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Lawmakers Delete Tweets In The Wake Of Confusing Coverage Of Health Care Ruling

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Too fast, too furious? Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was one of several lawmakers who deleted erroneous Obamacare tweets today. | AP

Twitter basically turned out be a terrific intoxicant to the news cycle today, with news of the Supreme Court's decision breaking in every possible direction after CNN initially explained that the individual mandate had been shot down. But it wasn't just media watchers who jumped the gun.

There were a number of lawmakers, caught up in the first wave of news, who sent out tweets in premature celebration of the end of Obamacare and who had to hastily delete them after they found out they were wrong.

Those Twitter deletions have been captured for posterity by the Sunlight Foundation. Back in May, the Sunlighters launched their latest social media widget, "Politwoops," which was geared toward keeping deleted tweets from lawmakers from vanishing into the memory hole. It was a pretty prescient innovation, built for days like today.

Last week, House Majority Leader John Boehner warned his Republican colleagues in a memo: "No one knows what the court will decide ... But if the court strikes down all or part of the president's healthcare reform law, there will be no spiking of the ball."

As Reuters reported at the time: "He underlined the last eight words to emphasize his reference to the NFL football end-zone celebration." Per Politwoops, here are the folks who didn't listen.


As you can see, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was, ironically, a little fast and furious with his retweet of Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

In addition, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), tweeted, "Truly disappointed in Justice Roberts and others who allowed this assault on the Republic stand."

Perhaps thinking better about publicly bashing Roberts, Ross deleted the tweet and sent out some more considered responses, including, "Disappointed in the decision today. Time to redouble our efforts to repeal and replace this law and repeal the taxes associated with it."

There was a lone Democrat who deleted a tweet this morning. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) tweeted, "The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. This is an incredible victory for the 30 million uninsured...," and included a link to his hometown newspaper. He later deleted this and instead tweeted essentially the same thing -- "#SCOTUS‬ upholds the ‪#ACA‬. Incredible victory for the 30 million uninsured Americans. ‪#healthcare‬" -- this time, without the link.

All in all, this was a pretty big day for the Sunlight Foundation, who can look forward to Politwoops' becoming a heavily trafficked site on days where big political news is breaking in a confusing fashion.

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