Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) isn't pleased with President Obama's announcement on net neutrality.
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
As Matt Yglesias, in an uncharacteristically light touch, noted in response to Cruz, "What, if anything, that phrase means is difficult to say."
It is, indeed. Apparently, the right-wing senator believes we've reached the point at which comparing something -- anything, really -- to the Affordable Care Act is so damning that Americans should be reflexively repulsed.
The fact that net neutrality is in no way similar to the ACA apparently is irrelevant. The fact that the Affordable Care Act is succeeding by every metric matters even less.
Cruz's problem has always been surprisingly simple: he's not dumb, he thinks you're dumb.
But there's larger pattern to all of this. Republicans are so preoccupied with their irrational disgust for the Affordable Care Act that they've become preoccupied with the "[Policy X] is the Obamacare of [Subject Matter Y]."
Common core standards are "Obamacare for education."
Dodd/Frank financial-regulatory safeguards are "Obamacare for banks."
Efforts to reduce carbon pollution are "Obamacare for energy markets."
Republicans don't have policy arguments; they have bumper-sticker slogans. They don't have evidence of a law that doesn't work; they have polls telling them "Obamacare" is a damaged "brand."
For everyone's benefit, our public discourse really should be smarter than this.
Update: It looks like I missed one: a Senate proposal to consolidate government lending practices would be "Obamacare for real estate."