Oh, the U.S. government! Always brightening our days with social media shenanigans — and now, Taylor Swift GIFs. Today, Speaker of the House John Boehner made a valiant attempt to get jiggy with the youths of America when he — or rather, his website, presumably under the direction of Boehner's Digital Communications Director and renowned "believer in the iterative process" Caleb Smith — posted a bona fide listicle of Taylor Swift reaction GIFs. Politics just got a whole lot more
fun cloying and awkward.
The post elucidates Boehner's critiques of President Obama's recently announced proposal to provide free college education for Americans — something that many young people are, not surprisingly, excited about. Boehner is representing a not-irrelevant concern: Free education is expensive, and what with that pesky deficit, there is not exactly a ton of money lying around free for the taking. Boehner's point is that it would be better to work on plans that would lower education costs all-around. Obama's plan is far from set in stone at the moment, and he's proposed to split the bill 75/25 between the federal government and the states, respectively. That does mean more tax dollars, and that means free college is going to be a tough sell in Congress, even given the current debt crisis many Americans find themselves in post-graduation.
Though Taylor Swift could not be reached for comment, we have to wonder if she would agree with this attempt to poke a hole in the bubble of joy that a lot of young voters clearly feel right now. Indeed, Ms. Swift has referenced the challenge of paying for school in her song "Mine" ("you were in college working part time waiting tables"), and even recently gifted a fan nearly $2,000 to help pay her college loans. She probably didn't intend that as a political statement, but hey, apparently having your image appropriated on the behalf of a political agenda is just part of celebrity life these days. Just ask the stars of The Hills — as a group that has nobly volunteered to explain both Putin's expansionism and bombings in Syria, they know the struggle all too well.
Several commenters on speaker.gov expressed confusion and outrage on the matter:
We will be awaiting any response from Swift & co (which is not unusual — we are always checking our inboxes for emails from Taylor Swift) and will update this post as this very weird and slightly hilarious situation develops. Also, possibly forthcoming today: 12 Taylor Swift Reaction GIFs To Boehner's Taylor Swift Reaction GIFs Post.