Everyone in America, ourselves included, got excited with Colorado's new insurance ads targeting college jerks that act like idiots, a genre dubbed brosurance. But on Wednesday, Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner (pictured above) decided to use this essential contribution to our public discourse to attack Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. For shame, Mr. Gardner.
Gardner made his point, complete with props, during the House Energy and Commerce Committee's hearing ostensibly centered around the flawed Healthcare.gov rollout. (The hearing was actually a tennis match between Republicans hating Obamacare and Democrats praising it.) After excoriating Sebelius for not participating in the Obamacare exchanges, Gardner tut-tutted his state's ads attempting to get young people to enroll.
Gardner: I would like to show you an advertisement that's going on in Colorado right now. This is an advertisement that a board member of the Colorado exchange has put forward. Do you agree with this kind of advertising for Obamacare?
Sebelius: I can't see it, and again —
Gardner: It's a college student doing a keg stand.
Sebelius: If the Colorado exchange did that, they are a state-based marketplace.
Gardner: Do you approve of this kind of advertising?
Sebelius: I don't see it. I don't know what it is, and I did not approve it. This is a state based —
Gardner: That's a pretty big font. That's a pretty big picture of a keg. And you can't see it?
It is a college student doing a keg stand, the Congressional Record will read for posterity. And on October 30, 2013, a member of the cabinet was challenged over whether or not bros should bro in ads or whether they should reserve that broing for non-ad-based moments. Somewhere in the heavens, George Washington smiled as he was doing some killer reps or whatever.
We should point out that it wasn't a fair attack. Sebelius has nothing to do with the state exchanges, as she tried to point out. And, besides, the ad is likely effective at making the case to the young people that insurers are desperate to get enrolled. But it's easy to pull the ad out of context as representative of something of which moralists will disapprove. And you can count Gardner among those moralists. After all, he would never, as a young man, have condoned of such behavior. From Roll Call in July 2012:
Q: Colorado State University and the University of Colorado are pretty big rivals. On game day, which team do you root for?
A: No question — my loyalties are with the CSU Rams. As a member of FarmHouse Fraternity, I helped lead the mascot, Cam the Ram, at sporting events.
All while remaining soberly contemplative of the bigger issues in life, no doubt.
Photo: Gardner also like cantaloupe. (AP)