Photo: AP

A couple weeks back, Senator John McCain treated the nation to a real showstopper of a C-SPAN feed as he toyed with millions of Americans’ health insurance access only to cast a deciding vote that upset the Republicans’ murderous agenda. Just a little over a week before the vote took place, the Arizona Senator announced that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and for a time it wasn’t clear whether he would return to the Senate to vote on the Republican’s so-called “skinny” repeal of the Affordable Care Act. When he did, Republicans—all of his colleagues, in fact—rejoiced.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson presented a theory he has as to why McCain voted against his party’s bill: the brain tumor. 

CNN reported on Wednesday that Johnson said on the radio program “Chicago’s Morning Answer” that he was “not gonna speak for John McCain—he has a brain tumor—that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in.”

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Well, the radio host decided to follow up on that one and asked Johnson if he really believed what he’d just said. So Johnson did that politician thing where you refuse to repeat exactly what you just said, and merely imply that you said it, even though, honestly, the whole thing is being recorded:

“Again, I-I-I don’t know exactly what – we really thought – and again I don’t want speak for any senator. I really thought John was going to vote yes to send that to conference at 10:30 at night. By about 1, 1:30, he voted no. So you have talk to John in terms what was on his mind.”

Have we really reached the point where language is so carelessly, crassly deployed that “what was on his mind” is a euphemism for “brain tumor”? Seems like it.