Service for closing its doors during the government shutdown, though he actually supported the shutdown itself.

Photos by AlishaV and Robert S. Donovan/Flickr (Remix by Fernando Alfonso III)

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*First Published: Oct 23, 2013, 2:24 pm CDT